How Attorneys Can Use Legal Data for Strategic Law Firm Positioning – Josh Blandi Writes in Attorney at Work
Intelligence from legal data is a critical element of success for law firms who want to remain competitive and profitable. Along with the explosion of legal technology resulting in new innovations and automation in the law, Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS) is now widely available and affordable for law firms of any size to take advantage of and gain data driven perspectives on how to strategically position their firm for the future.
We’re excited to share the final article written by UniCourt’s CEO, Josh Blandi in his three-part series appearing in Attorney at Work: “How Attorneys Can Use Legal Data for Strategic Law Firm Positioning.” For his last article on practical ways lawyers can use legal data, Josh hones in on how attorneys can leverage litigation trends to uncover opportunities and diagnose weaknesses in their practice groups by looking at short-term and long-term trends, and how they can refine their strategic business development objectives and position themselves for future growth.
Here below is an excerpt from Josh’s article in Attorney at Work:
Using legal data for strategic law firm planning is no longer reserved for BigLaw. With the improved access to litigation data from numerous vendors in the exploding legal tech ecosystem, solo practitioners, small law firms, and regional and midsize firms can take advantage of insights from data to position themselves as leaders and market movers in their respective practice areas and jurisdictions.
In “How Attorneys Can Use Legal Data for Business Development and Intelligence,” we looked at how attorneys interested in incorporating legal data into their marketing toolkit can begin by using a series of simple reports to view their clients’ and competitors’ litigation data. This allows firms to find new business opportunities and better understand their real market share.
Then, in Part 2 of this series, “How Attorneys Can Use Legal Data for Legal Recruiting,” we looked at some practical applications of litigation data in the recruiting process and detailed some fundamental questions firms should ask and answer before determining which laterals to hire.
In this third and final article, we’ll touch on how firms of all sizes can use litigation analytics to spot trends impacting their most important revenue streams and continuously monitor what’s happening in specific practice areas to strategically position themselves for the future. We’ll also discuss how to combine insights from litigation trends with lessons learned from previous articles to determine where to focus your marketing efforts for the greatest return.
Uncovering Opportunities and Diagnosing Weaknesses in Your Markets
For law firms, it’s critical to gather intelligence about real-time trends that are creating sharp and sudden changes as well as longer-term trends affecting the overall health of your markets.
A great example of how firms can use short-term trends to shore up their practices and prepare for downturns comes from the dramatic decline in bankruptcy cases filed in 2020. It’s important to look in retrospect and see that the total volume of personal and most business bankruptcies decreased to the tune of over 250,000 less filings than previous years. But what’s even more important for law firms is to see this happening in real-time.
With the increased availability and affordability of litigation data from a range of providers in the legal tech sphere, firms that depend on bankruptcy filings as bread-and-butter revenue drivers should be getting monthly or weekly trends reports that show exactly what’s happening in the jurisdictions they cover. Then, as they see shifts in real-time, they can have the internal discussions needed to determine how quickly to pivot away from or supplement their core practice areas — and make decisions rooted in data.
In addition to monitoring short-term shifts and trends, law firms need to periodically take a 10,000-foot view of what’s happening in their markets to ensure their prolonged health and viability. For instance, one trend we reported on previously was the slow and steady decline of asbestos-related litigation in state courts.
Though the spigot of asbestos litigation didn’t shut off overnight, it has gradually declined over the past two decades. The decline began to pick up pace in recent years, moving a once vibrant practice area for personal injury attorneys to a less stable and sustaining opportunity. Instead of wishful thinking on the profitability of certain practice areas, by looking at macro trends impacting their markets, law firms can take a data-driven approach to strategic practice planning and position for success.
You can read the full article here on Attorney at Work.