Many Canadians don’t have access to a legal representative. This is because a growing number don’t qualify for legal aid, but also can’t afford lawyer. The real cost of hiring a lawyer is increasing while legal aid funding is staying relatively static.
Inefficient practices worsen this problem. Futile or ineffective legal research, for example, cause billable hours to add up quickly. Besides increasing funding to legal aid, one way to mitigate this problem is to drive down the cost-per-client by increasing efficiency. Futile or ineffective legal research cause billable hours to add up quickly.
Online legal research platforms have helped lawyers access a greater wealth of resources. Natural language processing techniques have enhanced the legal research landscape, but there is still room for improvement.
Lawyers still spend a considerable amount of time reading cases for their facts and manually digging to find cases which are analogous to their own. Traditionally, reading considerable amounts of case law has been inescapable. The hunt for an 'on point' case remains elusive and challenging. Leveraging computers to automatically discover comparable cases is the next step in the evolution of legal research.
Miralaw has built a platform that improves the efficiency of legal process. By combining data with process management the efficiency gains for court users continue to increase. Users now land at the courthouse with a firm grasp of the legal process they are embarking upon as well as certainty that the research they have done has surfaced the most relevant cases. We believe that lawyers could also benefit from this technology.
Miralaw's software collects intake information from the user, surveys historical cases, compares those cases against the new clients factual information, and then returns the most closely matched cases based on key similarities.
This type of legal research optimization could help close the access to justice gap. Because tools like these could help lawyers spend fewer hours on research, legal aid certificate costs could decrease. Legal aid offices could issue more certificates overall, and more clients could receive legal services. This efficiency could even result in altered eligibility requirements, since legal aid would have the funding and capacity to take on more clients.
These tools will not only make lawyers more efficient, but they will also help prevent them from overlooking relevant case law. Thus, the tool not only contributes to an office’s efficiency, but also helps ensure accurate and comprehensive research in a fraction of the time.
Miralaw is helping to close the access to justice gap by moving lawyers up the value chain. To learn more about our case comparison analysis and other optimization tools, contact us.