The judicial system did not escape the debilitating effects of COVID-19. With courts shut down and the legal profession severely disrupted, members of the legal industry fought to find stable footing. It became crucial to rely on legal technology for everything from electronic case filings to digital depositions to virtual hearings.
At Lex Machina, every member of the team recalibrated their focus to include a new goal: to aid the legal community during the pandemic by keeping them informed on what was happening in the courts. As the leading provider of Legal Analytics, Lex Machina quickly recognized that it could play a powerful role in keeping a fractured legal profession tethered to current updates in the court system. Lex Machina has always strived to bring Legal Analytics to all areas of the law, and in this time of crisis, its aim did not change.
What resulted was Lex Machina’s launch of its COVID-19 Impact Analyzer App (the “COVID App”), which tracks the effects of the pandemic on litigation and court behavior in the federal district court system. Mindful of its public interest origins over ten years ago, Lex Machina ensured that a version of the COVID App was made widely available to the general public. The COVID App monitors data regarding case filings, findings, and complaints that reference COVID-19. The legal analytics presented by the COVID App offer valuable insights into federal litigation and court activity during the pandemic.
“There are many aspects of our new COVID-19 Impact Analyzer App that break new ground, but there are two that I want to emphasize,” said Karl Harris, Lex Machina’s CEO.
“First, we are making our COVID App available to the wider public, because it’s important for us to stay true to our public interest roots in a time of such global uncertainty. Second, this is the only Legal Analytics product out there that is efficiently and accurately analyzing what the pandemic is doing to the federal court system. With our COVID App, people no longer have to speculate what the effect of COVID-19 has been on the legal profession—now, we provide you with the data so you can know.”
In its efforts to keep as much of the diverse legal community as possible updated on the rippling effects of COVID-19, the Lex Machina team retrieved and analyzed pandemic-related data from state courts as well as federal. Lex Machina’s recent expansion into state court analytics facilitated the derivation of fascinating data-driven insights into how COVID-19 has affected state court and case activity, which are detailed in periodic blog posts on its site.
At its core, Lex Machina aims to provide the most accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date Legal Analytics to its clients. With its award-winning Legal Analytics platform, Lex Machina developed a new category of legal technology that has always worked to bring openness and transparency to the legal landscape. Lex Machina provides data-driven insights to its users on courts, judges, lawyers, law firms, and parties. It currently covers 16 practice areas (patent, trademark, copyright, antitrust, bankruptcy, consumer protection, contracts, employment, environmental, ERISA, insurance, product liability, security, tax, torts, trade secret litigation) in federal courts, as well as an increasing number of state courts. For state court litigation, the Legal Analytics includes data regarding trial resolutions, damages, and rulings. In addition, Lex Machina maintains a toolbox of Legal Analytics apps that allow its users to further break down, compare, and understand the vast amount of data available to them.
The COVID-19 pandemic upended all aspects of society and the legal industry. Fragments of the legal system were temporarily suspended or displaced. When legal professionals were faced with disruption and uncertainty, Lex Machina worked hard to provide the data and analytics that could help the legal profession begin to understand the effects of COVID-19 on federal district court litigation. As the only Legal Analytics solution that uses natural language processing, machine learning, and technology-assisted human review, Lex Machina ensured that it could play a role in reducing some of the speculation and guesswork plaguing legal professionals as they tried to move forward. COVID-19 and its wide-ranging effects may be here for the long-term, but Lex Machina will continue to monitor, track, and provide the data-driven insights that can help everyone understand the impact of the pandemic on the legal world.
Gloria Huang is a Legal Content Associate at Lex Machina, where she focuses on creating content regarding Legal Analytics and its strategic advantages. She is currently based in Palo Alto, CA, after practicing corporate law and working as a consultant in New York, NY. Gloria holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LL.M. in International Law from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Stanford University.