Yes – if they want to make more money and have a more successful practice.

In some respects, the ness of being an attorney has not changed much in the last century. Attorneys still focus on giving advice to clients and helping clients to navigate the court system. In other respects however, the practice of law is more in flux than it has ever been.busi

The traditional practice of law is being altered by tools from e-discovery packages to software that prebuilds business legal filings, private company stock offerings, prenuptial agreements, and numerous other specialized documents. Today’s lawyer should be able to continue to add value for clients despite these new software products. But that is not enough. The modern attorney needs to be able to use at least basic data to help clients.

Here is a simple example. It is incredibly difficult to determine the potential cost of either litigating or defending a lawsuit even if one makes assumptions about whether a case will go to trial or settle. The fact is that an individual considering bringing a suit really has no idea if a case will cost $15,000, $50,000, or $100,000 to bring to completion. Instead, clients generally write a retainer check, and then sit back and wait.

It does not have to be this way.

Data analytics can easily be harnessed to give clients a sense for what their costs are under certain assumptions – and that’s very useful for an attorney in selling their services. Imagine being able to tell a prospective client, Mr. Smith – given the type of case we are dealing with, if this case goes all the way to trial, based on historical data, we can be 95% confident legal fees will cost between $73,000 and $77,000. If the case is settled before trial, legal fees are 95% likely to range from $32,000 to $41,000.

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