Survey – Building A Legal Standards Database

Changing Legal is building a Legal Standards Database and conducting a survey (see below) to gather information. The goal is to create a free resource that shows standard-focused projects around the world, helping people to connect to them, and those involved to connect to each other. The project is designed to support the wider movement towards legal standards across the sector.

There are now an increasing number of projects and organisations around the world seeking to develop standards for legal outputs, ranging from contract standards, to matter taxonomies, to protocols for the use of tech in legal work.

Examples include:

  • SALI Alliance – building a shared legal matter taxonomy that will allow lawyers to work off the same page when describing the work they do, or buy.
  • OneNDA – a project to create a single universal NDA template that can be used across the industry.
  • ISDA – creating standards and protocols in the derivatives world, including in relation to contract creation, e.g. see the contract template and clause library work in connection to Linklaters’ Nakhoda.
  • Legal Schema – a project to create a common framework for the expression of structured data in contracts.

Changing Legal, the recently launched think tank, is leading the project – one of several that it will be working on. Looking after the Legal Standards Database survey will be Richard Tromans, Founder, Artificial Lawyer; Helena Hallgarn, Founder, Virtual Intelligence VQ and VP of the European Legal Technology Association; and Mark Medice, who leads LawVision’s Financial Performance & Data Science Practice.

As mentioned, the goal here is to create a free resource that does several things:

  1. Shows what projects and organisations are out there already that are working on standards related to legal outputs around the world.
  2. Helps people to connect to them who want to get involved and learn more.
  3. Helps those projects and organisations to connect and collaborate with others around the world that may have related goals. A key aspect here is to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort and connect people who may not be aware that on the other side of the world is a project just like theirs that they could be working alongside.
  4. And perhaps this may inspire others, whether at law firms, or among clients, or legal tech companies – and perhaps all three in unison, to also start their own standards projects.


Name of Standards Project:

Website (if available):

Main Goals (in relation to the legal sector):

Main Jurisdictions / or if Global:

Contact Details (if you are part of the project):

Since launching Changing Legal, many people have made contact with the think tank to ask how they can get involved and be of assistance. Thank you for your many kind offers. There will be other projects announced in the coming weeks, but if you’d like to help spread the word across your network about this initiative, please share this survey. Thank you.

In terms of what happens next: we’ll wait a few weeks to see what comes in, and then the team will try and develop some categories to help organise the information. We will then publish this as a free and permanent resource, which will be updated as new projects appear in the sector.

Thanks again to everyone for your support so far with Changing Legal. Hopefully this resource will be a benefit to everyone interested in creating shared approaches to legal work – very often with an implicit link to legal technology. E.g. standard templates for NDAs could help to increase the use of document automation technology across the sector, as such an approach would naturally support the use of more efficient production methods.

Last word: it doesn’t matter if your standards project has just started, (or is just about to start), or is already a global organisation. We’d like to hear from everyone. Thanks!