As more law firms embrace the power of mining data to inform talent-related decisions, some have predicted that Big Law hiring could become like modern Major League Baseball: A data-centric endeavor that trusts the numbers, and those who know how to interpret them, over all else.

Legal industry experts say broad-based adoption of that approach—the numbers-first philosophy known in sports as “moneyball”—is a long way off. But data analysis is already cementing an important role in how law firms evaluate new associates and lateral hires.