Described as the new electricity or oil by one person and uranium by the next, there is no doubt that the use (and abuse) of data is as hot a topic for the legal industry, as it is for every other. So why is it so important? Why does it garner such polar opposite views? And how is any of this relevant to the practice and business of law?
We spoke with an amazingly talented group of data gurus, all of whom work with data in similar and different ways in the legal industry and asked them to answer these and many more questions. For these folks data is a part of what they do every day. It helps them and their firms/organisations make better decisions. It helps them identify best and next practices for their businesses and, it supports them in delivering better services and products, faster and cheaper without compromising quality for their clients.
In discussion with Chris Maher - Legal Counsel – Products, Marketing & IP, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Telstra; Aidan Parsons - Business Development and Operations Manager at LOD | Legal Operations; Alex Rosenrauch - Legal Process Specialist, Telstra; and Tae Royle - Head of Legal Technology Solutions, Ashurst, we covered topics including:
- Getting some terminology straight like big data, unstructured and structured data, predictive analytics and data analytics.
- Whether or not data is the next best thing (the good oil/electricity) or toxic (like uranium) and, whether or not that is all a matter of perspective and/or use.
- How data is being used in legal practice – the many ways e.g. to improve efficiencies of processes and systems, as a tool in legal practice e.g. e-discovery, due diligence, etc., as an integral part of a new take on risk management, and in some other areas too like business development and talent management.
- How data is re-shaping legal practice from all perspectives – for lawyers and clients - and, because of its emerging importance and pervasiveness, whether it has consequently given rise to a new, emerging legal profession of legal data specialists.
- What’s stopping the legal profession from embracing data analytics?
- How a law firm/department can start to construct a Data Management Plan/Strategy or begin planning to manage data.
- How a law firm/legal department can encourage the change to a data driven mindset and culture in the legal industry – and how closely aligned that is to a culture of continuous improvement.
- And finally, the big questions for the legal industry - what happens if it does not embrace the use of data analytics in legal practice in the near future?
Thank you so much Chris, Aidan, Alex and Tae – can’t wait until we get to hang out with our favourite data gurus again!