Artificial intelligence in Law firms

AI for Law firms: Exploring the Basics, Ethics, Platforms, and Best Practices

Like many forward-thinking businesses today, law firms must embark on a new journey: AI. However, AI is not confined to a limited array of narrow functions. Instead, its capabilities form a sprawling tree with many branches poised to revolutionize how we approach all areas of law.

This means we will enter a reskilling revolution, as research states: 

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, artificial intelligence is a beacon of transformation, a technological marvel shaping industries far and wide. 

But what does AI truly mean in law?  It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer with many facets, some of which are yet fully explored. From AI platforms aiding in case research to ethical dilemmas raised by AI-powered legal tools, the impact is broad, profound, and worth understanding. 

Webinar on Law firms using AI

Fully understanding AI and its various facets can be daunting, but worry not: we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. 

In this webinar, you’ll gain valuable insights into every aspect related to AI. The webinar is hosted by Grant Brott, Director of Strategy at Consultwebs and our resident expert for all things AI. Grant devoted hundreds of hours to studying and testing AI workflows, attended mastermind groups, achieved certification in Next-Level Prompt Engineering, and completed the AI Content Reactor course.

AI use in Law firms

In the legal industry, the adoption of AI technology has been slow, but its impact is already being felt as it transforms the way law firms operate. From streamlining mundane tasks to providing more efficient case management, AI is helping law firms improve their overall efficiencies and better serve their clients. 

We’ve previously touched on the topic of law firms adopting AI to transform their business. But, to briefly recap, the hype around AI is because of one of its subsets – machine learning. As opposed to simply mimicking, this computing model is trained by humans to learn based on data input. Afterward, it learns to look for patterns in the data to draw conclusions.

This model under AI is helping law firms in 4 main areas: 

  1. Mergers and acquisitions – Investing in all-in-one platforms e.g. reporting, analytics, payments, etc.
  2. Legal procedures – Researching keywords and examining papers.
  3. Contract reorganizing – Locating, examining, and grouping contracts.
  4. Legal document analysis – E.g., reviewing documents for discoverability.

By embracing AI technology, law firms can not only improve their overall efficiencies but also provide a higher level of client satisfaction. 

Before diving in and explaining the different ways law firms leverage AI, we’d like to briefly review the ethical considerations for law firms.

Ethical Considerations of AI in the Legal Profession

Because humans build machines, and no matter how objective we try to be, there is an inherent bias in the systems. This poses very real and concerning questions like:

  • If an AI-driven system produced false, or worse, biased information, who is responsible: the lawyer or the tool? 
  • Do attorneys need to disclose the use of AI in all cases? 
  • Is it necessary to train staff on data and disclose this information? 

The reality is that the legal profession is part of a rapidly-evolving technology. As of now, we don’t understand the full impact of such tools in law. However, it is here to stay, and many are already navigating their professional and personal lives with it.

The Top Ways Law firms are Using AI

In the LAWsome episode, ‘The Top Legal Tech Tools and Tips for Law Firms’ Chez Tschetter stresses the importance of automation. As he said, “Anything you can do to automate and move to billable time has a dramatic impact on the overall earnings of a particular firm.”

Thanks to AI automation Law firms are improving efficiencies in

  1. E-Discovery

    E-discovery, or the process of discovering and producing electronic data relevant to a legal case, can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor for law firms. But, many are automating their discovery in the following sectors:

    • Data Categorization: Quickly categorize vast amounts of electronic data into relevant and irrelevant categories, reducing the time for manual review.
    • Duplicate Detection: Identify and eliminate duplicate data, reducing the amount of data that needs to be reviewed.
    • Keyword Searching: Quick search through vast amounts of electronic data using specific keywords.
    • Predictive Coding: Learn from the review decisions made by lawyers, allowing the technology to more accurately categorize data as relevant or irrelevant.
  2. Legal Research

    Legal research can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. Here are a few ways automation helps law firms:

    • Predictive Search: Predict what a lawyer is searching for and provide relevant results based on previous searches, saving valuable time and resources.
    • Case Law Analysis: Identify patterns and relationships, providing lawyers with valuable insights into legal precedent and potential outcomes.
    • Contract Analysis: Analyze contracts and identify key terms and clauses, allowing lawyers to quickly find relevant information and negotiate terms more effectively.
  3. Document Management and Automation

    Electronic document storage eliminates the need for physical space. However, without proper guidelines, locating specific documents can be a challenge, and fortunately, AI helps with that too:

    • Contract Generation: Pull relevant information from previous agreements and insert it into new contracts, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
    • Document Classification
    • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Extract text from scanned documents and convert it into digital text, allowing lawyers to handle large volumes of data with more ease.
  4. Due Diligence

    This typically entails reviewing a large number of documents, such as contracts. Here are some ways AI helps law firms with contract review.

