Client Successes

Machine Learning is Not Just for Big Cases


For years we have been told that one of the “rules” for using analytics in document review is that it is only worth the time and effort for big cases. But the definition of “big case” varies greatly depending on who you talk to. We’ve heard claims that analytics should only be used for cases of more than 50 thousand ... 100 thousand ... 500 thousand or maybe even one million documents.

This particular “rule” that machine learning in eDiscovery is only for big cases is long past its “use-by” date. Yes, it’s true that, years ago the early, first generation Predictive Coding/TAR systems required hours upon hours of exacting and expensive mid-to-high level attorney review of training and sample sets. But that was then, and this is now.

Machine learning technology for eDiscovery has gotten much better since then, so much better that it’s long past time that we pronounce a new rule: that analytics should be used in every case, even the smallest ones.

A partner at a small Texas-based law firm recently came to Legility with a breach of contract case from one of her regular long-term clients. This was a small case with a correspondingly small budget. As a result, the partner had agreed to a much lower billable rate than usual to defend the case and to review 18,000 emails on a shoestring budget, which is not easy. The partner had received estimates that a typical “eyes on every document” review of the 18,000 emails would take 360-plus hours at a cost of more than $90,000. Legility recommended that she instead use the patent-pending machine learning power of Envize™ to avoid reviewing every document but still get the review done in a fully defensible manner.

The result? Incredible, actually. In just 25 hours, the partner reviewed 1,500 documents, identifying a little over 300 relevant documents and thereby providing Envize™ everything it needed to categorize and tag the rest of the document set. Instead of 360 hours at a cost of $90,000, the Envize™-empowered review cost under $6,600, a savings of more than 92%.

Many predictive analytics tools require a level of effort (and expense) in training that make their use prohibitive on small reviews like this. Envize™ does NOT. No matter what size case you have, Envize™ will save you time and money. Don’t let a shoestring budget force you into an outdated review process. Much better technology is available.

eDiscovery Stats

A 2015 Aberdeen Group survey at the LegalTech New York conference(an event filled with technophiles and early adopters) found that 67%believed that attorneys viewed Al with fear and skepticism.

The 2016 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report of practicing lawyers found that only 15.3% had used Al technology in eDiscovery.

The very same 2017 survey mentioned earlier by The Aberdeen Group also found that just 29% of responding organizations had adopted Al to help with eDiscovery, and that only about 24%of responding firms said that they ever planned to implement it.

Using Envize reduces data & saves you time and costs.

The right people, process and technology deliver the right results.

About the author


Legility, a leading provider of technology-enabled legal services, provides consulting, technology, managed solutions, and flexible legal talent to corporations and law firms. The company has more than 1,000 lawyers, engineers, consultants, technology and data specialists, and operational experts serving more than one-third of the Fortune 100 and one-quarter of the Am Law 200. Legility helps its clients improve operational efficiency. By combining people, processes, and technology, Legility offers innovative and bundled solutions that align with how the legal market is increasingly looking to engage.

Subscribe to Insights

Your one-stop shop for the Legility logo & more.

Your one-stop shop for the Legility logo, brand guidelines, photography assets, and more.

Subscribe to insights