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Legal research can be a tedious and costly, but it’s also a necessary and unavoidable task for any legal professional. There are numerous different elements involved in legal research, such as case research and fact research, and different ways you can go about gaining the information you need and begin building your arguments. Legal research software has provided attorneys with new legal research tools and techniques that can make research quicker and less expensive, especially if you know which technology to use and when. Here are three tips on how you can cut legal research costs in your legal practice.
Save money by using newer, lesser known case law research tools
Case research tools pull case information for you and help you search different laws based on your specific case so you can get the information you need without having to pay for individual court documents. Now, newer and lesser known legal research databases even provide you with the access to all information you need for extremely discounted rates or no cost at all.
Attorneys can use Fastcase, which recently merged with Casemaker and provides legal research to all 50 states through their bar associations for free so you can take advantage of free legal research if you’re a member of a bar association. Fastcase has also invested in AI in order to run bad case law checks through a bot rather than large amounts of attorneys while still processing as many searches as traditional case law research tools, providing you with the necessary information you need for less cost.
Casetext, a legal research and writing tool, offers discounted rates to members of bar associations to help you save money when investing in case law research tools. Casetext offers extensive case information for case law research and the ability to find cases with matching concepts, and it even helps you draft stronger briefs in less time using the powers of both AI and expert attorneys.
You can also utilize Google Scholar for case law research without needing to download any software at all. Google Scholar case law research allows you to search different types of state and federal courts for court information with just the click of a few buttons in your normal Google search engine. While traditional case law research tools have been expensive, new legal research services have provided attorneys with new opportunities to save money performing case law research without sacrificing thoroughness.
Utilize a public and private records software to streamline fact research
Fact research is another critical component of legal research that involves finding the detailed facts and evidence you need to build your case. Fact research is just as important as case law research — in some situations, facts can be the difference between winning and losing your case. Traditionally, attorneys may have needed to go to local police departments, courthouses, and even libraries in order to purchase physical copies of records and sort through them. However, a public and private records software like Tracers allows attorneys to access billions of records from thousands of sources — from any device.
Using Tracers, you can search criminal records, business records, asset records, and property records, as well as find financial information like tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcy records. You can perform a social media search and view information about that person’s social media activity in one easy-to-read report, as well as access unbanked and alternative data sources like utility listings data to gather a more comprehensive view on almost any adult in the US. And with the right public and private records database, you can utilize batch processing or batch skip tracing options to process thousands of records with one search, as well as a custom API integration to integrate Tracers data into your own software.
A public and private records database not only helps you avoid paying for physical copies of records, but it also streamlines your fact research so you can find the information you need quicker and without any hidden fees or surprise invoices. For more information on investigative software like Tracers, check out our blog post on tips for buying investigative research software.
Run delayed searches for legal research and increase billable hours
Sometimes, even the best public and private records database doesn’t offer coverage of the specific court that you need for your case. In these situations, rather than searching the court yourself, you can utilize a delayed search in Tracers. A delayed search offers access to a live court researcher who will connect with the clerk of a court to obtain the specific record you need for you. While this search tends to take longer for you to receive the records you need, it allows you to avoid spending valuable time going to a court, searching for, and requesting the document you need and instead have someone else do that work for you. This allows you to spend that time doing other tasks to increase your billable hours – in turn making you more money.
Legal research isn’t easy, but legal research tools can help streamline your legal research and save you time. And when you take advantage of the right ones, you can significantly cut your costs and focus your resources on the areas of your practice that bring in the most profit. If you’re ready to see a legal research database in action, get started with Tracers today.