A Guide to Using AI in the Legal Profession
With the development of digital technologies, the pace of business processes has significantly increased. We have come to expect a response from online service support within minutes or product delivery within a working day. However, when it comes to communication with lawyers, answers often arrive following a week-long interval. Currently, the main reason for this is that even the most advanced LLM models struggle with abstract concepts.
Legal professionals will continue to play a critical role in interpreting and making decisions based on legal information and providing strategic advice and advocacy. It’s a lawyer’s duty to protect client information and keep confidential data safe, which means that law firms must be diligent about the security of any potential tools they use. And, because most AI tools use data to function, it’s especially important for law firms to be careful about what data they allow AI to access. Specifically, AI in law firms helps legal professionals transform their practice by putting clients first in an unprecedented way. More broadly, AI will make it much more efficient for attorneys to draft documents requiring a high degree of customization—a process that traditionally has consumed a significant amount of attorney time.
Ways AI Will Enhance Legal Services
“Manual redaction”, as the company claims, is cumbersome considering the amount of time that a reviewer spends on locating content on a digital document and then applying black boxes on these statements. The company claims that lawyers can ask ROSS questions in plain English such as “what is the Freedom of Information Act? A video presenting how the software works states that it builds a legal language model from thousands of documents.
It’s 2023 and once again, we are actively discussing how AI is replacing lawyers. In 2016, the legal industry was stirred by the first mass media headlines about AI replacing lawyers. It was the year when chatbots started to appear, interacting with users and performing simple tasks in a “robotic” manner. In the legal industry, chatbots were launched to answer basic legal questions, assist with the preparation of simple documents, and undertake other simple tasks.
Personalization is made possible by AI, which creates recommendations based on user activity, as seen in entertainment and e-commerce platforms. The 24/7 accessibility of AI via chatbots and virtual assistants improves client experiences. How we live and work is changing as a result of the integration of AI into numerous businesses. Medical image analysis, drug discovery support, and customized therapy suggestions are all made possible by AI algorithms in the healthcare industry. Systems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in finance monitor market trends, spot fraud, and automate trading.
In a recent paper by Susan Nevelow Mart of the University of Colorado Law School tested if online legal case databases would return the same relevant search results. “Instead of performing open text searches looking for personal injury precedents, a lawyer could use Loom’s system to see all personal injury decisions that were published in a given time span and then break them down by outcome. Noah Waisberg, a former M&A lawyer who founded the software company Kira Systems, thinks that due diligence errors by junior lawyers often occur for a number of reasons. These include working very late at night or on the eve of a weekend, forgetting to perform due diligence before the end of the work week, and failing to act on it when a deal structure is completely revised. Richard Susskind, one of the UK’s most respected thinkers at the intersection of legal and technology, believes that this trend will continue to grow in the coming years. This means it cannot provide clarity or improvements related to the decisions made.
How will artificial intelligence change the legal system?
This was made clear in 2023, when a New York attorney got in hot water for using ChatGPT to do legal research for a personal injury case. He crafted a 10-page brief, citing more than half a dozen previous court decisions. The attorney was sanctioned by a federal judge and fined $5,000, along with a colleague.
Because virtual assistants are always available, they provide clients with 24-7 access to the firm. However, AI can deliver a wide range of services that result in a better client experience. Law firms should develop comprehensive data protection policies that govern data collection, storage, and use within their AI systems. This includes implementing strong encryption protocols, access controls, and secure data storage practices. Additionally, AI can enhance collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the firm. This facilitates the formation of cross-functional teams, fostering a collaborative environment and improving the quality of legal advice provided to clients.
And lawyers, firm owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals are jumping on board en masse. Finally, it goes without saying that a lawyer must make sure that the work product produced by AI is accurate. In Mata v. Avianca, Inc., lawyers used ChatGPT to generate cases, citations, and quotations for a brief without verifying whether the citations were correct. None of the cases cited were legitimate.
Document automation helps law firms create documents using intelligent templates; legal professionals can automatically fill form fields directly from case records into the templates, saving time and effort. Legal document automation provides a centralized and efficient process for producing letters, agreements, motions, pleading, bills, invoices, and other legal documents. Another area where AI is already used extensively in the practice of law is in conducting legal research. Practicing attorneys may not even be aware they are using AI in this area, since it has been seamlessly woven into many research services. One such service is Westlaw Edge, launched by Thomson Reuters more than three years ago.
How can AI help streamline legal research and document analysis?
