Demystifying AI in Legal Sector: Transforming Legal Practices through Artificial Intelligence
June 8, 2023
AI in the legal industry is making strides alongside various other industries, including finance, healthcare, and transportation. With the automation of mundane tasks and legal analytics, AI is transforming legal firms' operations. The AI revolution is already in motion as law firms increasingly embark on experimental journeys with AI-based tools to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and reduce costs.
Recent advancements in AI in the legal sector have resulted in exponential growth, with the projected market size of AI software in the legal industry expected to reach $3,288.22 million by 2028. Increased efficiency and researching matters emerged as some of the primary use cases for AI technology, as cited by legal professionals in a LexisNexis survey.
The article explores the applications of AI in the legal industry and its challenges.
AI in the Legal Industry
The legal industry faces numerous challenges that hinder efficiency and productivity. Fortunately, the rise in the use of AI in the legal sector has paved the way for innovative solutions, transforming how legal firms work and address these challenges effectively.
Let's explore some of the challenges legal professionals face and how AI helps navigate them.
Increasing Volume of Legal Documents & Data:
Lawyers, paralegals, and law clerks deal with vast amounts of information to practice law and prepare for cases. Processing, analyzing, and extracting relevant information from millions of documents can be difficult. With AI technologies like NLP, firms can use automated solutions to handle large quantities of data, identify patterns, and extract critical insights.
Time-Consuming Manual Tasks:
Legal professionals get bogged down in repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Drafting documents, contract reviews, and due diligence can be painstakingly slow, wasting valuable time and hindering overall productivity. AI streamlines these processes by automating routine tasks, allowing lawyers to devote more time to strategic and complex matters.
Accuracy and Consistency in Legal Research:
Manual research can be subjective, leading to varied outcomes and the possibility of overlooking critical precedents or legal arguments. AI-powered research platforms utilize machine learning (ML) algorithms to comb through vast legal databases, extracting relevant information and providing accurate insights.
Inefficient Contract Management and Review Processes:
Contract management and review processes often suffer from inefficiencies, including delays, human errors, and inconsistencies. AI offers transformative solutions by automating contract review workflows and providing intelligent contract management systems.
AI Applications in the Legal Services
The legal industry is experiencing a transformative impact of AI applications. AI technology enables efficient capacity management by addressing long-standing problems of legal operations. Moreover, it helps inform decision-making on legal spending, vendor selection, and optimized team composition.
Here we look at the applications of AI in the legal sector, highlighting the benefits for law firms.
1. Contract Analytics
Traditional methods of contract analysis have fallen short in the era of big data, where stale information hinders decision-making. Advanced contract analytics leverages NLP to extract and analyze data from legal contracts. It helps manage contracts across the entire contract management lifecycle.
Contract analytics can help businesses in the following ways:
- Real-time insights and data-driven intelligence to make informed decisions.
- Improved risk assessment by identifying potential risks.
- Reduced time and effort required to extract relevant information from contracts.
- Optimized contract performance, enabling businesses to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Contract analytics helps organizations monitor when contracts are due to expire and when renewal actions need to be taken.
2. Legal Research
Traditionally, lawyers manually investigated legal documents, regulations, case files, etc., to support legal arguments and inform decision-making. But today, legal data analytics can enhance the process of legal research and analysis. AI-powered legal research involves gathering, analyzing, and interpreting legal information.
AI-powered legal research benefits law firms in:
- Accessing accurate and updated legal information.
- Building strong cases to identify relevant statutes, regulations, case precedents, etc.
- Higher accuracy and reduced risk of human error.
- Efficient resource management enables law professionals to focus on more critical tasks and save time and money.
3. Litigation Prediction
It refers to using AI and ML algorithms to analyze legal data and predict the outcome of legal cases or the behavior of legal entities involved in litigation. It considers factors such as case complexity, legal precedents, past rulings, jurisdiction, and other contextual elements to estimate the possible outcomes of a legal dispute.
It can benefit law firms and clients in the following ways:
- Provides insights and predictions to assist lawyers, litigators, and clients in making informed decisions about case strategy.
