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How big data saves money on legal fees

Althea Chang
Big Data Download

Big data analytics at law firms cut down on costly legal fees, but that's not necessarily bad news, according to one attorney.

"Fifteen years ago as a young associate, we would print everything out and they would put people like me in a room and we'd look through everything page by page," said Geof Vance, partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery.

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But with analytics to weed out duplicate files for instance, 4 million documents were reduced to 2 million in one recent case.

"We spent weeks instead of years and we saved our client thousands and thousands of attorney hours, which meant millions of dollars," Vance said.

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But that doesn't necessarily mean that lawyers' jobs are at risk.

"The increased use of technology in the law will very likely attract a whole new breed of attorneys who are able to combine their legal and technical skills," Vance told "Big Data Download.” "Those that don’t meet that challenge will lose work. Those that do will be hired to do the work lost by the other law firms," Vance said.