Derrick Harris of GigaOM recently wrote, "The legal profession is inherently conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies and practices, but firms and lawyers that want to stand out in an evolving field might want to jump on the big data bandwagon sooner rather than later. Law firms took a beating during the peak of the recession a few years ago — large firms, especially, laid off staff and scaled back significantly on hiring — and many argue the profession will never be the same. Clients worried about their own finances aren’t as keen on forking over huge hourly fees as teams of associates and partners work their cases. The business model of law is evolving pretty rapidly, from flat-rate fee structures and on-demand legal advice to the democratization of certain services via companies like LegalZoom."
He goes on, "Here are three ways law firms and lawyers can get started rethinking their processes with big data now." The first is to automate: "Thus far, the biggest area where big data is impacting the legal profession might be in intelligent software for helping companies get a handle on electronic discovery… Last year, for example, we wrote about a software vendor called Recommind that uses machine learning to do what it calls predictive coding, a process that saves firms time and money by helping lawyers sort through all those files to figure out which ones are relevant. (The company’s CTO, Jan Puzicha, also joined me on a panel at Structure Data last year to talk about the importance of keeping humans in the loop even when automating parts of the process with machine learning.) We’ve covered another company, PureDiscovery, that applies semantic analysis techniques to e-discovery documents in order to achieve largely the same result."
Image: Courtesy PureDiscovery