LexisNexis Buys Legal AI Co. Ravel for Litigation Analysis Push

LexisNexis Legal & Professional, has today announced its acquisition of Ravel Law, the AI-driven litigation analysis start-up.

The acquisition will expand the LexisNexis Legal Analytics suite of products through full integration of Ravel Law’s judicial analytics, data visualization technology and unique case law PDF content from the Harvard Law Library into Lexis Litigation Profile Suite® and Lexis Advance. The integration of these tools strengthens LexisNexis’ position as a leader in the legal analytics space.

Ravel Law’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies mine published case opinions, providing a wealth of information that helps litigators quickly uncover new insights and build specific arguments for use in court.

(If you’d like to read my in-depth interview with Dan Lewis, co-founder of Ravel, from January this year, please see here.)

‘To be successful in today’s competitive legal environment, lawyers need to make faster, more informed decisions, based on data that is incorporated into their natural workflow,’ said Sean Fitzpatrick, managing director of North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis. ‘That’s a big step forward for the legal information industry and precisely why LexisNexis continues to aggressively invest in, build and integrate innovative capabilities, such as those developed by Ravel Law, into our ever-expanding portfolio of Legal Analytics solutions.’

Ravel Law’s technology will enhance the current Legal Analytics suite of solutions offered by LexisNexis, including LexisNexis MedMal Navigator, LexisNexis Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, Intelligize and Lex Machina. After acquisition, Ravel Law’s analytics offerings will continue to expand and be fully integrated into Lexis Litigation Profile Suite, delivering new insights around judicial behavior that complement the product’s current expert witness intelligence. Additionally, Ravel Law’s leading case law data visualization tool will be integrated into Lexis Advance, expanding the platform’s current visualization offerings. Finally, Ravel Law’s access to the Harvard case law content and PDF images of original case opinions will enrich the already expansive case law collection available from LexisNexis. LexisNexis is committed to continuing Ravel Law’s open access to this historical collection, giving the American public, and anyone with an internet connection, access to this vital collection of legal information.

For litigators and corporate counsel, this expansive suite of analytics tools will provide unprecedented insight into judges, jurisdictions, motion practice and parties to cases. For example, Lex Machina provides Legal Analytics about the behavior of judges, law firms, lawyers and parties, enabling them to craft successful trial strategies, win cases and close business. Lexis Litigation Profile Suite, enhanced by Ravel Law technology, will complement this offering by providing insight into arguments that are likely to be persuasive to a judge. When combined with the behavior analysis from Lex Machina, litigators have the ability to build judge-specific arguments for use in court.

‘LexisNexis is truly leading the development of the field of Legal Analytics—through our content, tools, and engineering expertise,’ said Jeff Pfeifer, vice president of product management at LexisNexis. ‘With the acquisition of Ravel Law, we’re gaining more than technology and content—we’re also gaining exceptionally talented people. The Ravel Law team has a proven track record of innovation, and we’re excited to have them on board.’

‘The Ravel Law team is excited to join LexisNexis for many reasons, chief among them is that we share a vision for the role of technology in the practice of law in which innovative, highly effective and easy to use tools help lawyers make data driven decisions,’ said Dan Lewis, CEO of Ravel Law. ‘We look forward to bringing our expertise and technology to that effort at LexisNexis.’

Ravel Law and its team will continue to be based in San Francisco. The acquisition is part of LexisNexis’ vision to support the data-driven lawyer of the future. By creating leading-edge research and analytics solutions, LexisNexis helps legal professionals harness the power of data to work more efficiently, offer more informed legal counsel and drive success for their clients and for their practice.

Below is a special message via the Ravel company site from Dan Lewis, who was the driving force and co-founder of Ravel.

Next Step in Our Journey


‘Today I am excited to announce that Ravel will be joining forces with LexisNexis.

Nik and I founded Ravel in a (law school) dorm room at Stanford in 2012, and the journey since then has been an amazing one, full of more ups and downs, challenges and opportunities, than we ever could have imagined. My favorite experience, though, by far, has been the privilege of working with incredibly talented and generous people: our team, our advisors and investors, our customers, and law students and professors from around the country. None of Ravel’s success would be possible without them.

From the start, Ravel’s purpose has been to help students and attorneys research more confidently and make data-driven decisions, with intuitive, visual software. Over a few short years, we have made remarkable progress in fulfilling that mission. We’ve also been able to broaden our ambition and expand our product goals, as the machine learning, data processing, and artificial intelligence we develop to model and extract meaning from litigation documents allow increasingly rapid innovation.

Integrating into the LexisNexis family marks the next step for Ravel, certainly not a finish line. (I like the idea of companies having multiple “founding” moments, and this is one of those.) Through the global reach of LexisNexis, Ravel’s products will now reach millions of people. By leveraging its massive data collections, we will continue developing cutting-edge technology at scale. LexisNexis has asked all of our talented team, including executive leadership, to step into important roles at the company, and we are excited to carry forward our vision and share our customer-focused culture of innovation and design-thinking. We are on a trajectory to take something great and make it even better.

Additionally, we are delighted that LexisNexis will be honoring our commitment to provide open access to American caselaw, a project that we began in collaboration with Harvard Law School. As proud as we are of our products, this digitization project is even more transformative for the American public in the long run. We are excited to continue expanding access to this resource and increasing the valuable ways in which it can be used.

Going forward this year, we will continue to directly serve our customers. Simultaneously, we will be integrating with LexisNexis Litigation Profile Suite and Lexis Advance – a process we expect to complete by early 2018 – to ensure a seamless transition for our users.

We are just getting started and I’m sure there will be more to share in the months to come. Sincere thanks to all.

Special thanks to:

  • Current and former Ravel team members and contributors
  • Advisors John Rodkin, Matthew Burkley, Perry Klebahn, Michael Dearing, Larry Kramer, and Heather Cameron
  • Investors at NEA – Patrick Chung, Jon Sakoda, Colin Bryant; North Bridge; Ulu Ventures – Miriam Rivera and Clint Korver; and Jon Lehr at Work-Bench
  • Ralph Baxter
  • Ron Dolin
  • Jonathan Zittrain, Adam Ziegler, and the entire fantastic team at Harvard Law School
  • Our families and significant others for supporting us!’