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The rise of data analytics in the legal world over the past decade has, perhaps, been inevitable. Legal tasks have always involved intensive data gathering and analysis of facts, while the world as a whole is becoming more digital at a rapid pace — allowing for advanced analysis of information that previously could only been done in books or on paper.

As a result, law firms are employing analytics in a variety of ways: Some are outward-facing, including developing facts to achieve client objectives in areas such as litigation, investigations, mergers and acquisitions. Other use cases are inward-facing, including using data to help law firms understand how they put together legal products and services.

The most forward-thinking and competitive law firms are developing an analytics strategy in a way that makes sense for their position in the market and where they want to go, says Bennett Borden, chief data scientist at Drinker Biddle & Reath. “Law firms that know how to use data analytics to achieve client objectives will simply be better than those who do not.”

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