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To give you a feel for the power of legal analytics, imagine that you are the managing partner of a law firm. With a good set of algorithms and the push of a few buttons, you can make sure that you’ve delegated each part of an assignment to the professional with the exact combination of experience, talent, and diligence to maximize your firm’s client satisfaction and profitability. The client will be pleased both with the work product and its efficiency—and will pay your full bill without any grumbling or request for a reduction of the fees. The client will even tell other potential clients how well-organized and professional your law firm is, and your law firm will then increase its market share. Imagine further that your client is considering hiring you for a new matter and is comparing your firm with a firm whose bills have been murky and expensive. Guess which law firm is likely to get the client’s nod for the new matter? Law firms that leverage legal analytics stand to get more engagements and more profitable engagements

Against this backdrop of the field of legal analytics, this article discusses examples of those types of decisions that tend to drive up the cost of bills, some possible reasons for those decisions, and how data-analytics tools can help price and evaluate the economics of legal services. The article also makes some recommendations for how both clients and law firms can use legal-analytics tools to benefit from greater control, on the front end, of legal costs.