How Data Analytics Can Change the Way In-House Legal Departments Do Business 

Big data has had a tremendous impact on the legal profession and is changing in-house practices.

big data in the legal profession
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Legal analytics is an evolving discipline that is changing the future of the legal profession. Law firms are expected to spend over $9 billion on legal analytics technology by 2028.

But what is legal analytics? How will it change the legal profession?

Last year, we published an article on the ways that big law and big data are intersecting. We have had time to observe some major developments of legal analytics over the last year.

One buzzing question in in-house legal departments is, “How are we doing? This simple question is fraught with multiple meanings; it could mean how are we doing in terms of financial health, tuning contracts for the business, compliance efforts, or litigation? 

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Usually, the legal space lacked the data to measure appropriately and report its findings. Increasingly, though, brands and businesses of all sizes expect their legal representatives to leverage and report out – data the same way as the rest of the company. As a result, big law firms have implemented data analytics a top-of-mind priority for in-house attorneys.

Legal analytics is the process of implementing data into your decision-making on topics affecting legal forms and attorneys, like legal strategy, a matter of forecasting, and resource management. When used diligently, legal analytics provides a cut-throat advantage by providing outstanding transparency and insight into in-house departments, council members, and decision-makers. 

In general, data in the legal sectors fall into three categories: 

  1. Individual data 
  2. Internal law firm data 
  3. Legal industry data 

The difference between the internal law firm and individual data is that the second is related to your existing and potential clients’ online activities to your site, which is usually sourced from places like Google Analytics, cookies, and email campaigns. Internal data is sourced from your legal department’s daily activities like time tracking or billing rates. On the flip side, industry data streams from third-party research groups to determine legal industry trends. 

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A few years back, it was almost impossible to obtain any valuable insights from the massive amount of legal data available.

But with the latest technological developments like language processing, AI, machine learnings, legal professionals now have the tools to make data-driven decisions when formulating case strategies, estimating case results, and even gaining new clients. 

Computers can perform tasks at unmatchable speed, saving valuable time and money for your legal departments and legal professionals.

Most legal professionals and attorneys are no strangers to legal research and analytics. Spotting the right statuses or precedents could give you the edge in court. This is one of the most important ways that big data is changing the legal profession.

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But performing innovative, in-depth legal research that’s accurate can be a time-consuming process. Data analytics in the legal environment can help you find relevant cases in every practice are without having to sort through all of them individually. 

Delivering electronic discovery

Traditionally, maintaining, collecting, reviewing, and exchanging case-related information was a long, tedious process for legal professionals. However, with the e-Discovery analytics software, switching electronic data between parties during litigation and investigations is a whole lot easier.

With e-Discovery legal analytics tools, you can filter documents by data range instead of delving through mountains of documents or focus on only those containing the exact keywords. This removes the need for manual work. 

Predictive analytics

Foreseeing the future is no longer impossible for legal professionals and attorneys. From estimating how long a case will last to the potential of winning, predictive analytics can help legal leaders offer specific trends insights, correlations, and irregularities to form a case, evaluate suspects, and devise litigation strategies. 

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Legal departments can also rely on data analytics to facilitate their hiring processes, assess potential candidates, and create the best team composition. Valuable data can also help legal professionals cover all their needs – from deciding if they need partners, external counsel, or freelancers for projects.  

Predictive analytics enable leaders to make more informed decisions.

We’re all acquainted with the stress of having to search through stacks of documents and rows of spreadsheet data to find that number you need. Yet, even Google-like searches within an organization system will keep professionals spending a normal of 23% of their time searching for information. 

But things have changed, and seamless software dashboards give critical team members real-time access to the most recent data. Data visualization methods, such as graphs and charts, reveal trends and insights in an instant. 

Improved Insurance Claim Processing

Often, a claim that initially seems simple can end up costing way more than anticipated. That’s a great challenger for insurance agencies. Deciding how many resources to assign to the processing and investigation of a claim to reduce the total cost of the insurer is not a piece of cake. 

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Legal data analytics software can understand claims and predict when they will become complex. A new genre of analytics that combines the power of analytics with users’ domain knowledge can help legal professionals better understand complex claims’ characteristics. According to AccidentClaims.co.uk, taking simple inputs to define a behavior present in the data will tell legal professionals: 

  • Which features in the data are the most useful to predict which claims will be complex 
  • Present them with different groups of claims that are often complex, 
  • Create a model to allow legal representants to predict which future claims will be complex

Increased Marketing Potential

Legal marketing analytics can also help legal professionals to comprehend their ideal client. Their approach stands out compared to their competition, so they can build a more comprehensive marketing strategy that echoes their audience. 

What’s more, legal analytics can also help predict where your prospects are coming from, so you will know the best networking and social media platforms to spend your marketing effort and budget on. 

Accelerate Your Firm’s Growth Potential

Legal data insights provide a straightforward way to identify trends and patterns that pinpoint when and where business growth occurs and where concentrated efforts will improve additional potential. More intelligent data insights make it easier to scale your financial potential, reduce costs and gain more clients through targeted business development efforts.

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By investing in legal data analytics for your legal professionals, your firm can seize previously undiscovered opportunities and strengthen its growth potential.

Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.