Big data is a key skill for lawyers but how much do you need to know? Is it the technical skills or just the commercial applications to be able to support and advise your clients?

At the LT&I we see it as a key skill and increasingly becoming more important as the amount of data generated in business and increasing exponentially.

Big data has many benefits from providing valuable insights and analytics into legal issues, helping you to make more informed decisions, and to have the ability to track and identify patterns and trends in data.

Lawyers who have the skills to work with big data and understand the insights, and its underlying components will have a significant advantage over those who don’t.

Some of the key big data skills that lawyers should have include:

  1. Data analysis: As a lawyer you should have the skills to be able to analyze and interpret large amounts of data, identify patterns and insights, and make data-driven decisions. There are many tools available that don’t need you to know how to code or write queries. We have covered some of these in the LTIC course.
  2. Data visualization: Having the ability to create and interpret data visualizations, such as charts, graphs, and maps, to help communicate complex data in an easy-to-understand format is a powerful skills to have. We underestimate the value of analytics and how we can support existing clients and/or identify new business opportunities.
  3. Data cleaning: The ability to clean, format, and structure data to prepare it for analysis. Is often overlooked as a skill, but basic knowledge of these will help you work with large data sets in an efficient manner.
  4. Data management: The ability to manage, store, and protect large amounts of data is paramount.
  5. Programming skills: Familiarity with programming languages such as Python, R, and SQL and the ability to use them to analyze and manipulate large datasets. We’d like you to be as techie as possible but you can always leverage from support from your IT staff here.
  6. Machine learning: Knowledge and understanding of machine learning concepts and the ability to apply them to legal problems. Knowing the tools and their functionality in this space is beneficial. With the increase in use of this technology there will be legal issues and challenges where you can support your clients.
  7. Understanding of data privacy and security laws: Familiarity with data privacy and security laws, such as GDPR and other data protection rules, and the ability to advise clients on how to comply with them is key.

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