Rise of the Data-Driven Legal Department

First Reviewed : May 11, 2023
Last Reviewed: May 11, 2023

Corporate legal departments have sometimes lagged in adopting data-driven approaches, in part due to comparative complexity and subjectivity in executing legal processes as well as the pace and intricacies of the practice of law itself.


Data is multiplying at astonishing rates across the legal industry. Reuters notes that legal departments are no stranger to the voluminous amounts of data that they collect and process. With legal technology on the rise and the modernization of legal departments in full swing, legal is witnessing the rise of the Data-Driven Legal Department. 

With so much valuable legal data at their fingertips, legal departments can leverage data with data analytics and technology. This guides legal department decision-making processes and keeps them in sync with their organization’s business goals. 

Utilizing legal data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and legal technology allows legal departments to make more informed business decisions. In addition, legal departments can improve efficiency and mitigate risks of errors and mistakes usually due to human error, such as oversight. 

Behind the Scenes at the Data-Driven Legal Department 

The Data-Driven Legal Department identifies, collects, and analyzes data from a vast range of sources. Legal data can be derived from case outcomes or empirical data for example. This data can be analyzed to inform decisions across practice areas such as litigation, compliance, risk management, and contract management. 

Legal departments can leverage data analytics to identify patterns in cases, predict case outcomes, help formulate a successful legal strategy, and forecast future legal risks and challenges. Aside from predictive analytics tools, legal technology tools including e-discovery software and contract lifecycle management solutions automate routine legal tasks, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

Becoming a Data-Driven Legal Department 

1. Collecting Data As It’s Created

The best way to collect data is as it is created, for real-time insights. In addition, data that is collected early and immediately allows legal departments to create in-depth and thorough reports and analytics.

2. The More Data, The Better 

Data-driven legal departments need a wide range of data collected from multiple sources to provide accurate results. A legal department that can collect as many data points as possible can create an overview into case results, case histories, and predict outcomes.

3. Establishing Data Collection Mechanisms 

A data-driven legal department should look at incorporating a contract management system to collect and store data seamlessly. Using a system built for the task can make collating and retrieving data easier and keep them in one place. 

Sharing Data Across The Organization 

Making an Impact with Metrics

What comes after collecting and analyzing the data? Legal data offers powerful insights into the workings of the legal department and how they can be optimized and match the organization’s business goals. Legal departments can present their legal data metrics by identifying key categories and substantiating them with a few metrics instead of sharing metrics that may not be relevant.

Sharing the findings across the organization ensures that the divide between legal and the rest of the company is bridged. After all, legal works for, and hand-in-hand with, the company at large – making legal data a crucial part of the company’s processes.

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