Data took the legal world by storm, becoming necessary for sustaining a competitive advantage over other firms. Data itself has a plethora of capabilities which bring firms many opportunities to grow and improve. It’s used in legal practices to win cases and secure positive outcomes for clients. This is done through aggregating data on past, similar proceedings; about your opposing counsel and judge; and about the bandwidth a law firm has relative to taking on new casework.
Finding where data fits into your firm may be where the challenge comes in. The many data use cases can get overwhelming when you start to think about how to utilize it in your firm. To help you get started, let’s go over three ways to use data insights in your everyday legal practices.
Data on past, similar proceedings
The past is always informative when looking at how to approach the future. So, looking back at similar cases is certainly a good step to take when forming your own strategy. With firm access to data-driven insights, use data to search cases, ultimately preventing wasted time. Besides, going through every case manually really isn’t possible, so using data ensures you are able to find the most relevant cases and avoid leaving anything overlooked.
Gleaning insights from previous cases helps inspire how you begin to build your own case strategy.
Data about opposing counsel and judges
Data also helps you feel prepared by analyzing who you’re facing in the courtroom. Learning about opposing counsel’s history benefits you when you prepare to go against them. By analyzing their track record, you may potentially identify a tendency to cite certain cases when supporting their points. When you know how your competitor approaches their cases, it may help you prepare for your own.
Similarly, using data to research judges’ histories helps to gain insight into any tendencies. Understand what precedents your judge utilized on in similar cases. Find out which cases your judge relies on for your issue and how often. When you know how a judge ruled in the past, you feel informed and better prepared when you walk into court.
This background knowledge of both your competitors and judges proves beneficial when you develop your own strategy. While outcomes can’t be predicted, at the very least you will be more informed.
Data about the bandwidth of your firm
Data is versatile and has numerous uses across the firm. It is used when looking at the firm in its totality. Data can be gathered regarding the firm’s size, the number of lawyers it has, the demographic of its clients, etc. Collecting this information is crucial when considering how to further a firm’s success.
Data is also used to improve firms’ marketing efforts. For example, if the majority of your firm’s client base is in California, you know where to direct your attention. Tailor marketing efforts accordingly and focus on where the clients are, rather than spending widely and hoping for the best. This also helps you avoid marketing to clients who aren’t responding to your efforts. These insights gained from collecting data help you understand your client base and provide direction for your marketing activities.
Data on your firm size and the lawyers available helps the firm manage its caseload. Understanding how many lawyers you have and how many cases are on their plates helps you to decide what cases to pass on or accept. Managing the firm’s workload prevents lawyers from being stretched too thin and allow the firm to maintain high-quality service.
Get a competitive edge with data
There are many ways to use data in your firm beyond looking at past proceedings, competitors’ and judges’ histories, and your firm at large. Data has a place nearly everywhere. Learn more about how data and advanced legal research technology fits in at your firm.