Artificial intelligence has come to market and is impacting industries across the spectrum. Law firms that are embracing this powerful technology are working more productively and spending less time on monotonous tasks.
Andrew Arruda, lawyer and CEO of ROSS Intelligence, used his insights as a lawyer to build ROSS, the world’s first artificially intelligent lawyer. Driven by the opportunity to make lawyers more accessible to everyone, Arruda has been promoting AI adoption in the legal industry, noting its abilities to help “lawyers serving on the front lines … get better results for their clients and become better lawyers in the process.” Arruda gave a TED talk to help people understand how AI can be used within law firms as a tool for boosting efficiency.
Before we elaborate on the benefits of AI and how law firms can apply it, let’s establish its significance. AI simulates certain cognitive processes of the human mind and enables computers to complete basic job functions. When applied to algorithms, AI allows computers to interpret data, recognize patterns, and form conclusions.
As it pertains to law, AI offers multiple benefits, including convenience, freedom from mundane work, and more time for other aspects of the job. Here are some examples of legal tasks AI can automate:
- Legal research and due diligence: According to Arruda’s TED talk, “ROSS can read over a million pages of law in a second, finding the exact passages [lawyers] need.” ROSS is one example of how AI levels the playing field when it comes to legal research. With a machine quickly performing legal research, the lawyer doesn’t have to charge for that time, which can save clients thousands of dollars and eliminate research costs. Additionally, lawyers can use AI for the discovery phase. AI’s ability to rapidly confirm facts expedites the process of finding background information, which can accelerate arbitrations and litigations.
- Review documents and contracts: According to an article by Forbes, AI “ … can review documents and flag them as particular to a case. Once a certain type of document is denoted as relevant, machine learning algorithms can get to work to find other documents that are similarly relevant.” This takes a load off of lawyers. Moreover, AI makes contract revision more efficient by highlighting standard clauses for different applications. A blog by Law Technology Today also notes how, “AI can often help sort out problems faster with fewer mistakes that are often overlooked by the human eye.” Other advantages of AI include consistency in contract creation and alert capabilities for contract dates.
- Predict legal outcomes: AI is able to store decades worth of legal data and can sift through it all to tell lawyers their chances of winning a particular case. By analyzing a large volume of cases, the AI can make associations based on the assigned judge, the parties in the case, the timing and content of fillings, and thousands more data points to show you the likely outcome of your current case. AI can provide lawyers with databased recommendations for questions like, “Should I settle?”. This an area of AI and machine learning that AbacusNext is actively developing for our case management platforms, AbacusLaw and Amicus Attorney, and document automation technology with HotDocs.
As you can see, AI has the power to eliminate humdrum tasks and empowers lawyers to spend more time on analysis, counseling, and advocacy. Experts expect AI to be widely adopted by the legal industry within a few years. In fact, a report by Deloitte predicts 100,000 legal roles to be automated by 2036 and 2020 to be a “tipping point” where law firms must develop new recruiting strategies.
Lawyers can take certain actions to embrace this technology and prepare for its deployment. For one, they can embody a growth mentality and promote a progressive-thinking culture. More specifically, they can figure out which common contract clauses AI could automate and ensure their firm uses reliable data management tools, which code and protect information. By learning about AI and how it can benefit your firm, you’re taking part in a positive transformation in the legal profession. Only by experimenting with the latest tech and incorporating the ones that work can we move toward a more productive and meaningful future.