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Artificial Intelligence: Impact in Legal Settings and Future Development

by  Fatima Friefer

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

Within the next several years, we will be on the verge of a legal practise revolution driven by artificial intelligence – particularly its usage by in-house legal professionals. Similar to email’s revolutionization of daily business conduct, artificial intelligence (AI) will become ubiquitous — an invaluable assistant to almost every lawyer. Those who do not adapt and accept this change will fall behind. Those who do so will eventually find themselves freed up to accomplish two things for which there always appears to be insufficient time: thinking and advising.

Artificial intelligence is a phrase used to describe a computer-based system that can evaluate, plan, and make conclusions in order to do activities that are typically manually undertaken by people. Although AI is a relatively new concept, humans have long dreamed about harnessing computers’ capacity to help with legal duties. AI will eventually automate even more parts of legal practise. According to Deloitte Insight research, AI might automate more than 100,000 support positions in the legal profession over the next two decades. However, AI will not render non-attorney legal employment redundant. Instead, it will almost definitely open up new legal employment prospects in AI and machine learning.[1]

 

The Current State of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal System

While consumer AI is well-developed at this point, AI in the legal sector is still in its early stages. Fully autonomous AI attorneys are still a long way off. Current practitioners do not need to be concerned about AI eclipsing their competence. The present status of Artificial Intelligence in law, aided by Natural Language Processing, is capable of assisting practitioners in reducing legalese, completing contracts rapidly, identifying any defect or loophole in an agreement. [2]

How Will Artificial Intelligence Change The Legal System

The introduction of AI in the realm of law opens up new and intriguing possibilities. Furthermore, it encourages all legal practitioners to adopt technological innovation into their legal practise.

One thing that all legal professionals can agree on is that the profession of law requires a lot of paperwork. Even a basic case may generate a plethora of paperwork, communications, and reports. Attorneys are required to carefully evaluate all discovery materials related to a case. If an attorney overlooks crucial phrases or modifications, the results might be devastating, even amounting to malpractice. Fortunately, AI simplifies these document review scenarios.

Here, AI algorithms serve to enhance a company’s examination of documents – sorting out relevant phrases, subjects, and other criteria with blistering efficiency. Furthermore, when AI software recognises what to search for, it may recommend significant papers and areas of interest within the material.[3]

 Contracts are the foundation of our economic framework, and they are required for each commercial transaction. However, the entire process of mediating, as well as the process of negotiating and concluding a contract, is a time consuming task. Both legal teams, on both sides, are expected to personally review, revise and trade red-lined papers on a regular basis. This approach can be time-consuming, causing agreements to be postponed and a company’s commercial goals to be hampered. Furthermore, because of the importance placed on minute details and the length of the papers, it is possible for errors to occur.

AI technology might be used in the future legal system to assist and resolve contentious disputes without the direct need for attorneys or the existing court system. It is very possible that within a relatively short period of time, we will have systems that can anticipate the results of court rulings based on previous decisions, through the use of predictive analytics. Consider the possibility that, instead of waiting for a court date (and the support of the traditional legal system), individuals may utilise a machine learning system to anticipate the likely outcome of a case and then accept that prediction as a binding judgement. [4]

 

One of the most significant barriers to establishing such a legal system is a dearth of multidisciplinary study in this field, which brings together academics from social, engineering, and computer sciences to solve the main issues faced by our modern society.

Finally, technology may help us improve results and allow individuals to resolve public conflicts in ways that were previously impossible. While this change may not solve all of the problems with the legal system or the issue of access to justice, it can provide a significant improvement provided by AI as a service.

 

The following are some of the most common forms of AI utilised in the legal sector:

Automation of practise management

Many of the technologies integrated into invoicing and practise management software are artificial intelligence (AI).

Time-recording software, for example, may document the hours spent by a lawyer on work done for each client and automatically create bills at the end of each month or relevant time period.

Predictive coding

This is perhaps one of the most advanced kinds of artificial intelligence now in use in the legal industry. It pertains to the use of technology-assisted review to expedite the e-disclosure process.

Predictive coding software is essentially a search algorithm that learns how to rate the relevancy of documents after an initial training session, in which a lawyer modifies the algorithm. It is then unleashed on hundreds of documents to identify which ones are most relevant for disclosure reasons.

Legal investigation

LexisNexis and Practical Law, two of the largest online legal information resources, are constantly improving their search algorithms to help lawyers find the most relevant material pertaining to their case.

Some AI tools go even further, assisting lawyers in developing a case strategy based on previous outcomes in similar cases (for example, Lex Machina).

Recognition of voice

Digital dictation has improved dramatically over the last two decades. Now, a slew of virtual assistants (for example, Siri) can now perform tasks like booking appointments and searching through documents using only their voices.

 

Companies are still looking for ways to develop technology that will allow them to manage time-consuming tasks in a variety of industries more quickly and more accurately. AI has already made its way into the legal profession, assisting both lawyers and clients.

The growing interest in using artificial intelligence in the legal profession is gradually transforming the profession and influencing the work of paralegals, legal researchers, and litigators. [5]

AI and Digitisation of Legal Services

The legal services market is one of the largest in the world, with a global value close to $1 trillion. At the same time, it remains profoundly under digitised. For better or worse, the legal profession is steeped in tradition and notoriously slow to adopt new technologies and tools.

Expect this to change in the years ahead. More than any technology before it, artificial intelligence will transform the practise of law in dramatic ways. Indeed, this process is already underway.

The law is, in many ways, particularly conducive to the application of AI and machine learning. Both machine learning and the law operate on strikingly similar principles: they both look to historical examples to infer rules that can be applied to new situations.

Law firms and professional services firms that want to make prudent  decisions for their businesses will recognise how AI can augment their professionals’ workflows. There are various ways in which AI is currently being used in the legal profession, as well as a number of technology providers who are attempting to streamline the work process for legal practitioners.The most widely acknowledged advantage of AI tools in legal practice appears to be increased efficiency. Algorithms in AI software speed up document processing, while detecting errors and other issues. This appears to be somewhat counterintuitive, given that the legal profession has long relied on “billable hours,” and it often does not benefit a lawyer to take less time to complete a task or document. As a result, simply eliminating manual tasks is unlikely to be sufficient to drive AI adoption. [6]

case management software, practice management software, legal accounting software, legaltech, technology for lawyers, case management, immigration, london, united kingdom

References

[1] Six ways the legal sector is using AI right
now, Dec 2018,
https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/campaigns/lawtech/features/six-ways-the-legal-sector-is-using-ai

[2] AI in Law and Legal Practice – A Comprehensive
View of 35 Current Applications, https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-law-legal-practice-current-applications/

[3] AI Will Transform The Field Of Law, Rob Toews,
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2019/12/19/ai-will-transform-the-field-of-law/

[4] Artificial intelligence and its impact On legal technology: to boldly go where no Legal department has gone before,
Sterling Miller, https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/en/insights/articles/ai-and-its-impact-on-legal-technology 

[5] How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Legal Profession, Rachel Vanni, May 2020,
https://kirasystems.com/learn/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-legal-profession/

[6] 7 Applications of AI in Law Industry, Mallika Rangaiah Jul 10, 2020 https://www.analyticssteps.com/blogs/artificial-intelligence-law-industry