    • Contract Comparison: Compare multiple contracts and identify similarities and differences, allowing lawyers to quickly spot key provisions.
    • Contract Summarization: Summarize long and complex contracts into shorter, more manageable documents, reducing the time and resources required for manual review.
    • Contract Classification: Categorize contracts based on their type, jurisdiction, and other relevant factors, making it easier for lawyers to find and review relevant documents.
    • Contract Redlining: Identify different versions of contracts, allowing lawyers to quickly spot and address potential issues.

AI Software for Law firms

Find out how AI is reshaping law and the best AI software for Law firms to help you get started.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting almost every industry, including law. This is a broad term, but it’s the science of self-learning software. It takes over tasks traditionally done by humans. For example, here we used an AI tool to write a blog post about AI. (Ironic, isn’t it?)

Ai can take over 23% of lawyers everyday tasks

There’s already a profound transformation happening. Research shows both clients and professionals want to move forward with automation.

  1. 62% of consumers are willing to submit data to AI if it gives them a better experience 
  2. 61% of professionals claim it boosts productivity 

The hype around AI is because of its subsets of machine learning and deep learning – a computing model inspired by the structure of our brains!    

Structure of Artificial Intelligence

So, what does AI mean for law firms?

Incoming associates and clients are thinking digital-first. That means:

  1. Your customers don’t want to be numbered in a system. They’re looking for a unique personalized service. 
  2. You can work smarter by relying on automation tools (more on this in the following sections).

The 2 Main Challenges Behind AI for Law Firms

It can’t go without saying AI is a mirror to humanity, revealing some flaws. Because AI tends to “think” the way it’s been taught, some studies show there are some biased outputs related to race, biological sex, nationality, and age.

We’ll start by saying: AI can help facilitate processes but it should not take on the entire human experience, especially human judgment. Some institutes like AI Now are pushing for regulations, especially around sensitive areas like criminal justice and healthcare. 

AI Tools for Law firms

1. Review Contracts Faster With Lawgeex 

 Lawgeex is a contract review automation tool. According to its statistics, firms save 80% of the time previously required when reviewing and approving contracts. 

In a nutshell, their AI is pre-trained and understands over 1500 legal concepts, and uses that to analyze the contextual meaning behind contracts. See it in action:

 

2. Improve the Discovery Process With CS Disco Ediscovery 

Lawyers going through the discovery process can leverage AI tools like CS Disco Ediscovery.

 

Their studies show firms can reduce by 50% reduction their document population size. With it, you can: 

  • Save time 
  • Locate evidence faster
  • Perform effective early case assessment
  • Easily move documents between spaces
  • Streamline production (A million-page production can run in as few as 25 minutes.)

3. Expedite the Legal Research Process with Westlaw Edge  

Westlaw Edge is an AI-powered legal research tool, from document analysis to overruling risks, litigation analytics, etc. You can check out the different price tiers and features here.

4. Predict Legal Outcomes With Lex Machina 

Lex Machina, a legal analytics tool, solves issues related to unstructured and complex legal datasets, specifically for the litigation space. 

Their most appealing benefit is predicting legal outcomes. Here’s one example: 

  • If you need to persuade a judge to grant a transfer of venue, you can check on the trends for all of their transfer orders in prior cases.

They’ve also launched Appellate Analytics, legal analytics for federal courts of appeals. It provides an end-to-end overview of the litigation status (from trial through appeal), thus allowing professionals to evaluate outcomes better. Here’s a sample overview:

5. Find On-Point Cases and Briefs with CARA

According to their study, attorneys using CARA, Case Analysis Research Assistant, save around 210 hours of research time.

It can help you: 

  • Find on-point cases in your jurisdiction 
  • Find briefs related to the brief you’re researching
  • Check on drafts for missing texts
  • Find cases opposing counsel missed, etc.

CARA searches legal papers, statutory provisions, viewpoints, and editorials using a proprietary algorithm, allowing lawyers to investigate more proficiently without worrying about missing ideal cases. Like this:

6. Leveraging OpenAI’s Most Popular Offering: ChatGPT 

One of the biggest legal marketing trends in 2023 is ChatGPT, a trained model powered by OpenAI. It is by far the best AI chatbot ever created. It can write cover letters, blogs, and perform various natural language tasks. You name it, you have it!

Check out this viral Tweet showing the tool’s capabilities:  

AI is revolutionizing Law firms and why it’s time for you to embrace this game-changing technology.

Hopefully, more and more law firms embark on the AI journey including Prompt engineering for Lawyers, (with caution, of course). As you do so, we hope to help you along in your journey. In the following resource, you’ll find the top 8+ AI-powered tools designed specifically for law firms, alongside additional features and benefits.

Revolutionize Your Law Firm with AI-Powered Solutions

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