Greg Lambert of the Am Law 200 firm Jackson Walker discusses how employee data is shaping his firm’s business.

Data mining is a burgeoning practice across all industries but, as with all things technology, law tends to go against the current. Yet that isn’t to say that all firms are turning a blind eye toward technology.

Among those looking ahead and deriving value from their data is Jackson Walker, an Am Law 200 firm that began mining its own data to enhance its business intelligence (BI). Legaltech News recently got in touch with the firm’s chief knowledge services officer, Greg Lambert, to discuss the benefits of law firm data mining, challenges to adoption, the attorneys’ response and more.

Q: In today’s data-driven world, what benefit does mining big data for BI offer?

My experience is that, a lot of times, the information you want to mine is typically between the ears of the attorney, and trying to get that out of them is near impossible. You try to take some of the work product that they do, the amount of data surrounding the work that they do, and create a story that way from the information that you can gather. Because, if you’re waiting to get the story from the attorney, you’re going to be waiting forever.

Q: Are attorneys receptive to the idea of using data over their insights for information?

I think it depends on what you’re mining. The easy stuff to mine for us is the action items that they’ve taken that create some kind of trail. That can be their time entry, what kind of industries they’re working on—that stuff has been around for years.

But now, we’ve expanded. We’re trying to look at the documents that are created, the types of documents, some of the information that’s inside the documents, the items that leave a paper trail, docket information.

The [attorneys] I’ve talked to have been positive about it because they don’t have to do much. And there’s a lot of information that we pull from that doesn’t tell a specific story, but rather it lays the groundwork to fill in some holes.

Read the rest of the Q&A at LegalTechNews.