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The bad news: there’s more potentially case-making intelligence available than ever before.
We’re talking oceans of data strung across seemingly disparate and disconnected sources: case law, court records and dockets, regulatory content, public records and more. That’s really the crux of it. There is so much unstructured, unconnected, yet potentially critical information that it’s practically impossible to get your arms around it—or even know where to begin. Until now.
Advances in technology are helping attorneys sift, sort, connect, contextualize, analyze and even visualize massive amounts of data in powerful, productive new ways. These advances offer revealing new views into litigation trends, fact patterns, outcome analytics and behavioral insights on key case players like judges, the opposition, experts and more. In short, a higher form of litigation intelligence.
The power to know what was once unknowable
Let’s take a moment to consider the various types of AI and machine-learning-fueled analytics that are currently transforming the legal practice, as well as those that will play a transformative role in the future.
Data is just data until you cull something from it and use it. Descriptive analytics helps do exactly that. Using advanced techniques like natural language processing and machine learning, descriptive analytics sifts through large volumes of historical legal data to identify trends and patterns of behavior. The resulting content helps attorneys:
It can even flag potential issues within legal briefs or motions and suggest possible fixes or other courses of action.
Those complex patterns, trends and relationships can be further condensed into easily accessed and understood visuals, such as charts and graphs. Visualization tools allow counsel to, among other things, map search terms, see case connections or literally see and compare settlement valuations.
The crystal ball of analytics
But analytics is not just about determining trends from past behavior. Predictive analytics, as the name implies, aims to predict what is likely to happen in the future. It does so using a mixture of cutting-edge techniques—machine learning, predictive modeling and intelligent algorithms—as well as large volumes of rich and varied data.
Drawing from past behaviors and current data, predictive analytics can tackle a host of questions. For example, if your client faces a liability claim around a product, predictive analytics could provide a cost analysis by locating cases with similar fact patterns and using them to predict the case’s timeline and the award likely to be granted.
Of course, predictive analytics cannot guarantee the outcome of a case with 100 percent certainty. However, by analyzing data, it can make intelligent predictions on potential, even likely, outcomes.
While the decision-making pattern of a judge is always subject to change, analysis of their track record and how they respond to certain motions can indicate probable patterns of behavior. It is then the job of counsel to leverage that insight and create a winning strategy.
A better path to forward
If predictive analytics provides attorneys with outcomes based on patterns of behavior, there is an emerging category of analytics that goes one step further—prescriptive analytics, which suggests a specific direction to follow based on outcomes from cases with similar fact patterns and predicts the likely outcome if it is taken. Prescriptive analytics permits attorneys to compare and contrast multiple outcomes, using historical trends and current data.
In many ways, prescriptive analytics is the technological equivalent of the long-practicing lawyer who counsels less-experienced attorneys based on historical data and experience. But now this trusted partner can access and analyze volumes of data in real time that no human can comprehend, let alone digest, providing insight and guidance that was once impossible.
While it will likely take some time and continuing advances in analytics and other deep-learning technologies for legal counsel to truly see prescriptive analytics as a “trusted partner,” the magnitude of its potential capabilities will undoubtedly facilitate in its ultimate adoption.
The data-fueled future of law is here
Lawyers and legal departments are entering a time in which data analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and other deep-learning technologies will have a transformative impact in how lawyers work. The competitive advantages in mining data for knowledge and insight will inevitably make analytics a must-have tool in the workplace.
And, just like the move to online research, it’s not a question of if a firm adapts and adopts to these new technologies … but when.
See what LexisNexis® is doing to unlock the power of data-driven law
LexisNexis is taking a leadership role in legal analytics and is empowering attorneys—not just litigators—to become more data-driven.
With the July release of Lexis Analytics™, a remarkable and revealing suite of tools designed to empower smart, data-driven law, LexisNexis has cemented its position as a true innovator in the legal analytics arena.
This suite of new and enhanced products is fueled by smart content from the Lexis Advance® service and LexisNexis strategic acquisitions: Lex Machina®, Intelligize® and Ravel™ Law. The Lexis Analytics suite integrates analytics, machine-learning technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and visualization tools to better inform and expedite the work attorneys do every day.
Read more about the launch of Lexis Analytics.
LexisNexis, Lexis Advance and the Knowledge Burst logo are registered trademarks and Lexis Analytics is a trademark of RELX Inc. Lex Machina is a registered trademark of Lex Machina, Inc. Intelligize is a registered trademark of Intelligize, Inc. Ravel is a trademark of Ravel Law, Inc. © 2018 LexisNexis.