I met with Jeff Pfeifer, VP of Product Management at LexisNexis and Daniel Lewis,one of the co-founders of Ravel Law to review the upcoming release of Ravel content on Lexis. I reviewed Ravel Law when came to market in 2014 offering one of the most innovative approaches to legal research to hit the market in the past decade. In addition, they had the novel idea of highlighting judges precedential history – what cases do specific judges tend to cite for particular issues and then how do they rule? They offered what I originally described as a constellation-like visualization of case law relationships. LexisNexis purchased Ravel in 2017 only two years after purchasing another Legal Analytics platform Lex Machina. Lexis has begun integrating Lex Machina analytics into Lexis Advance so it was not clear where the Ravel analytics would fit in. Last week at Legal Tech in New York, I received a preview of these integrations which are scheduled to rolled out over several months beginning in March 2018.
Ravel Law will Enhance Shepards Citations
In 2016 Lexis launched the search term maps feature which enables researchers to navigate to specific search terms and to see the depth of treatment of each term. With Ravel Law they are integrating Shepard’s citations as a color wheel.
They have kept the standard Shepard’s color red- negative, yellow caution/explained, green – followed in the wheel. However since they are using those same colors in the term map which runs along the top of the case – I was originally confused and though the red in the term map was connected to the Shepard’s history. I suggest that Lexis give this issue more thought.
Ravel’s Search Visualization
Ravel’s search visualizations have been simplified and now include colored dots using the Shepard’s history indicators in the search visualization map.
6 Million Caselaw Images
Until now, Lexis has not had access to case law images. When LexisNexis bought Ravel they got access to the “Free the Law” archive arising from the 2015 Harvard Law School-Ravel Law collaboration .
According to Pfeifer, the Harvard case law archive will load more than 500,00 new cases into Lexis. In addition, over 6 million case reporter images will be available to lawyers who want an original reporter page to examine or attach as an image to a court filing.
Ravel’s judge, law firm and case law analytics are scheduled to be added to Lexis Advance and Lexis Profiler over the coming months. In addition, they are working on an expert witness enhancement providing analytics on expert witness challenge history.
The market has a strong interest in products which streamline expert witness research, so this feature will be welcomed by litigators.