Francis Bacon once said that knowledge is power. With reference to the legal profession, knowledge is acquired through painstaking legal research, which is the foundation for winning cases and ultimately dispensing justice. In this era of technology, access to information is not an obstacle but finding the relevant information and applying it in the practical field is the ultimate goal of legal research. This tedious yet vital process of finding the needle in the haystack in a proficient manner is smoothened with the help of Legitquest, which is an online legal research portal, custom made for the needs of the legal fraternity.
The legal profession has evolved over centuries, tracing its history to the classical Greco- Roman period around 200 BCE. Today, it has diverged into various specialized fields touching every aspect of modern life, ranging from the Criminal law, Banking law to Sports Law, Space Law and beyond. However, the common thread binding all these specialized fields is legal research.
The legal profession is a vocation which combines the expertise of law as well as its application. The journey of learning this alchemy of combining the two begins on the first day of law school, in the orientation programme where one is ushered into the profession and continues as long as one remains in the field. One essential and primary skill set required in this profession and acquired in the journey is that of legal research. In law school, it is needed to get good grades and understand the ethos of law, and after entering the profession, it is required in every step from drafting to constructing arguments and presenting it in Court. A lawyer’s failure to conduct proper legal research is often reprimanded by the Court, which not only causes embarrassment to the Counsel but may also hamper the outcome of the case. Thus, proper research on the judgements is the keystone to a successful legal career.
Information Technology has revolutionized every aspect of modern life, and the arena of legal research is no exception. Gone are the days of mind-numbing perusal of countless A.I.Rs, law journals, law reporters, etc. All the information is available on the internet and is just a click away. The access is no longer the obstacle, but where and how to find the most relevant piece of information is the real challenge. The transformation in methodology has largely impacted legal research in India. Lawyers now have to acquire an additional skill set, that is, the skill to use online legal research platforms.
The advent of the internet age has transformed research methodology, and the legal academia has significantly benefitted from it. The usage of online legal research platforms has increased over the years by research scholars and professors to find primary as well as secondary sources for their research. Thus, there is the need for reliable online legal research tools to assist in producing quality research work. Legitquest apprehends the importance of good research work in the development of law and strives to become an indispensable tool for legal research in India.
The electronic era has steered in a large number of legal database search portals. However, most of these legal research tools focus on the access to information. Legitquest has brought in a breath of fresh air in the industry as it combines access and analysis, to produce the most relevant result. Information, insight, and intelligence truly represent the ethos of Legitquest as a legal research tool.
Studies have shown that lawyers who have just entered the profession spend more than 30% of their time doing legal research, and use online legal research tools to complete their tasks. Legitquest understands the requirement of the legal profession as it is pioneered by tech-savvy lawyers and is visible in the concept of Legitquest as an online legal research platform. Legitquest as a legal search engine in India has discarded the archaic and rudimentary Boolean method and has adopted the latest technology to give the most pertinent result. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics, Legitquest provides access to the most reliable, accurate and valuable data, thereby amplifying the efficacy of legal research expeditiously.
Legal research in India has been greatly boosted by the plethora of online legal research platforms made available over the years. But Legitquest is not just a name in that crowd. The expertise of tech-savvy lawyers, engineers, designer and management professionals has created a legal research tool which has transformed centuries-old unorganized, unstructured and complex legal data in a user-friendly and structured manner. A legal database search portal with judgments of Supreme Court and High Courts since 1950 makes Legitquest the one-shop stop for legal research in India. However, the specialty of Legitquest is not its vast database, but its innovative features such as iSearch, iDRAF (Decision Reasoning Arguments Findings) and iGraphics.
Legitquest’s iSearch is a premier legal search engine in India. Based on legal taxonomy, this feature suggests documents which are most relevant, be it Statutes, Regulations, Case laws, and Templates. This feature gives the researcher the option to broaden or constrict the search to get the most precise outcome. Finding the pertinent document is the most daunting part while using an online legal research platform, but iSearch, with the help of the most advanced technology, eases that process.
Case law analysis is the bedrock of legal research and probably the most time-consuming task. With the help of iDRAF, the decision along with the reasoning of the Court, the arguments of the opposite counsels and the findings are available at the click of a button. One does not have to read the entire judgment word by word, but by reading the highlighted portions, will be able to gauge the relevance and applicability of the respective cases. This will increase the efficiency of legal research and case law analysis four-fold.
The other key feature of Legitquest, iGraphics is a brilliant innovation which condenses the treatment of a case law in the form of a graph. Now one does not have to waste time reading the judgment only to find that it has been overruled. Legitquest aims to assist researchers not only by providing access to the most relevant information, but also enhancing efficiency and productivity of the process of legal research.
Law is fluid in nature, and that poses a constant challenge for the legal fraternity. What is law today may be obsolete tomorrow? Legitquest understands this requirement and endeavors to keep its database updated with the latest developments in the field of law. Thus, Legitquest not only augments the efficacy of the research, but it also ensures that researchers have access to the most recent developments.
Legitquest as a legal research tool works in the following steps. Firstly, with the help of the search engine feature iSearch, the most relevant cases are listed as per the query. Once the case law has been selected, the second step involving iDRAF helps the researcher identify the various parts of the judgment such as the decision, reasoning, arguments, and findings. At the same time, the iGraphics feature shows the treatment of that particular case law, indicating the number of times it has been relied upon, overruled, distinguished, approved/affirmed, followed and referred to, respectively. The links of the cases where the particular case law was cited are also available on the same page, thus making it easier to read further and build an argument. Therefore, the time and energy which earlier was expended in reading one judgment can be channelized and utilized in reading more relevant judgments and building robust, well-researched and cogent arguments. The entire exercise not only increases the efficiency of the researcher but also greatly impacts the quality of work.
Legitquest earnestly endeavors to inculcate the habit of comprehensive legal research in the newer generation of lawyers to produce quality work in a tech-savvy manner. It is part of professional ethics and duty towards the profession, clients, and justice to serve to best of their capabilities, and Legitquest assists in performing this noble duty.
India has crores of pending cases, with approximately 20 lakh practicing advocates and judges, thousands of aspiring lawyers and judges in law schools all over the country, and numerous law firms and government agencies. The legal fraternity has its foundation based on legal research, which is an arduous task and Legitquest strives to expedite the process by providing a tool which increases efficiency and quality of work, thus holistically enhancing the skill of legal research and case law analysis.
The legal profession requires patience and passion, and by enhancing the efficiency of the most elementary aspect, Legitquest aspires to spread the zeal it has for law amongst the newer tech-savvy generation of the legal fraternity.
Legitquest provides a platform to read and learn more, understand the law more comprehensively and holistically, apply the law is a cogent fashion and enhance the process of acquiring knowledge which is indeed the ultimate power.