Metrics and Analytics for Legal continues to be an evolving trend across in-house legal departments to improve processes, maximize efficiency, and provide demonstrable value and actionable insight for the business.

The application of data science to the business and practice of law, legal analytics are becoming a competitive advantage. In fact, based on client surveys done in 2020-2022, legal analytics and the use of technology are viewed as key differentiators. Legal analytics were identified as principal factors in decisions whether to select firms.

As the legal landscape shifts to a more business-centric model, legal ops and project management professionals can use legal analytics to further focus on efficiency and delivering value to internal customers, as well as the legal department itself. One of the key factors in support of legal analytics is data that leads to actionable insights, like cost reduction. In turn, legal analytics lends itself well to project management and legal operations.

EFFICIENCY DRIVERS

The use of analytics to measure drivers of legal spend and team productivity is an easy way for legal departments to reduce costs for their organization. Analytics can help indicate where professionals are the most productive and efficient along with areas for improvement. Another effective use of legal analytics is tracking time spent by employee by practice area, on matter type, and allocating resources as needed, as well as leveraging that information for future matters.

DEMONSTRATING VALUE

Analytics can also be used to demonstrate effective or potential cost-savings to external and internal customers by showing the value you bring, backed by robust evidence. Simply using legal analytics demonstrates to clients a commitment to using current and up-to-date trends in the legal profession. Using analytics, you can show clients how much time is being spent on their matters, the level of resource allocated, the complexity of work being done, litigation risk of work and exposure over time, and that there is no unnecessary or needless time spent to inflate billable hours. These data points, which are readily attainable either through a legal department’s billing system (or outside counsel – you just have to ask!) can drive actionable insights to align with department and company objectives.

ANALYTICS & STAFFING

Using analytics to map out internal and external team members’ roles and remits, success rates and career progression leads to an in-depth and essential understanding of a legal department.  Analytics can also be used for efforts in hiring/recruitment with regards to resume and candidate evaluation, retention, and promotions to reduce employee turnover, and training for legal departments. The application of analytics can also be used to create a more diverse team with a wider variety of perspectives and opinions which can lead to achieving outcomes faster, better, and in unexpected ways. And while the legal industry continues to struggle with diversity, equity, and inclusion, and client expectations regarding diversity remain too low, departments can “future-proof” themselves both for their own success and future requirements.

Leveraging legal analytics is an easy way legal teams can stand out, get a detailed picture of their department and show how they bring value to the business. In a constantly changing and forward-thinking market, it’s high-time to jump on the analytics bandwagon.

Author

Lee Maurer

Lee Maurer

Legal Counsel
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