Becoming a data-driven legal department in 2013

To develop a “Big Data” program, identify the problem you wish to solve and seek partnerships to find actionable insights

This article is the final installment in a four-part series designed to help corporate law departments gain new insights into the application of “Big Data” in the legal industry. Read parts one, two and three.

Businesses continue to operate with an eye towards efficiency, not only as it relates to cost and performance but also as it pertains to operations—often referred to as the “new normal.” In this new environment, many companies are turning to data-based insights to aid in the decision process. As outlined in this four-part series, legal departments are not excluded from this model. My colleague, Craig Raeburn, and I have offered best practices for a legal spend data management strategy throughout this series. This final installment will center on how legal departments can apply that same discipline to other areas of legal data.

In-house counsel should consider the following ways to slice the data for insights:

  • Geography. A geographical heat map can indicate which areas or locations have a consistently higher ratio of labor disputes.
  • Dispute categories. By first configuring the disputes into standard categories, in-house counsel can analyze the data for insights into which categories always resulted in a court case and which were more frequently resolved without litigation.
  • Outside counsel: By analyzing court decisions against law firm panels and geography, law departments can identify the most cost-effective firm for each type of dispute.
  • Wage garnishments. By analyzing service of process for wage garnishments, organizations can identify the location and/or employee level where garnishment is high, and then employ tactics to reduce risk to the company in such cases.

Best practices and right resources

Contributing Author

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Richard Flynn

Richard Flynn is the group president and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Corporate Legal Services (CLS). The branded businesses in his portfolio—CT Corporation, NRAI, Corsearch,...

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