Legal data is a transformative fuel that is galvanizing business development and legal marketing for forward-thinking legal professionals and positioning them with a distinct advantage in an increasingly competitive legal market.
We are thrilled to share UniCourt CEO, Josh Blandi’s latest article that was published in the Legal Marketing Association’s Strategies+ online blog. In Josh’s article, “Legal Data is the New Oil for Legal Professionals,” he discusses how legal data is analogous to crude oil due to the underlying need to refine and enrich it before it can be used as an energy source, and how AI powered entity normalization is making that possible. Josh also touches on how business development professionals can use legal data to find new work with existing clients and other opportunities in their strongest practice areas, and how legal recruiters can also use legal data to find high-value lateral candidates with a strong book of business.
Here below is an excerpt from the introduction of Josh’s article:
Law firms, litigation support firms, and others in the legal industry vertical are quickly turning to legal data as a new and powerful driver of legal marketing and business development efforts. The evolution of access to computing power, combined with the growing availability of legal data — such as court, business, attorney bar and judge data — along with the rise of data science as a discipline, has led to its increased value in the modern economy. It’s no surprise, then, that this trend is coming to the legal industry.
This article will discuss challenges inherent with using legal data, and how law firms can leverage legal data to find new matters with existing clients and uncover business opportunities in the broader competitive landscape.
The ‘New Oil’
Much like oil, legal data is difficult to extract and doing so requires serious infrastructure, expertise and resources. This data has been historically difficult to access, and the expense to acquire the quantity of data needed to create value is cost prohibitive for most. For perspective, consider the difficulty of developing the infrastructure needed to aggregate legal data from hundreds of state and federal courthouses across the US, as well as data from all of the business agencies and bar associations needed to get a full picture of who’s involved in litigation. And it doesn’t stop there — acquiring legal data is only the first step.
As with crude oil, legal data needs to go through its own process of refinement and enrichment to be able to drive business development efforts.
It often contains spelling errors, name variants and different structures from one source to the next. For instance, if a firm wanted to know when a big client was involved in litigation, but that client’s name was misspelled in a case filing, a potential business opportunity could easily be missed. Through AI powered entity normalization, legal data can be made useful by clustering together similarly named entities like attorneys, law firms, businesses, and judges, enriching those clusters with public data sets to map them to actual real-world entities, and building relationships between entities by linking those clusters together.
With the advances in legal technology, refined and enriched legal data is now more readily available for firms to use than ever before. The question now is how do firms make use of this “new oil” to drive innovation in their legal marketing and business development?
You can read the full article here on the Legal Marketing Association’s Strategies+ Blog.