Law school is difficult enough. But Jayla Grant is pursuing two degrees: a J.D. and M.S. in Data Science & Analytics from Georgia State’s College of Law and Robinson College of Business. As a result, she constantly uses both sides of her brain.
“In law school, you read and dissect documents,” Grant said. “With my mathematics background, I feel at home in my analytics courses working with coding and numbers.”
Grant recently began a research project in the university’s Legal Analytics Lab. She and lab director Charlotte Alexander examined Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) records, focusing on arbitration awards granted to stock brokers and investors. She spent an entire semester cleaning the data, and plans to build a model to predict mediation outcomes.
“The research can give future claimants an idea of what might happen in their cases,” Grant said. “It also might help them decide whether a claim is worth pursuing.”
Grant is in the middle of scrutinizing franchise documents as part of Alexander’s Legal Analytics class. The current assignment entails correlating franchise fees with the number of trademarks and patents the franchisor holds. In other words, the goal is to determine whether the fee to open, say, a restaurant trends upward as the number of trademarks associated with the restaurant increases.
Grant thinks the dual degrees will enable her to combine her interests in criminal prosecution and math.
“The J.D. paired with a master’s will give me some footing, to be able to understand what’s going on in a room full of coders,” she said. “Law firms are utilizing those skill sets in order to cut costs, and I want to be at the front of that curve.”