Legal Analytics Lab explores the intersection of business, big data and law

What do business scholars, lawyers and data scientists have in common? Well at Georgia State University, they are putting their heads together to analyze millions of litigation filings and outcomes, corporate disclosures, patent applications and legal documents.  The goal is to identify patterns and evaluate how the law operates to predict future outcomes.

This innovative initiative is part of the mission of Georgia State’s new Legal Analytics Lab, which focuses on civil litigation, intellectual property and corporate social responsibility.

“This lab is a natural progression for us to expand our innovative work in data analytics to the intersection of law and business,” said Richard D. Phillips, dean of the Robinson College of Business. “Interdisciplinary collaboration is core to Georgia State’s DNA, and this collaboration between the colleges of Business and Law will advance the theory and practice of both disciplines.”

Students will work with lab faculty and corporate partners to help companies and law firms discover predictors hidden in large volumes of data. Participants will be conducting research using pioneering tools like text mining, machine learning and image analysis. 

“We’re extremely pleased our law students will have an opportunity to work with applied data in real situations,” said Wendy F. Hensel, interim dean of the College of Law. “Attorneys increasingly are turning to artificial intelligence and innovative technologies to create competitive advantages in the legal market. The potential demand for young lawyers able to harness the power of analytics is tremendous.”


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A few projects are already underway.

For example, students mining corporate disclosure filings for an international insurance provider to find predictors of securities class action lawsuit filings. Participants are also analyzing judge’s decisions in employment cases for the U.S. Department of Labor to see how courts distinguish an employee from an independent contractor. In addition, students are using machine learning to identify financial technology patents and evaluate their impact on the financial services industry.

More cutting-edge projects are already in the pipeline.

“The important work done at Georgia State’s legal analytics lab inspires a deeper focus among our lawyers and professionals into how we might leverage big data to provide leading-edge legal services to our clients,” Brett Bartlett, a partner with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, said in a press release.

The Legal Analytics Lab is the first step in developing curriculum offerings in legal analytics for law students, as well as professionals in the legal community, arrdoing to a press release.


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Tyler Roberts is an editor for The National Jurist. You can follow him on Twitter at @wtylrroberts


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