For years, law firms have collected data about clients, but that was mostly just raw revenue data. To be honest, there was not much they could do it with other than report how well they did last quarter. The data rarely gave an indication of what was going to happen in the future. Nowadays, everything is completely different. More and more law firms are compiling data from other areas and making decisions and even predictions with it. It benefits areas like marketing, legal decisions, and client information.
All law firms—large or small—should have a website. Having a website and using analysis tools allows your firm to collect data about website visitors such as location, whether or not they are a first time or repeat visitor, and in some cases even their age. You can even gather information about anonymous visitors.
Collecting this information allows your law firm to tailor their website to the proper demographic. For example, a law firm, using website analytical tools, might determine that most of their websites visitors are between the ages of 35-44. If most of these visits do not translate into a lead, the law firm should consider adding additional information or an infographic designed to catch the eye of said demographic.
If your firm is active on social media—and they should be if they want to succeed nowadays—you need to ensure that your message is getting out there and it is being received by your readers and potential clients. There are social media analysis tools that track which of your posts are performing well and which keywords that are trending within your niche.
Law firms that properly use website and social media analysis tools are able to personalize their message to their current and future clients, thus giving them an edge on the competition.
Predicting Legal Outcomes
There are companies that offer products and services that were created to predict legal outcomes and provide advice on how to proceed. They compile and analyze data from every case that comes before the courts in the US and other select countries as well.
The cost of running such software is so enormous even the most prestigious of law firms would not be able to justify the cost of maintaining. Law firms gain access to this information via subscription to companies that compile this trove of data.
The information these companies provide valuable insight. Based on the data they can confidently predict legal outcomes—such as denial or approval of a motion—or even provide advice such as whether or not a legal matter should be handled in-house or with an outside attorney.
From the beginning of a consult to the end of all legal avenues, law firms are constantly adding and amending information in a client’s file. Additionally, this information needs to be kept for a long time, and it is just not feasible to keep records in a filing cabinet. What happens when you move offices, or even worse some catastrophe befalls your office?
If a law firm’s client information is not already computerized and secure, you risk giving your competitors an edge. Potential clients will have no desire to hire a lawyer who cannot securely keep their information confidential. Like it or not, there are individuals who will seek to discover your information, so you need to protect it properly. More and more firms are using the Cloud to keep their information secure. It also provides easy access to information should they ever need to restore lost information. Companies like Trend Micro offers network security services, helping assure lawyers and their clients that their information is safe and secure.
Law firms that wish keep their clients long-term and stay ahead of their competitors would do well to invest in data collection and analysis. For those who have yet to recognize the importance of such an investment may balk at the cost, yet you need to take the long view. Used properly, your investment in data will make you more money in the long run.