Since centuries ago, lawyers understood the importance of conducting legal research so that they can identify useful cases, statutes, and regulations to support their lawyering work. Legal research is also one of the areas that every law student will be exposed to during their time in law school. However, in the recent past, legal analytics has become a buzzword.
Don’t be mistaken; legal analytics is not meant to replace legal research. Legal research is, and always will be, the basis of successful lawyering. Legal analytics is meant to be done as a complement to legal research, whether it’s before or during litigation. And don’t be surprised, it could very well be the winning edge in a case.
What Is Legal Analytics?
Legal analytics makes use of technology to mine data from case dockets and documents, and then aggregate that data to yield insightful knowledge about a wide variety of subjects such as courts, law agencies, judges, attorneys, parties, patents, and more. The data can reveal trends from past litigation and possibly provide comprehensive answers on how to structure legal strategy or whether the outcomes in a current case will be favorable.
The Power Of Legal Analytics
Being a relatively new concept in the legal world, legal analytics has not been tapped as a resource by many practicing lawyers yet. However, jumping on the bandwagon at this time is definitely a wise choice because of the benefits that legal analytics can bring to the table. Here’s a brief look at how legal analytics is useful:
- Yielding Data-Driven Insights: When it comes to law suits, having better insights about all the parties involved is always a competitive edge. For example, when you learn about the trends of how a judge has acted over the years on a certain type of cases, you will be able to know how the judge will be most likely to act in a relevant current case.
- Forming & Shaping Legal Strategy: With legal analytics, litigators can perform searches and adjust parameters to show clients the success rates of taking different legal approaches. This will help attorneys to choose the best legal strategy or shape a current legal strategy so that the best counsel can be provided.
- Predicting Outcomes: While legal analytics cannot 100% predict the correct outcomes, it can certainly offer insightful knowledge that can help to hike up the chances of making an accurate prediction. What’s more, legal analytics offers a good look at past successful strategies and their associated outcomes, so that attorneys can even replicate successful strategies used in the past.
Don’t Resist Technology
When the job of doing legal research was done through computers rather than books and hard-copy documents, technology did not put lawyers out of work. In fact, lawyers were able to capitalize on technology to become better at what they did. The same can be said about legal analytics – it will not render those skilled in legal research obsolete but it can actually help attorneys to gain a winning edge over those who are still resisting new technology.