Littler Mendelson announced on Monday it has hired its first national director of data analytics, as the firm seeks to leverage its growing body of data to distinguish itself among labor and employment firms.
Zev Eigen, a former Littler associate and senior counsel at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., who obtained a PhD in Behavioral and Policy Sciences from MIT in 2009, will be the first data analytics chief, based in Littler’s Century City Office.
Asked about day-to-day responsibilities, Eigen said, “My first order of business is to see what we’re already doing.”
The position has open parameters, he said.
Jeremy Roth, co-managing director of Littler, said he envisioned Eigen as a “super-coordinator of all the data” at the firm.
Roth said Littler has accumulated a large body of specialized data about Human Resources practices and employment litigation, and already has released products such as Littler CaseSmart, a case management system that gives clients a view of their litigation portfolio and offers analytical capabilities. The firm also accumulates data from its eDiscovery practice and from its knowledge management system within the firm.
Eigen will be responsible for authoring “thought leadership” pieces about how to use the data to create solutions for clients, he said.
“You can harness the data to come up with some predictive analytics either for us or our clients,” said Roth.
Tom Bender, co-managing director of the firm with Roth, said Littler has been engaged in a strategic planning initiative about how to better use its data for about six months. Bender said Eigen will be the public-facing and client-facing voice at the firm who can advise clients on how to use their own data and the firm’s data.
Before returning to Littler, and since obtaining his PhD, Eigen said he has been honing his understanding of machine learning technology, algorithms, econometrics and data analytics including most recently as a vice president of strategy with Contract Standards, a company that provides machine-learning technology to law firms and corporate counsel, according to the firm. Often times, he said he was the only lawyer at analytics conferences.
Eigen said he expects data to play a much larger role in class-action litigation: Companies are increasingly using data to support important human resources decisions such as hirings and promotions, and that means plaintiff lawyers filing wage and hour class-actions and other lawsuits also will dissect such data.
“I always say data is a double-edged sword,” said Eigen.