- Provides a quantitative assessment of the potential risks, costs, and benefits associated with pursuing or settling a case.
- Helps optimize litigation strategies, manage client expectations, and allocate resources effectively.
- Improves overall decision-making in legal disputes.
- Identifies potential risks and inconsistencies in contracts using automated contract reviews to prevent litigation.
Electronic discovery involves identifying, collecting, and reviewing electronically stored information (ESI) in legal proceedings. It uses predictive coding, also known as technology-assisted review (TAR), to assist in identifying and classifying relevant documents during the process.
In a profession where billable hours hold great significance, e-discovery can offer a more efficient option in terms of time and cost than lawyers having to review individual documents.
It can benefit law firms in several ways:
- Efficiently manage large volumes of electronically stored information (ESI), including emails, documents, and databases, saving time and resources.
- Streamlining the document review process, reducing manual efforts, and increasing accuracy in identifying relevant information.
- Access to comprehensive electronic data allows for a deeper understanding of the case, better evidence analysis, and the development of stronger legal strategies.
- Enables firms to provide faster and more accurate responses to client inquiries, enhancing client satisfaction and trust.
5. Lawyer Bots/Chatbots
Lawyer bots interact with users to provide general legal information, limited legal guidance, and basic legal services. They can assist in generating preliminary legal documents, such as contract agreements. etc.
Some of the benefits of lawyer bots are:
- Provide round-the-clock assistance, allowing clients to access legal information and guidance anytime.
- A cost-effective alternative to hiring human lawyers for routine tasks, providing cost savings for clients.
- Analyze questions or legal issues and provide instant responses, saving time and hassle.
- Rule-based bots are consistent and accurate in providing legal information and advice.
- By automating mundane legal tasks, it helps lawyers focus on other higher-value tasks, increasing productivity and efficiency.
Challenges of AI in the Legal Sector
Despite the benefits of AI in the legal sector, it has its fair share of challenges that sometimes make it difficult to utilize the full potential of AI.
Some of the challenges of AI in the legal sector include the following:
Bias in AI systems is a significant concern in the legal field. AI models may inherently have algorithmic bias along the lines of race, gender, and ethics. Moreover, the bias in historical data, for instance, biases within the prison system and broader society, can influence the data. These biases show up in algorithms and amplify existing prejudices or introduce new ones. To ensure responsible and reliable AI, it is crucial to be aware of these biases and actively investigate and challenge their influence on the outcomes of legal proceedings.
Low-Quality or Insufficient Data:
The effectiveness of AI systems relies on relevant and high-quality data. However, businesses often face challenges obtaining the right quantity and quality data due to limited access or its nonexistence. This imbalance can result in inconsistent or discriminatory outcomes when utilizing AI systems.
Cost of Implementation:
The high implementation costs of AI systems can pose a barrier for small or mid-tier firms with limited funding. The initial investment, training, and maintenance can increase the overall cost of deploying AI in the legal industry.
Lack of Transparency:
AI black boxes, systems operating with opaque internal mechanisms, make it challenging for users to understand how the systems make decisions or predictions. Moreover, the lack of transparency raises questions about the authenticity and reliability of datasets. External audits should be conducted to ensure transparency in using AI systems.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity:
The use of AI software in legal work carries risks, including the potential threat to client information and lawyers’ reputation. Since cyber-attacks increasingly target law firms, this poses a significant challenge in ensuring data security and preventing breaches. Data security is particularly crucial in cases involving highly sensitive and confidential information.
Overcome Challenges to Transform Legal Sector with Unleashing.ai
Considering the complexities and risks to data security involved, implementing AI solutions can be overwhelming for law firms. However, businesses can confidently navigate this challenging landscape with the support of an AI advisor like Unleashing.ai.
Unleashing.ai offers the expertise and guidance needed to develop cutting-edge AI products that foster your company’s growth. From GPT development to leveraging NLP and developing ML software, we offer a range of AI solutions for varying business needs.
Get in touch today and learn how experts at Unleashing.ai can build an AI system bottom-up to meet your specific needs.