Uwais Iqbal • 2023-02-01
Is creating an internal Data Science team the best option for law firms and legal teams to start developing AI tools?
It's not the best idea for law firms to start hiring data scientists without having the right foundations and infrastructure in place. A data scientist is a broad umbrella term covering a whole range of skills from data analytics, data visualisation, machine learning as well as engineering and business consulting.
Does the data scientist profile have the right set of skills needed for the desired role in a law firm?
There are expectations that being the smart people that they are, data scientists can instantly morph into a new skin with the set of skills the firm needs on demand. The data scientist should be a technical maverick who should be all and know all at any point in time - The Mighty Morphing Data Scientist.
The reality is that the data scientist role is too coarse-grained to really capture the actual skills needed. Many data scientists feel frustrated and trapped in their misunderstood roles. The frustration hits a critical mass and they end up moving on to more defined and meaningful roles.
The lifetime of a data scientist at any firm is cut short for these reasons and the retention of rare technical talent at law firms is exceedingly poor . Law firms have begun to realise they need to make the most of their data to remain competitive in the industry. They've also started to understand how Legal AI can help lawyers do their job better.
How do law firms attract the best talent and retain them long enough to see an impact? Perhaps the nature and structure of law firms means that hiring for and retaining data scientists will always be a challenge? Perhaps an alternative way of accessing the skillsets law firms need is through working with external consultants?
At simplexico, we think a better operating model is the latter. A law firm's focus should be on the law and delivering value to their clients. Not on how to attract technical talent, build teams with data scientists and keep them engaged and happy.
Companies and corporations come to law firms and legal service providers for help on their legal matters. It's a natural way of working when the expertise isn't available internally.
Why shouldn't law firms and legal service providers come to a consultancy like simplexico for help on their data and Legal AI matters?
 - Law firms want data scientists but can they retain them long term?