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As law firms generate massive amounts of data, mining technologies have a crucial role to play. Several firms have recognized the importance of mining their data and have begun to implement it for leveraging valuable insights.
FREMONT, CA: Given the nature of their work, law firms generate and store massive amounts of data. With the dawn of digitalization, most of the data is stored online, and many firms have identified the advantages associated with it. They have begun to leverage sophisticated technologies to mine the data for reusing it as valuable insights. Most large scale law firms are currently extracting data, and the results obtained have been nowhere close to expectations.
Identification of the right tools is a challenge since data mining is a relatively new practice in the legal space and the data profiles of the firms vary for every organization.
Even though data mining is beneficial to smaller firms, it is rarely practiced, mainly because their work tends to be in the locals or a smaller region. The tendency of relying on local colleagues and anecdotal information for strategic insight is high among the smaller firms.
On the flip side, the large firms practice data mining to gain competitive advantage and expand their market reach by figuring out how to solve the task at hand much efficiently.
Primary Use Cases for Data Mining:
Data mining for law firms is vital as it increases productivity. This often implies that the attorney work carried out in the past is located and reused to newer cases as examples. For instance, when a new associate's assignment lacks the frame of reference for a topic, the technology can be utilized to search for the model documents that would help minimize the time spent on research. The associate can reuse citations and determine if they're still good law, mitigating the task of recreating the wheel.
Litigation attorneys can concoct effective strategies for the case in hand with data mining technologies. They can obtain significant insights from the historical data for names of attorneys, law firms, parties involved, and judges along with expert witnesses for those cases, which the firm has dealt with previously. This minimizes the task of sending emails or establishing connections with other lawyers or even the entire firm. The legal analytics platform can do similar jobs much more effectively by going through all the existing Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) data.
In the context of transactions related to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), attorneys can utilize data mining techniques to find out the recent transactions that are similar to the present ones and then extend that insight by comparing it to the public data in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (EDGAR) database. Data mining in one's firm may unravel covenants and clauses, commonly called a "gold in the backyard" provision. Successful data mining often depends on the concept rather than searching via text for the location of specific deal points. Firms who work primarily on transactional legal cases deploy data mining technology for the same by ensuring that the data stored is appropriately tagged for conceptual searching.
Firms perceive data mining technologies to be transformative, but when the system is lagging or unreliable, the attorneys will cease to use it, and the investments are largely wasted. Wherever the law firms use applications that aggregate data, mining technologies can extend their productivity by delivering new insights. They also assist the attorneys in staying ahead of the increasingly competitive marketplace.