Introduction

From time immemorial, legal research has played a vital role in the legal profession. Whether in courtroom advocacy, in-house soliciting, or academics, research is unavoidable. And here’s where legaltech research tools come in.

Day-in day-out, lawyers ceaselessly confront newer legal questions, and disputes, the likes of which have never been seen. But through efficient research, solutions and arguments are proffered to overcome these challenges.

It doesn’t matter that you are a law student, intern, or barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court. The ability to conduct exhaustive and fruitful research remains an essential skill. More so, it’s a determinant to how far an individual can go in the profession.

Today, various legaltech research tools seek to address various angles and needs of legal research. This intervention of tech in the conservative profession of law brings with it much-needed ease to the traditionally-difficult nature of legal research.

It the recent past, legal researchers had to run through volumes upon volume of law books to find answers. But since the advent of legaltech, things have changed for the better.

If you check through the portfolio of this writer at Digilaw, you’d discover contents that shed more light on what legaltech is about. That includes the evolution of legaltech and how legaltech helps lawyers stand-out in the profession.

Eva Legaltech Research Tool

One of the simplest-to-use and inexpensive legaltech available in Nigeria is Eva -an artificial intelligence legal research assistant. The voice and text-activated AI legal research tool eases the burden of legal research. It does this by providing judicial and statutory authorities of Nigeria and the UK.

LegalTech Research: Eva Super Max
Eva Super Max website

Its distinct functionalities include: natural language processing, machine intelligence and analysis, and many more. In simpler terms, it is capable of understanding and generating results for inquiries worded in human conversational tones. It also has the capacity to study and profile users’ peculiar search behavior to assist in bringing up user-customized results in the future.

So, be it Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or other appellate courts’ decisions, British locus classicus, or Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, the Eva Supermax legaltech solution has got all your legal research needs covered.

Through the eyes of the CEO

In a chat with the CEO of the company, Mr. Osili, he mentioned that his team developed the legal research assistant to fill the knowledge-gap amongst legal practitioners.

He recalled that the idea to develop the legal research assistant stemmed from a WhatsApp platform he created long ago. The intent was to use the same in addressing pertinent legal questions amongst new wigs.

At first, the provision of timely answers to these questions was feasible. But as the platform grew bigger and questions trooped in endlessly, timely answers became unfeasible. The endless cycle of unattended inquiries by lawyers thus led himself and some others to set up Ivy Artificial Intelligence. In collaboration with Facebook, Google, and other tech giants, the legal assistant tool was birthed.

How the LegalTech AI research tool works

As you already know, this legal research AI tool is a reserve of Nigerian law –including judicial and statutory authorities. Its parent company, Ivy Artificial Intelligence, currently has two AI solutions in its coffers:

• AI Search
• Eva Chatbox

Using the AI search option
When you visit the website, scroll down and tap the Get Started button. The AI Search interface would appear, with a white search box where questions and inquiries can be inputted.

Assuming a user has been retained in a dispute regarding whether a bank loan debtor has fully fulfilled his credit facility obligations or not. This tool eases the search for legal authorities on proof of payment of bank loans.

Simply input ‘bank loan proof of payment’ in the AI search box and thousands of authorities would come up. By default, the tool is programmed to bring up the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decisions. Alternatively, one may restrict the search results to either of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal modes to confine the search results to decisions of either of both courts.

Using the Eva Chatbot option

Another way of using the legal research solution is through Eva Chatbot. It was originally built to furnish authorities on the Nigerian law of evidence but has lately been updated with the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The chatbot simulates a conversation between a regular librarian and a library user, where the former guides the latter on how to quickly and effectively find resources. But this librarian isn’t your standard library guide because it – in addition to teaching the how – helps to fetch the needed resources.

To get a feel of it, go to the website and tarry a bit for a few seconds. A yellow messaging overlay similar to that of the FB messenger logo should surface shortly after with a ‘Hi! How can I help you ?’ message.

Tap on the message box and input your Facebook login details when prompted. An FB-like chatting interface would come up, with tips on how the chatbot can be effectively used.

The chatbot is said to be capable of conversing with a million users at a time, with no lag.

How the tool fares with other legaltech research tools

Just like Ivy Intelligence CEO reiterates, Eva competes with the likes of Law Pavilion, Timi, and various other Nigerian-based legaltech tools. What however distinguishes these legaltech tools from others, lies in its reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Just as well, it also provides for distinct user experience by way of the inclusion of the ‘Dark Mode Feature’. This darkens bright displays to reduce eye strains and stress.

Additionally, the availability of English Court decisions such as the Court of Chancery, UK House of Lords, etc, makes the tool a much more useful and comprehensive research tool.

Pricing implication of the LegalTech research tool

Well, it wouldn’t be exaggerative to mention that this tool is one of the most affordable amongst its competitors in the market. With a subscription of seven thousand Naira, users get year-long unlimited access to the tool. Similar law reporting tools in the Nigerian jurisdiction aren’t so competitively cheap or affordable.

What lies ahead of Ivy Artificial Intelligence

Ivy Artificial intelligence is a legaltech-driven company that has its sights on the release of innovations that ease the job of legal professionals. To cement its position on the map of the legaltech space, the company hopes and expects to turn out more legal tech solutions in the very near future.

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