The legal case preparation process can be strenuous and time consuming, especially when you do it without much outside help. With technology being further integrated into the legal market, it only makes sense to look at how you can use it to your advantage.
Understanding how and why you should use data insights can elevate not only your current case preparations but your overall practice. Let’s take a look at three key ways data can help.
1. Save time and money by investing in the right research tools
Research is arguably one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a case. It’s hard work, and, as you know probably all too well, time-consuming. You want to make sure to maximize your time and operate as efficiently as possible.
Legal research technology tools help you search, find, filter, browse, and find legally and factually similar cases, creating a more efficient process, and saving you time, effort, and write-offs. With the time saved on research, you can focus on other areas of your case.
2. Gain a competitive advantage with data insights on opposing counsel and judges
With preparation comes an element of anticipation — how will opposing counsel approach the case? It’s safe to say it’s important to know who the opposing counsel is and their strategies and outcomes on previous cases. Having insight based on more than just word-around-the-office chatter is key. Data-driven knowledge will help you understand how to best prepare your own case strategy.
Not only can this help you better anticipate your opponent’s approach, but it can also be appealing to prospective clients. Using and understanding data can show clients that you not only prioritize staying up to date with technology, but that you use it to create a competitive advantage. The more information you can glean about the legal matter ahead, the more at ease you can put your clients in terms of setting expectations and identifying next steps.
Efficiency is crucial, but the strength of your case preparation is just as important. One way to prepare a strong argument is to look at your judge’s ruling history. This insight can provide information that may influence how you approach your strategy development.
Using a tool such as Litigation Analytics in Westlaw, you can see the facts of how a judge has ruled in the past. It provides data on what cases judges have previously relied on, average time to issue a ruling, case type experience — just to name a few examples. As you build and prepare your case, these insights help you create an informed approach. Once you have access to this information, anything less feels like flying blind.
3. Strengthen your case by using data to look at other companies
Another type of data that law firms should make a priority is company data. If you are preparing for litigation, having access to the right data can provide key insights that can strengthen your case. By ensuring that you have the best possible understanding of the industry, the players, and how it works, you can feel confident that your strategy is sound.
Perhaps of equal importance is how data can help with your firm’s client and business development efforts. The more you know about a current or prospective client’s business, the more proactive you can be about developing business plans, anticipating clients’ needs, and protecting their interests.
Gather the data and put it to good use in your practice
In legal, as in nearly everywhere else, the volume and accessibility of data is like never before. It’s important to have access to that data, know how to use it, and understand where it can be advantageous. Of course, case preparation is just one of many areas where data is useful — but it’s a great place to start. See for yourself how the data-driven insights of Westlaw can set you on the right path like never before.