Caragh Landry

Fortnite, Division, Super Mario Odyssey–video games have become pervasive in workforce culture. ‘Water-cooler chat’ tends to be about new levels or visuals in video games rather than ‘who got a rose’ or ‘who got kicked off the island’. With this cultural past time change, changes also come in how we view the world, or more importantly, how we WANT to view the world.

We are facing the same cultural shift in the legal industry and for attorneys who spend most of their time reviewing documents, traditional document review systems bore the heck out of young attorneys.

Any time there is a case against a corporation or an individual, the easiest way to determine who did what, and when, is to review documents. Emails, text messages, Word docs, Excels, etc. often contain the evidence necessary to say ‘yes, I did that’ or ‘no, I did not do that’. And in order to get to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, someone has to read through all of those documents. These people are doing what the legal industry calls ‘document review’. Large cases, like the ones we read about in the news, have millions of documents that teams of attorneys have to read through in order to prove or disprove cases.

Older technology used today tends to present documents as a list and every document needs to be opened individually. Technology does exists in some review platforms that can foster a more visual-style review. Not only are these visuals more interesting to the eye, they allow new approaches and strategies to document review that flat review can’t.

TCDI’s CVLynx document review platform incorporates gamification into the platform, in order to re-engage our reviewer community. Our reviewers view documents in themed ‘concept’ groupings, to help make better sense of their batched documents. We also gave them the ability to decide what similarity or relationship makes the most sense in that specific case. Is it important who wrote the email? If so, you can visually group documents by Sender. Are dates key? If so, you can view documents by date. We give reviewers the ability to group the documents in multiple ways, to ensure good insights appear into their batched documents.

If you’ve never done document review before, you login to a website, checkout batches of documents, open each document, read it, tag it as having to do with the case or not, and move from document to document. The first time you do this, it seems novel and fun. But that novelty fades by the end of day one. It’s hard to read documents all day and it’s harder still to try to categorize them into a binary ‘relates to the case’ or ‘doesn’t relate’. Anything technology developers can do to improve the user experience and make review fun will improve the quality of review decisions. TCDI’s gamification strategies are designed to make review interactive, like a video game.

By the end of a review, reviewers know more about case than the attorneys litigating the matter do because they’ve read every document. Shouldn’t we value that and make it easier for them to make faster and more consistent decisions? By adding gamification to our platform, reviewers can quickly tag documents confidently and with greater consistency by using an integration of technology-assisted review (TAR) tools, visualization and engagement technique.

Using algorithms to group together similar documents, reviewers can stay focused on one theme or idea until they’ve look at all of those documents. Also available are ‘more like this’ and ‘related items’ groupings that can pre-tag, or at least better organize and filter, documents for review.

Interactivity is key too – being able to move documents across your screen to create custom groupings and visually ‘playing’ with your documents also has a huge mental engagement benefit. This can improve the quality of the work product.

In document review, consistency can be as important as accuracy. This integration of technology, visualization and engagement techniques speeds up the document review because reviewers go faster, make less mistakes and make consistent decisions on documents being ‘in’ or ‘out’.

If we want good quality document review, we need to find ways to re-engage and re-invigorate reviewers and help them make good, quality decisions with every document they see. Reading documents 8 or 9 hours a day is tedious and tiring and anything we can do to help them not ‘just sit there’ staring at their screens all day will improve the user experience and the quality of the end product. We can do this by paying attention to how people live, work and play, both inside and outside of the legal industry.


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