How Data Analytics Will Change the Legal Profession


Data analytics enables companies and organizations to easily examine large amounts of information to find patterns and correlations previously inaccessible. While businesses in a wide range of industries are using data analytics to determine how to improve products, cut costs, and increase efficiency, up until recently, those in the legal field have been largely underutilizing the technology. One reason is that the legal profession, rooted in tradition and precedent, has been historically resistant to change. But as a new generation of attorneys, who grew up with technology, enters the workforce, the profession has become much more receptive to new technologies. Now the legal profession finds itself on the cusp of a technological revolution that has the potential to reshape the entire industry. The practice of law produces an exorbitant amount of data. Every new case adds numerous briefs, memos, pleadings, and legal records to an already enormous collection of legal data. A sizeable proportion of a lawyer’s time, and thereby a client’s money, is spent sifting through that data. Presently, the main legal research tools, LexisNexis and Westlaw, function primarily as search engines, simply matching keywords to produce thousands of results (although both systems are rapidly developing more sophisticated analytical capabilities).

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