The legal industry is becoming digitized. What does that mean? Digitization is a common term lacking a uniform definition. It is often used to describe a suite of IT assets– networks servers, software, the cloud, and other tools. IT is an essential element, certainly, but digitization is much more than the transition from paper to electronic communication. It is the process—enhanced by technology—of reimagining the delivery of goods and services and creating new business models and structures from which to manage it. Digitization is the interplay of tools, tasks, resources—human and technological—process, and models designed to better serve customers and to provide 24/7/365 connectivity between provider and client. [Read more…]
Harvard Law School has announced that it will be digitizing its vast collection of U.S. case law and making it available free online. Ravel Law, a commercial research and legal analytics company is partnering with Harvard and funding the substantial cost of converting the collection from print to electronic format. The project is called “Free the Law.”
In an article appearing in the October 28, 2015 edition of The New York Times, Erik Eckholm writes:
“Now, in a digital age sacrifice intended to serve grand intentions, the Harvard librarians are slicing off the spines of all but the rarest volumes and feeding some 40 million pages through a high speed scanner. They are taking this once unthinkable step to create a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the Internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for.”
“Free the Law” has significant implications for the legal vertical and beyond.