Text Mining For Lawyers (The 55% Google Weaned Lawyers Are Missing)

Working the Mines: How Text Mining Can Help Create Value for Lawyers by Rees Morrison, Juris Datoris, Legaltech News.

From the post:

To most lawyers, text mining may sound like a magic wand or more hype regarding “artificial intelligence.” In fact, with the right input, text mining is a well-grounded genre of software that can find patterns and insights from large amounts of written material. So, if your law firm or law department has a sizable amount of text from various sources, it can extract value from that collection through powerful software tools.

To help lawyers recognize the potential of text mining and demystify it, this article digs through typical steps of a project. Terms of art related to this domain of software are in bold and, yes, there will be a quiz at the end.

Our example project assumes that your law firm (or law department) has gathered a raft of written comments through an internal survey of lawyers or from clients who have typed their views in a client satisfaction survey (perhaps in response to an open-ended question like “In what ways could we improve?”). All that writing is grist for the mill of text mining!

Great overview of the benefits and complexities of text mining!

I was recently assured by a Google weaned lawyer that natural language searching enabled him and his friends to do a few quick searches to find relevant authorities.

I could not help but point out my review of Blair and Maron’s work that demonstrated while attorneys estimated they recovered 75% of relevant documents, in fact they recovered barely 20%.

No solution returns 100% of the relevant documents for any non-trivial dataset, but leaving 55% on the floor doesn’t inspire confidence.

Especially when searchers consider a relevant result to be success. Depends.

Depends on how many relevant authorities existed and if any were closer to your facts than those found? Among other things.

Is a relevant result your test for research success or the best relevant research result, with a measure of confidence in it’s quality?

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