While AI-driven products can greatly facilitate counsel in accomplishing legal tasks, counsel is still ultimately responsible for their work product. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22% growth in employment for AI and machine learning professionals in the U.S. by 2030. If the past is prologue, AI will likely result in job losses across all economic sectors, including the legal field. New technologies have for the most part, at least in modern times, resulted in the elimination of millions of jobs.
At this point in its development, AI is good at finding items that meet human-defined criteria and detecting patterns in data. In other words, AI can figure out what makes a panda a panda and what distinguishes it from a koala–which lets it find the pandas in a collection of random bears. The use of AI may entail entering into licensing and other agreements that will set forth the terms and permitted uses of the subject technology. Counsel must ensure that any use and reliance upon AI in the performance of any legal task is reasonable under the circumstances and that the results are verified. Counsel may be subjected to liability if they utilize AI-generated results or work product that are erroneous and prove detrimental to the client’s interests.
Depending on the tool you’re using, you may also be able to auto-generate AI-driven documents using familiar workflows and relevant case information directly from data and documents pulled from within your case management system. Facial recognition, search and recommendation algorithms, chatbots, and virtual assistants are all examples of artificial intelligence at work. Question suggestions are one of our latest features in which a machine-learning algorithm uses information from previous reviews and check-ins, the algorithm can suggest improvements to existing questions and even entirely new ones.
With all their time-consuming tasks under control, attorneys and lawyers have more time to spend with clients. This frees up additional hours for building relationships and discovering exactly what your clients seek. Beyond the buzz and jargon, the real-world benefits of AI are tangible and transformative. From boosting productivity and ensuring impeccable accuracy to crafting client-centric approaches and optimizing financial operations, AI is redefining the benchmarks of success for law firms.
- AiT Staff Writer is a trained content marketing professional with multiple years of experience in journalism and technology blogging.
- The term “artificial intelligence” was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy, a computer scientist at Dartmouth College.
- While the use of AI is already having a significant impact on the legal profession, there are many unanswered questions about AI.
- For some time, algorithms have been used in discovery — the legal process for identifying the relevant documents from an opponent in a lawsuit.
When AI can ‘think’ critically, pass legal exams, and compose essays in a fraction of the time it takes students, it’s no surprise that more consideration is being given to how law is taught. However, it’s still to be determined whether AI will ultimately prove to be a help or hindrance to legal education. The aforementioned limitation in LLM leads to frequent “hallucinations” in AI responses when working on complex tasks. And as known, constructing complex legal cases is virtually impossible without the abstract concepts and logical principles described above. This has made the AI user experience similar to working with a personal assistant. Just like a PA, the AI assistant can receive task instructions, like drafting an email, then prepare initial results, and iterate them based on comments and edits provided by a manager.
Some experts believe AI-driven tools can take over nearly 25% of a lawyer’s daily tasks. The day when AI-powered robot lawyers will represent clients in the courtroom may be fast approaching. In fact, it almost arrived on February 22, 2023, the day that DoNotPay—an online legal services company—was scheduled to send its AI-powered chatbot to court to guide a client contesting a traffic ticket. According to DoNotPay, the historic moment was put on hold when “State Bar prosecutors” informed the company that using the robot lawyer could result in jail time for its founder. AI-powered tools can give clients a more personalized and client-centered experience by analyzing client data and providing customized legal advice and solutions based on their needs. This can help improve client satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
AI could also be used during a trial to analyze a trial transcript in real time and provide input to attorneys that can help them choose which questions to ask witnesses. In some cases, it can also grease the wheels of justice to increase the speed of research and decision-making. Artificial intelligence improves the efficiency of legal work by way of automation. The technology can be used to assist in legal research, perform contract analysis and even generate contracts, agreements and other legal documents. Evisort, an AI contract management platform, helps law firms streamline contract review and analysis.
- THE ARTICLE ALSO PROVIDES AN ASSORTMENT OF related resources that will provide additional guidance regarding the emergence of AI in the legal profession.
- This facilitates the formation of cross-functional teams, fostering a collaborative environment and improving the quality of legal advice provided to clients.
- There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.
- Additionally, AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots provide client support, gather case details, and help schedule appointments.
- In some cases, it can also grease the wheels of justice to increase the speed of research and decision-making.
It’s not going to replace lawyers or consultants but it’s going to require a change in the way those professionals deliver their service. To address these privacy and security concerns, legal professionals must ensure that they are using AI-powered tools in a responsible and ethical way. This includes taking steps to protect personal data, ensuring that AI algorithms are not biased, and being transparent about how AI-powered tools are making decisions. By addressing these privacy and security concerns, legal professionals can ensure that they are using AI technology to respect individual privacy rights and maintain the highest confidentiality and security standards.
Read more about How AI Is Improving the Legal Profession here.