Lex Machina has taken the most mundane of legal data sets– docket entries– and spun it into a
goldmine of legal insights. Lex Machina is not a hard product to use, but it offers a dizzying array of options which a lawyer with minimal training can master.

This week Lex Machina announced the  release of   a ‘suite of custom insight apps’ which make it even easier. It is essentially a very sophisticated kind of “data mining for idiots.” With the launch of Custom Insight Apps,  Lex Machina is offering
subscribers the zero training way to build custom charts providing high
value insights.
The Suite includes an early case assessment  tool, a motion kickstarter and a patent portfolio evaluator. Let me clarify that these are desktop “apps” not mobile apps for a smartphone,
The Early Case Assessor enables a lawyer to enter the name of  a plaintiff and their counsel and  generate  litigation history for client and quickly assess their law firms history representing the client.
Early Case Assessor

 The Motion Kickstarter enables a lawyer to compare successful and unsuccessful motions before a judge. It can also generate the specific judge’s average time to grant or deny motions.

The Patent Portfolio Evaluator gives attorney the complete litigation history for an entire patent portfolio in one report including all district , PTAB, and ITC cases for each patent, with outcomes,

Lawyers Want a Lightswitch not A Powerplant
Lex Machina has made the impossible— easy and then made “the easy with some effort”—
effortless.  Lex Machina appears to be acknowledging that there are really two main obstacles to getting lawyers to adopt new technologies. The first is price and the second is the learning curve. Even if the learning curve is small — the “attention gap” becomes an unbreachable wall to adoption.

Twenty years ago when working as  colleagues in an AmLaw 100 firm, legal consultant, Ron Friedmann and I identified simplicity of  “the light switch”  as the best model for a technology which lawyers will easily adopt. I have spent much of my career inventing “one click” solutions which can bring lawyers directly  to the buried treasure inside complex legal systems.  Lex Machina although a relatively young company — has learned a lesson which the dominant  legal information service providers  still haven’t mastered…. you just can’t make things too easy for lawyers. Yes they are smart enough to learn how to run the power plant but they would prefer to just hit the light switch.

You can try out the apps here.