Search visualization and analytics have come to the field of law (at least in the United States). We think this is an interesting tool for legal services that might expand to Canada (some day).
Ravel Law is a new legal online research kid tool started by two entrepreneurs and Stanford Law grads, Daniel Lewis and Nik Reed.
The problem in the United States? According to Daniel Lewis:
For years the federal government has outsourced the creation of official opinions, relying on Westlaw and Lexis to create and publish them. These publishers are handed slip opinions by court staff, provide some editing, assign citations and release official versions through their systems. As a result, access to case law has been de facto privatized, and restricted.
Ravel Law’s purpose? Making legal research “radically easier, faster, and more intuitive,” according to the founders.
To that end, Ravel is a search visualization, analytics, and annotation platform of United States Supreme Court and Circuit Court cases, and offers free and unlimited access directly through the Ravel website (which is itself in beta mode).
Instead of just a list of cases, Ravel presents a visual map. The X axis of the map represents time. The Y axis represents either level of court or relevance of results depending on the view.
The purpose is to visually map out case histories so legal professionals could more easily extract important information, such as how many times a case had been cited and what cases incorporated similar key words and phrases.