Lawyers and law firms must rely on the clearest information possible in order to best serve their clients. Federated searches represent one way that firms can become more adept at meeting this goal. These searches allow users to analyze hundreds and thousands of data points about individuals and companies by pulling information from select database APIs (i.e. The Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)) within seconds. However, not all lawyers and law firms would require such powerful tools. Instead, they should consider employing a federated search product if:
1.) If A Quick Google Search Is Not Comprehensive Enough
Google searches are a powerful tool. In many cases, Google search is enough to provide lawyers with information about individuals that are not central to a case. Google searches are likely used to investigate all individuals of interest, but these searches may not be all that is needed to understand the situational context of the case.
2.) If a Private Investigator (P.I.) Is Not Needed
Private investigators generate a significant amount of business from lawyers and law firms. They represent the ultimate background check. Private investigators scour through personal records and documents for the person of interest. In addition, they will often trail persons of interest for several days and observe their behavior. For most cases, a P.I. will only be asked to research one or two persons of interest. This is because hiring a P.I. is expensive for firms, and only necessary in specific situations.
3.) If A Firm or Lawyer Can Afford It
Federated Search capabilities come at a price tag. A federated search can cost several thousand dollars a month for creation and maintenance depending on the number of agents. Large and medium sized firms (> 35 lawyers) have enough staff and generate enough revenue to consider whether this type of service fits their needs. However, smaller firms and individual shops would probably not have enough revenue or need to justify the cost of federated search capabilities.
So what is the optimal use case for lawyers and law firms utilizing federated search capabilities? In short, when medium-to-large law firms need information on individuals greater than the specificity provided by a Google search but not as comprehensive as a private investigator.
Synaptik, True Interaction’s Data Management and Machine Learning Platform, helped one organization save $34M a year using is federated search capabilities. To learn more, please contact us at www.synaptik.co