Monday, December 2, 2013
Law Technology News: Why Attorneys Love-Hate Data Analytics: Relying on Big Data Can be a Blow to an Attorney's Ego:
Die-hard Oakland A's fans were angry with general manager Billy Beane when he used computer-generated analytics to pick his players in 2002. Fans doubted that a computer could out think the scouts and experts in the stands. So their trip to the playoffs that season, as well as the following year, shocked the baseball world–—and convinced other teams there might just be something valuable in crunching numbers.
Well, that was baseball. Legal professionals, on the other hand, still need some convincing.
James Michalowicz is the managing director of Huron Legal, and was formerly a litigation management consultant for his own firm. At Huron, Michalowicz advises firms to use big data and performance metrics to minimize legal spending. Some of the attorneys he works with, however, are doubtful of the benefits of using big data at all.
"As much as I think the use of analytics is now penetrating the sports world, I think it's slower in the legal world," Michalowicz told Law Technology News. Since a law firm's value depends heavily on its legal knowledge base, installing a program that does all the heavy-thinking can make attorneys feel like their hard-earned legal education is being undermined, explains Michalowicz. "There's this emotional piece to it. Lawyers don't want to rely on data. It's a challenge to their pride."