According to a recent TransUnion study, 71% of small law firms conducting research turn to free, online public records rather than reap the benefits of paid databases.1 But online searches can't always be trusted when it comes to accuracy of data. Free Internet and location services may be tempting for up-front savings but are flooded with irrelevant, outdated information which can lead to costly diversions.
Time management, reliable information and improved allocation of resources are top of mind for legal professionals. Yet, fears of learning curves and expensive contracts leave many with subpar alternatives. However, it should be noted that deeper insights delivered in more comprehensive and customizable packages are not only more accessible and affordable, they can lead to big wins in and out of the courtroom.
“I do most of my research through Google, which is tough, but I don’t have an associate or a full-time paralegal to help me out.”
– Solo practitioner2
1. Time management
Litigation costs are increasing as many legal professionals spend hours attempting to extract relevant insight from the vast data currently available via free sources. Once a case begins to build momentum, additional manpower is often needed to perform a more thorough investigation. Smaller law firms are often forced to take on the additional time and expense of outside resources. By adopting more data-driven processes and developing a relationship with an analytics company that supports legal investigations, attorneys can quickly map out connections between subjects, assets and associates to confirm addresses and associations. That way, more billable time can be spent on developing strategies and providing valuable guidance to clients.
One in three U.S. lawyers believe artificial intelligence will enable them to spend more time on higher level, strategic work and create cost efficiencies.3
2. Deeper insight — more reliably sourced
Forming a complete and accurate picture of a subject is helpful in connection with requesting compensation in a civil procedure. Reliable insight into whether subjects have existing or potential litigation issues, judgements pending or assets is key to gaining a strategic advantage and building stronger cases.
Data-driven discovery is becoming an increasingly important strategic tool for attorneys. Because this level of insight is more readily available today, disregarding the importance of a reliable resource can be a disadvantage in the courtroom. The ability to discover links between subjects, such as shared assets, can inform the value of a pending case and help determine whether to proceed or settle.
“We also need to find witnesses — occasionally we have to bring in a licensed private investigator to find the person we’re looking for.”
– Mid-sized law firm4
3. Efficient use of resources
Piecing together various sources, reports or modules from public search engines and social media pages can lead to misconstrued and/or missed facts. Legal professionals can now pull comprehensive reports that help improve accuracy and efficiency by quickly filtering results to pinpoint specific details per your search criteria. Comprehensive reports built on a combination of public and proprietary data can be customized to explore multiple relationships at the same time — a function public searches alone cannot achieve. It may have been difficult to justify the cost of utilizing more sophisticated, predictive analytics in the past, but modern databases ingest thousands of data sources and use advanced data fusion technology to construct relationships between relevant pieces of information and match them to subjects.
4. Impact: Profitable growth
In today's fast-paced legal environment, your ability to serve and select witnesses, as well as verify and confirm testimony, is dependent on the quality of your data. Streamlined due diligence allows more skilled services to be offered and can be the difference in attracting quality clients, winning cases and maintaining steady growth.
Attorneys are already making the most of AI. Find out how you can access better data faster and manage your time more efficiently.
Visit TLOxp.com/legal-professionals or call (800)-856-5599 to learn more.
,, 2018 TransUnion study: Penetration of Public Record Data Solutions, Paid and Unpaid, By Size of Law Firm
 2018 Consilio Survey: AI Impact