Last week Ravel and Handshake Software announced a partnership.
Law firms with Handshake software will be able to integrate Ravel caselaw and
analytics into desktop applications and create personal homepages. On Monday Ravel
co-founders Daniel Lewis and Nik Reed were featured in a Forbes article about
the emergence of Big Data in the practice of law. Yesterday they announced that
as the result of their Harvard Law School alliance they had loaded the complete
California case law archive.

The Ravel/Handshake Alliance

The alliance with Handshake which was announced last week
enables firms to integrate ravel search and analytics into their interwoven

The Ravel/ Handshake alliance
allows law firms to create a platform in which Ravel’s legal materials and  a firm’s internal expertise and data can be integrated
and accessed using enterprise search or on personalized pages. According to the
press release” This not only alleviates the need to conduct legal research as
part of a siloed search but brings together all other critical aspects of the
modern practitioner’s hub including relevant information from the firm’s
financials, document management, customer relationship and practice management

 Nik Reed, co-founder and chief operating
officer at Ravel Law explains the benefits to law firms. “Legal research is an
essential part of business intelligence in developing legal strategy, and our
integration with Handshake makes data-driven insights available with just a few

Free California Caselaw

In October 2015, Ravel Law  and Harvard Law School announced an ambitious
Big Data  project. Ravel and Harvard are
collaborating on scanning the complete archive of all US cases in the Harvard
Law Library and make that archive available to the public for free on the Ravel
Yesterday, Daniel Lewis co-founder
of Ravel announced the release of California caselaw, which was loaded into
Ravel as part of the Harvard-Ravel digitization project, This is exciting
news for the public because for the first time the entire archive of California
state caselaw is freely accessible to anyone with access to the web. Each case
is accompanied by an authoritative scan of case from  the original book from the Harvard library.(GoogleScholar
provides free case law searching but it has a limited archive  of state appellate cases dating back to 1950
and Ravel’s archive is a complete archive including cases back to the 19th
century. The Ravel/Harvard archive  includes both trial and appellate opinions.)

Subscribers to Ravel law’s
Judge’s Analytics will soon be able to analyze the opinions of California state
judge. Judge’s Analytics provides insights into how judges make decisions by analyzing
their cited precedents.

Forbes: How Big Data is Disrupting Law Firms and the Legal
This week Forbes posted and article which examines the emergence of big data in
legal practice.  I profiled Ravel in an earlier post. Since the entire legal profession is rooted in precedent it
should not be surprising that change comes slowly. Anyone who looks at the results of a Ravel search can see immediately that Ravel is a radical re-imagining of the legal research process.

Ravel’s Research Results

The article includes a
particularly interesting insight from  from Ravel co-founder Nik Reed  on the changing profile of young lawyers. “One
of the most exciting moments for me starting at law school and having come from
working on Wall Street was realizing I wasn’t alone – the days when lawyers
were all English Literature or philosophy majors are behind us now, my
classmates included a lot of people from finance and one who had a PhD in bio
chemistry from MIT. These are people who are familiar with quantitative
analysis and datasets, and they are yearning for richer information sources and
better analytics technologies. It probably wouldn’t have gone down very well 30
years ago with the kind of people who were lawyers back then.”

It will be interesting to see what happens when the first generation of “quant” lawyers “make partner” and  start migrating into leadership roles in law firms.