Big data adoption has just begun in the legal industry and there is still a long way to go. The legal firms that don’t adopt will be vulnerable in their business since consumers, as well as corporate clients will have better, cheaper and faster choices in the market. It will be less about the monetization of data for this industry, but more about faster, more cost-effective and more efficient time to closure. Also, because today’s digital workforce is so used to a mobile and tablet culture, they will force the drive to have information at hand as they become new age lawyers and attorneys.
The following use cases can be highlighted for how big data can contribute to the legal industry:
- Reduce costs and speed-up the process in court. Today, the legal industry spends more effort and time getting to the bottom of data analysis. This is also a top priority for attorneys and legal experts. With the help of big data, vast amounts of files or other relevant data can be analyzed instantly and correlations can be found in the data faster than it is being done today. In order to do this, it is important for law and legal firms to correctly collect, store, catalogue and organize all data so that it can be taken advantage of in a systemic, yet fast and an affordable way. In certain cases, this can lead to new insights, as well as enable lawyers and public prosecutors to answer questions currently, which were previously unanswerable due to the lack of time, effort or cost. This could end up taking less attorney time and the end consumer may be charged less with the adoption of these techniques.
- Patterns and predictions. Law firms can leverage various algorithms. For example, algorithms that offer predictions on certain cases, based on how similar one case is to a different case in the same jurisdiction. It can then provide a prediction for how the new case can work out. This will drive efficiency in the industry and improve overall decision making capabilities.
- Transparency and options for consumers including a market place for such services. Big data will drive transparency into the legal industry, for both lawyers and corporate clients. The market can benefit from having an unparalleled macro view into the costs of legal services, as well as specific advice for how to cut the best deals on legal services in any given location. It will lead to the true spirit of “democratization of data in the legal industry”.
- Digitization. The legal industry has always been a data-driven industry, but until recently all that data remained offline on paper. As legal firms move into the digital world, new opportunities to improve their work and business performance are emerging. When the data is digitized it can be easily connected to other (open and public) data sets, providing clarifications and new insights.
- Faster HR organizations. Big data can enable HR managers to crunch all sorts of data on potential new employees. For example, how an applicant will perform during an assessment. This can help these firms efficiently find recruits that really match with what they are looking for.
Large legal firms are expected to increase adoption of big data in the next 12-18 months. The areas of legal industry that will probably witness the maximum adoption of big data technologies would be:
- Digitizing all the available information and making it easily accessible
- Creating indexable, searchable and hence readily available data
- Leveraging correlation , predictions and patterns to cut down on analysis time