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Helping Lawyers to Better Visualize Their Knowledge: A Formula and Four Scenarios

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Abstract

With this article, we aim to bring our voice as practitioners and knowledge management (KM) lawyers to the innovation table. To facilitate the retrieval of legal knowledge and its mapping, we have tested different forms of visualization of law and we have been exploring how, in our context, technology could be used or has already been used to support the work of lawyers. We have summarised our insights to foster further conversations on this key topic. We wish to steer the conversation towards what its practitioners need and how data scientists and technology experts can cater better for these needs.

In a two-step approach we present our angle as KM lawyers. First, we explain what we call the ‘Knowledge Formula’, showing four scenarios in which varying degrees of technological support were deployed and, as a result, the access to legal knowledge differed. Second, we provide two examples as to how knowledge visualization can be applied to support legal KM.

We employ a mathematical formula to describe our understanding of the current opportunities and limitations and to draw some of the boundaries of the map of legal knowledge visualization. Then, we provide an analysis of two specific visualization case studies. The results of this conceptual and practical exercise stress the essential role visualization plays in increasing the readability and understanding of law. Furthermore, we formulate some of the needs practitioners may have. We show potential solutions for the issues encountered during the process of visualizing law, with a particular focus on the challenges and limitations.

Visualizing the knowledge encapsulated in law brings us closer to the objective of assisting better drafting. Better drafting will translate into more effective legal interpretation, more efficient production and increased impact on the practitioner’s day-to-day business. In addition, it will facilitate any sharing of knowledge and its understanding, improve collaboration among key stakeholders and nurture legal work to make it fit for the third decade of the twenty-first century.

The publication reflects the personal views of the author(s), which do not necessarily reflect the views of the ECB.

Valérie M. Saintot, LLM, PhD is Lawyer, Adjunct Professor, Author.

Gabriele Di Matteo is Legal analyst at the European Central Bank.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See LeReto, https://lereto.com/.

  2. 2.

    See John Hopkins University, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html.

  3. 3.

    See il Sole 24 ore, https://lab24.ilsole24ore.com/numeri-vaccini-italia-mondo/.

  4. 4.

    See Legal Explore, http://www.legex.org/.

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© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Saintot, V.M., Di Matteo, G. (2022). Helping Lawyers to Better Visualize Their Knowledge: A Formula and Four Scenarios. In: Jacob, K., Schindler, D., Strathausen, R., Waltl, B. (eds) Liquid Legal – Humanization and the Law. Law for Professionals. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-14240-6_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-14240-6_10

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-14239-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-14240-6

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