Next Generation Lawyers and Big Data

Last Updated at: Oct 22, 2019

Big Data and Law – How it is changing the legal profession? 

We’re living at a time where every profession, including law is increasingly becoming challenging as the data involved expands. Thousands of cases are added every day and the bulk of knowledge that a lawyer is supposed to be apprised of, before presenting a case is growing every day. What remains unchanged is the expectation from lawyers, whether by clients or the court to present the data logically while arguing a matter. The movement for handling what we call ‘big data’ began with the computing technologies that were vastly developed in the last century. However, the legal profession has only just begun to reap advantages of using artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Big data analysis apps- How effective are they? 

Regardless of whether we’re working as a practicing lawyer, a researcher in the field of law, a paralegal or a solicitor, what is common to everyone today in the field of law is the need to be constantly updated of amendments while also being sound with the facts of the case involved. To deal with the former, we have several websites in India that collate information from statues and provide access to judgments, right from lower courts to Tribunals and Supreme Court. These also have added features that include searching for specific over rulings, dismissals and appeals. However, there aren’t as many applications that have emerged today to help a lawyer build in the backdrop of factual narratives of the client’s case. One such application is Libra, which is an integrated case management application that includes many features including aggregating case notes, digital case storage on cloud and much more.

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What are the upsides of using integrated big data applications

Drawing legal insights from an ever-growing source of developments, lawyers are still required to be making key legal judgments but now have access to several responsive tools to draw new legal insights. Big-Data management applications provide the ability to search for specific information and integrate it with the current case notes. 

Using data analytics and predictions 
When computers did not exist and research was done by looking up factual similarities in books, lawyers had rather limited access and abilities. With today’s data mining and analytics of lacs of cases, lawyers can not just predict success rates of cases, enforcement of specific terms in a context etc, but also develop their legal practice better by get predictions on individual lawyers or time taken in a particular court.

The other more apparent advantages include saving of time due to the integration that a case management application offers. Libra, for example allows a lawyer to keep an accurate record of billing by using its internal systems to track time spent on a case. It also synthesizes data to make a dashboard that a lawyer can easily access and get a snapshot of one’s daily case listings in various courts and their outcomes.

While several other sectors have been leveraging the gains of data analysis, mining and big data, it still remains a relatively new asset for the legal industry. However, there can be little doubt over the fact that in the coming times, lawyers who are tech-savvy and digitally adept would be more adaptable and efficient in dealing with legal problems.

Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.