Law360 and Lex Machina (both owned by LexisNexis) have created a new award recognizing lawyers “who are using data and analytics to dream up new ways to meet the challenges of their practice” The  2018 Data Driven Lawyer award recipients are Eric Falkenberry DLA Piper; Scott Forman, Littler Mendelson PC ; Kate Gaudry, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP; Evan Moses, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC and. Kyle Poe, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Josh Becker, the head of Lexis legal analytics and chairman of Lex Machina, describes the data drive lawyer as “ the lawyer of the future. “This is still very early days and these pioneers are critical. They’re evangelists within their firms and they bring data with them each step of the way.”

I became a librarian because I was interested in books not bytes and big data. But I saw the power of data emerge from the most primitive dial-technology — a Texas instruments dumb terminal with an acoustic coupler attached to a telephone handset. Early systems called Dialog and  Orbit could deliver fascinating data which exposed patterns of human activity or industrial insights.

I have been a vocal evangelist of the place data in legal practice for almost 30 years but it is only the past few years that a clear business case and the right tools emerged  to help lawyers gain actionable data insights for both the business and practice of law. Lawyers continued to shun online research in favor of  the slower and less current information in digests and reporters. At some point the use of analytics will move from offering  a competitive advantage to being an ethical imperative.

Learn more about Data Driven Lawyer Initiatives:

Law 360 will be running a series of articles in which the award winners are interviewed. In addition, Lex Machina and Law360 will host a live webcast  with all of the data driven lawyer recipients on Dec. 12.