Data-Driven Customer Experience Has Arrived for Legal Services: Trends Fueling Change

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November 22, 2021 – As McKinsey aptly put it in 2016, we’re in “the age of analytics: competing in a data-driven world.” There is no better proof of this than in our daily consumer experiences.

Amazon recommends which sneakers you should buy based on your purchase history. Your favorite grocery store app automatically creates a digital grocery list for your online order. Lyft, Blue Apron, and Airbnb ask you to rate your experience after every purchase to improve the customer experience.

The legal industry is not immune to this data-driven trend, as evidenced by the crowded marketplace of legal technology vendors striving to create the perfect combination of data and technology to deliver the experience” Amazon”. As we focus more on the impact of data in the legal realm, what we have learned in our personal lives will soon become the new normal in the legal profession. Here are the trends that are fueling this change.

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Legal technologies are full of valuable data. The legal technology market, which is expected to reach $2.49 billion in revenue by 2025, is a rich source of data for the legal function.

There are entire categories of legal technologies designed to leverage public and corporate data for the legal department, including litigation analytics (Westlaw Edge, Lex Machina), market intelligence (What’s Market, Pitchbook) and operational and trading data on contracts (Ironclad, Icertis, Eigen, Blackboiler, Draftwise).

The availability of APIs (application programming interfaces) is also increasing. They provide legal departments with access to the “mountains of legal data generated every day”. Through APIs, robust external data sources and applications can be combined with legal department data to, among other things, spot the impact of market trends. frequency of disputes, customer contractual preferences and market conditions.

Legal departments take control of their data. It’s no secret that the legal function sits on a “vast untapped goldmine of data”.

Historically, much of the business and transaction data needed to derive insights from it was not in the possession of the legal department, but rather scattered across law offices, unstructured and inaccessible. Today there are tools – like HighQ, Brightflag Workspace, M365, Evisort, Onit, Legal Tracker, SimpleLegal and many others – that provide mechanisms for legal departments to access case and transaction data , as well as the previous and historical advice of their lawyers. (Editor’s note: Westlaw Edge and HighQ are products of Thomson Reuters, which also owns the Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today platforms.)

With tools like Priori Scout and Marketplace, legal departments are also leveraging internal and external data sources to capture stronger data about their external counsel – including specific experience and diversity metrics – and deepen their relationships.

This tendency of technology to move data under the control of legal departments is essential. As enterprises prioritize data strategy and the creation of data lakes – central repositories to store structured and unstructured data at scale – they must first have control of their data. And the better the internal data, the more powerful it is when combined with market data.

Data lives in pictures, not numbers. With more robust data now available, market leaders are focused on bringing data to life for their teams and customers. Whether in the boardroom or the courtroom, tools like PowerBI and Tableau are used to visualize legal advice and business intelligence.

What was once shared in written reports can now be delivered through interactive dashboards, maps and more. For example, dashboards and interactive platforms allow legal departments to guide employees through trade secret requirements and provide graphical representations of trends across offices, business units and competitors. Meanwhile, business leaders access regulatory heatmaps maintained by the legal department that allow the business to see the regulatory climate in real time in target jurisdictions.

Service providers are also enhancing the visual components of their offerings through development and technology. In 2019, Salesforce acquired Tableau to further its mission “to help more people see and understand data than ever before.” More recently, Westlaw enhanced Practical Law with the Dynamic Tool Set, which overlays visualization on existing content to help users navigate and discover information in new ways.

As data grows, so do data-driven roles. As the volume of legal data increases, so does the role of data professionals within the legal ecosystem.

In 2020, the number of organizations with a dedicated legal operations function increased from 57% to 81%. Data analytics, including data capture and mining to support business and strategy, is one of the primary responsibilities of most legal operations departments, second only to project management in the survey of the state of the CLOC industry.

Legal departments are also investing around 30% more in data scientists and new roles are developing. McKinsey estimates that the demand for “data translators” – who bridge the gap between traditional data scientists and commercial players – is expected to reach 2-4 million in the United States by 2026. These roles will bring the discipline and skills needed to improve data collection. , analysis and decision-making within legal and business.

The deliverable has changed forever. Just as handwritten drafts on yellow notepads are a relic of the past, legal advice is also devoid of market information and presented in lengthy memoranda.

Today, the market values ​​information drawn from legal and market data, provided with visual images and derived from the work of lawyers and data scientists. As this approach gains momentum, we will see legal departments capture even more data, additional tools come to market, and more opportunities for data-driven change in the profession.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which is committed to integrity, independence and freedom from bias by principles of trust. Westlaw Today is owned by Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

Wendy Butler Curtis

Wendy Butler Curtis is Orrick’s Chief Innovation Officer and can be reached at [email protected] She works out of the firm’s office in Washington, DC.

Kate Orr

Kate Orr is Senior Innovation Counsel at Orrick and can be contacted at [email protected] She works out of the firm’s office in Washington, DC.

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