Last year Lexum decided to explore a new approach aiming to improve legal research on free websites and making it easier to track over time. It resulted in the launch of Lexbox, a free Google Chrome extension designed to become your legal research workspace. Lexbox allows you to store links to searches, cases, legislation or any webpage and get notifications as soon as new corresponding material becomes available. Lexbox has been in production for six months now (the initial Beta phase ended last April), and it is interesting to look at how users are actually appropriating this new product.
At the time of writing approximately 1,450 users have installed the extension and created an account, among which over 1,150 can be considered active users. This retention rate is extremely encouraging and can be explained by the fact that at the moment Lexbox targets a niche audience of Canadian jurists undertaking legal research on a regular basis. A survey completed earlier this year among Lexbox users showed us that 40% of them are practicing lawyers, 30% are support staff of practicing lawyers, with the rest being split between students, professors, union representatives, librarians, etc.
Another encouraging statistic is that 70% of Lexbox users claim to use the extension at least once per month, with close to 30% saying they use it several times per week. The frequency of use of Lexbox undoubtedly varies in accordance with how often each individual user conducts legal research over the internet. The good news is that when they do, those with the extension installed keep on using it. From Lexum’s point of view the conclusion is that we have achieved our preliminary goal: to make free legal research even easier than it was.
When asked what they use Lexbox for mostly, the answers are unequivocal. About 40% of users answer “to organize and keep a record of legal research results”. Another 25% of them use Lexbox principally to follow a topic or field of law of interest. Those numbers are proportional to the usage of the most popular features of Lexbox, namely the folders and bookmarking features, followed by the notification alerts for searches (triggered when new results become available for a specific search query). In total, over 20,000 items are now stored and tracked via Lexbox.
Altogether we are very excited by this initial reaction to Lexbox here at Lexum. The user base is growing steadily, users keep on tracking more and more legal information with it, and the feedback that we receive motivates us to keep going. According to its users, Lexbox greatest strengths are its simplicity, its integration with both the browser and content sources, and its capacity to automate repetitive tasks that previously had to be completed manually.
It is in this context that we are currently working hard on implementing what will be the next step in the development of Lexbox. Although it is too soon yet to provide details about what is on the horizon, we can already announce that users should expect deeper integration of Lexbox with corporate partner’s websites. Stay tuned to learn which ones, and how…