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This Law Firm Is Betting on Data

Nov. 23, 2016, 1:48 PM

Jackson Lewis P.C. is launching a data analytics group to bolster its labor and employment practice and to tackle new and non-law projects for its employer clients.

“We have a team of lawyers, statisticians and data scientists that will support the various practice groups in the firm with their analytics needs as well as undertake proactive analytics projects on behalf of our clients,” Eric J. Felsberg told Bloomberg BNA.

Felsberg, a principal in the firm’s Long Island, N.Y., office, will lead the JL Data Analytics Group. “It’s a resource group within the firm,” he said.

The analytics group may offer “damage assessments” for legal cases, Felsberg said. For example, if workers claim they were underpaid, the group could analyze their “electronic footprint” to determine their likely work hours by checking the times they swiped their identification badges into and out of the building and when they logged on to and off of their computers, he said.

Client projects not connected to specific legal cases could include a business that is “trying to figure out head count needs,” for which the group could analyze the staff’s attrition history, Felsberg said. Analytics also could help an organization “offer targeted training” to its personnel. The group could identify the units where poor service generated complaints so the client could avoid providing corrective training for its entire workforce.

Adding Statisticians

Jackson Lewis has added a statistician to those it already had on staff and probably will add more, Felsberg said. No lawyers will be assigned exclusively to the analytics group at this point, but attorneys who are specialists in particular legal areas “will help inform the modeling and the analytics that we’ll conduct on behalf of our clients,” he said.

Felsberg will maintain his legal practice as he launches the analytics group, but he said he expects the analytics group eventually will consume all his time. He said his years representing employers in equal opportunity and affirmative action cases, which often rely on statistics, have given him “a deep knowledge of how to interpret data.”

“The firm recognizes that the workplace in the future will be driven in large part by data analytics,” Felsberg said.

In a Nov. 22 statement, Jackson Lewis said services offered by the data analytics group will include talent analytics for recruitment and workforce management and design of data-driven solutions for complying with workplace laws. The group also will provide damage calculations and other types of litigation support, as well as labor relations assistance, including calculation of the long-term costs of collective bargaining agreements.