Explore how AI is revolutionizing the legal industry and why it’s time for law firms to embrace this game-changing technology.
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:
- Mergers and acquisitions – Investing in all-in-one platforms e.g. reporting, analytics, payments, etc.
- Legal procedures – Researching keywords and examining papers.
- Contract reorganizing – Locating, examining, and grouping contracts.
- 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 AI Helps Law Firms
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 automation firms are improving efficiencies in:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Improving, Revolutionizing, Transforming, Innovating
It’s clear to see that AI is revolutionizing the legal profession and transforming law firms for the better. As AI continues to evolve, it is likely to have an increasingly significant impact on the legal profession, and it is essential for law firms to embrace this technology to remain competitive and meet the demands of a rapidly changing landscape.
And if you’re looking to learn which AI tools best match your digital assets or simply want to ask more questions, schedule a 1-1 with our executive assistant Jessica Hawkins.