Standardizing Legal Data: SALI’s 10,000-Plus Tags Adopted By Providers, Vendors, And Clients


big-data-2001190_640 2SALI’s legal-data standard has recently enjoyed vast expansions, helping the industry manage and analyze data, better informing legal practice and business. SALI’s nonprofit legal data standard (ISO for the law) improves interoperability — enabling data transfers across the legal ecosystem: 

  1. Legal providers (e.g., firms, ALSPs) 
  2. Legal buyers (e.g., corporations)
  3. Vendors (e.g., research, DMS, analytics, billing)

Managing/analyzing legal data requires tags (e.g., jurisdiction, area of law, document type). Today, most players use unique tags. So exchanging data is hard. API interoperability fails unless everyone agrees on standard tags.

SALI solves that problem: Its free and open-source LMSS has 10,000-plus standardized tags — like “Patent Law,” “Motion to Dismiss,” “Force Majeure Clause,” and “Fixed Fee Billing” — so everyone speaks the same “data language.” 

SALI tags structure data, making it useful — and interoperable. For example, the LMSS separates:

  1. Area of Law (e.g., Patent Law, Corporate Law) 
  2. Service (e.g., Advice, Litigation, Transactional, Regulatory) 
  3. Industry (e.g., Pharmaceutical, Technology) 

Most firms and law departments don’t do this today: They use buckets, not tags. SALI’s tags let organizations better understand demand, experience, and value. 

Vendors like TR, LexisNexis, Fastcase, InTapp, Litera, NetDocuments, iManage — and corporations like Microsoft — are contributing SALI members. Everyone can easily map SALI tags.

No other legal-data standard is as broad — with 10,000-plus tags. SALI also exhaustively spans both substantive law (e.g., banking law, negligence, M&A, depositions) and the business of law (e.g., pricing, fee agreements). 

Interested in implementing and improving SALI? Check it out.


Olga MackOlga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board SeatFundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and  Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.


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