A Lawyer’s Guide to Data Analytics
How to use “big data” for your firm.
It’s no secret that the legal field seems to be behind on data trends. Apart from its effectiveness in measuring the basics—like cutting costs, increasing efficiencies, and evaluating marketing results—data hasn’t had a significant presence in the court room. But the industry is evolving, and the world as you know it is changing.
As a new generation of tech-savvy lawyers enter the field, the boundaries are being pushed. Processes are being reevaluated, and software is being developed to increase efficiencies and develop case strategies.
But before technology conquers the universe, let’s take a look at some key pointers for keeping up with this revolution.
Stand Out From the Crowd
It will become customary for clients to use data analytics to evaluate law firms. Everything from the percentage of trials won and negotiation outcomes, to expenses for travel and overall cost of services, will become easy to compare against other law firms.
Some websites, like Avvo, already have a lawyer rating system. Avvo mines data that is publicly available to create a profile for lawyers who may not even be using the system. But this is just the beginning. Big data is here to stay, so establishing your name and expertise early in the game is vital.
Show that you’re keeping up with the latest technology and educate your clients on your services. If you haven’t already, search for your name on Avvo and update your profile. This is essentially free marketing for your firm, and if you don’t use the service, the rating system could count against you. Avvo allegedly assigns scores based on your profile information.
As you’re well aware, facts and statistics only provide support for a case. The same is true for potential clients as they’re searching for a lawyer. They want someone who has a proven track record, along with a reasonable price. Before you know it, finding the best lawyer for the best price will be a simple click away.
Spread the Word
Educate colleagues in your firm on what to expect. The earlier you adopt data analytics into your daily routine, the better. And working together to understand this phenomenon could give you a leg up on your competition.
Encourage your peers to do their own research on prospective trends and to attend training classes specific to data analytics in the legal field. You may also want to consider hiring a lawyer who has experience or knowledge specific to data analytics.
Get Your Toes Wet
Take action now and implement the changes you can to keep up with trending technology.
Software is presently being developed that can predict the outcomes of legal cases. Start looking into data predicting software for your law firm.
Here are a few products currently out there:
- LexisNexis MedMal Navigator offers predictions for potential medical malpractice cases.
- LexisNexis Verdict and Settlement Analyzer measures whether a case law motion will be approved or denied.
- Lex Machina mines through litigation data to reveal information on judges, lawyers, and parties to predict case outcomes.
Legal rulings supported by data are more accurate, which can reduce the time and cost spent on appeals and retrials. But on top of predicting the outcome of a case, these systems can also, almost instantly, help you determine whether a case is worth taking on.
Don’t Resist Change
There’s no denying it—the legal field is changing. From social media to government records, the world is drowning in data. Using it to your advantage will help you get ahead and prepare you for the inevitable.
What changes have you made to your firm to keep up with data trends? Share your insights in the comments.
This article is for general information purposes only.
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Ding, Elaine, and Castro, Daniel. “How Data Analytics Will Change the Legal Profession.” Center for Data Innovation. Center for Data Innovation, 4 July 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Nelson, Sharon D., and Simek, John W. ; Law Practice Magazine. American Bar Association. July/Aug 2013. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Dysart, Joe. “How lawyers are mining the information mother lode for pricing, practice tips and predictions.”; ABA Journal. ABA Journal, 1 May 2013. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Pfeifer, William. “What is Avvo and the Avvo Lawyer Rating System?”; The Balance. The Balance, 7 July 2016. Web. 14 Feb 2017.