AI and Legal Profession: Is AI the new Legal Revolution?

Written by Shrisha Sapkota
Written by Shrisha Sapkota




Artificial Intelligence has reformed technology prospects extensively over the last few decades. It has proven to have better efficiency, consistency and resourcefulness than human labour in almost every area of work, study and research including law and the legal profession.


Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processed by computer systems through the process of machine learning.[1] AI can be categorised as Weak AI and Strong AI.

Weak AI or Narrow AI refers to the use of advanced algorithms to accomplish specific problem solving or reasoning tasks that do not encompass the full range of human cognitive abilities.[2] Here, the actions are pre-programmed by the developer. This type of AI is typically used in the legal profession. This has aided legal works such as litigation, dispute resolution, regulation and compliance, document review, legal research etc. to lawyers and law firms across the globe.

Strong AI on the other hand refers to machines or programs with the mind of their own and which can think and accomplish complex tasks on their own without any human interference.[3] Self-driving cars, Disease mapping etc. are strong AIs.

Legal personality of Artificial Intelligence:

The legal personhood of artificial intelligence has been challenged for lacking critical human qualities like consciousness, responsibility, judgement capacity, desires, creativity etc.[4] and also because “simulation of a thing is not the thing itself”[5]. However, several attempts have been made over the years to determine the legal status of AI. The European Union considers legal personality of AI in civil law[6] but gives off an ambiguous position for autonomous machines stating moral, ethical and societal challenges upon the attribution of responsibility and rights of a person into such machines.[7] John Chipman Gray’s concept of a person based on dogmatic fiction talks on the fulfilment of two criteria i.e. the capacity of AI to comprehend legal consequences of its action and enjoy a bundle of rights can assist in attributing legal personhood to AIs[8]. However, in the practical aspects of daily livelihood, cases involving the military, cases of any damage or loss, the absence of concrete positive law upon its legal subjectivity gives off the observation of an oxymoron upon ascribing accountability to the AI or the human controller of it.



The legal market is one of the largest markets in the world but profoundly under-digitised as well.[9] Richard Susskind opines, “AI and other technologies are enabling machines to take on many of the tasks that many used to think required human lawyers and that’s not plateauing. It seems to be happening at quite a rate.”[10] AI has proven to assist legal professionals to perform various tasks, ranging from research to analysis and litigation through machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).


Legal research:

AI-powered legal research platforms can help lawyers do more billable work more quickly, allowing them to spend more time putting research to good use by counselling clients, negotiating with opposing counsel or performing other higher-level work.[11] AI legal research tools use Natural Language Processing which forms a predictive model based on attorneys past queries and search instructions.[12] Although there are several search engines to fetch information on the internet, their reliability can often be questioned. These tools use semantic research and help lawyers find case law and recommended readings to support any text found on their document. Therefore, AI legal research saves time from unproductive searches and makes work accurate and precise.


Case Prediction:

AI can help lawyers predict how the court shall rule through its predictive analytic tool which inputs the corpus of relevant precedent and a case’s particular fact pattern.[13] Lawyers can research about the judge preceding the case and find motions and arguments that compelled the judge to pass a decision in a similar case in the past.[14] The due diligence advantage provided by AI further helps lawyers to conduct a meaningful investigation of a case and track down where the proceeding is headed.


Litigation prediction through such analytic tools can be categorised based on their functionality as

(i) The law firm analytics, which provides an analysis of data relating to a given firm’s prior litigation history, including case outcomes, clients represented and the lawyers assigned to given cases;

(ii) Company analytics, which includes data regarding a company’s litigation history, such as lawsuits, outcomes and the law firms that handled the litigation;

(iii) Expert witness analytics, which typically covers data about expert witnesses’ involvement in past litigation, including their CVs, which parties they testified for and whether their testimonies (or parts of it) were excluded.[15]


An analytic tool as such provides insight into patterns gleaned from a judge’s rulings on a particular issue, the testimony across different cases by a specific expert witness, court analytics and a company’s litigation history.[16] Analytics tool assists lawyers to forecast an opposing counsel’s arguments through features like parallel search and compose which allows them to dig into arguments and counter-arguments advanced by previous lawyers.


Contract Analysis:

Contract Analysis software is a language processing tool that use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to aid businesses in understanding the substance and implications of contract language[17] and mitigate risks of non-compliance and non-renewal of contracts. It takes contract review, compliance tracking, contract-templating, e-signature, update and editing of contracts into consideration. Such a contract analytic tool helps users to read contract extracts with the meaning of its clauses and helps to form an improved risk management system.


Intellectual Property Analysis:

The use of AI in IP analysis and protection has become exemplary in the present scenario. WIPO has implemented and continues to develop its IP management services and tools using AI technologies.[18] Artificial Intelligence applications are being increasingly deployed in the administration of applications for intellectual property protection. WIPO Translate and WIPO Brand Image Search, which use AI-based applications for automated translation and image recognition, are two examples of such AI applications.[19] Also, the capacity to generate IP content by AI is a new exploration in the legal world, especially regarding the issues of its recognition. AI can be useful to detect and investigate IP infringement cases. Through automated detection system[20]


Automated Documentation:

The legal profession depends largely on documents and paperwork. Document automation allows automating document creation with the help of intelligent templates. It provides a centralised process of producing letters, agreements, motions, pleading, bills, invoices and other legal documents and ensures that the document is easily accessible, well organised and secured for future access, edits, and sharing.[21]Good Law Software helps in automating administrative processes for law firms and optimising legal works and proceedings in the firm.


Translation and Transcription:

AI has assisted law firms and lawyers to transcribe and translate audio, video and text documents, without the need of a specialised team of language experts. This has proven to be most helpful for taking projects of foreign language. Many countries use their mother language in their legal document, which makes it complex for foreigners to read and understand it.


Law firm Management:

AI software demonstrates high assistance in organising and managing firm affairs easily and transparently. Under Human Resource management, Good Law Software is useful in governing new recruitments and managing the current staff. It serves in maintaining attendance and monitoring holidays of the firm employees. Under Case Management, Good Law Software helps in organising the cases dealt by the firm, managing individual cases and assigning them to the designated legal and paralegals.


Advanced Reporting:

Reporting provides useful insights for management and helps to monitor a firm’s performance, decisions and future projects. Realising the importance of advanced reporting, Good Law Software helps in maintaining case-workers accountability, tracking referral sources, calculating costs and expenses incurred over a case and performing case tracking reports easy and systematic to formulate and deliver.


Banking and Accounting:

It is essential for lawyers to properly manage financial transactions and conduct proper bookkeeping and accounting for the smooth operation of the law firm. These law firms manage their money and property in banks and financial institutions. This is required for compliance with the state’s corporate governance policies and ethical regulations of the firm. Good Law Software helps in syncing banks with law firms and accepts in-software payment. It assists in preparing invoices and other financial documents for accounting purposes.



The impact of AI in the legal sector is evolving. The legal field can apply AI strengths in areas of due diligence, prediction, legal analytics, practice management[22] and others as mentioned above. Such strength contributes to efficiency and cost management. The ability to process data faster and cheaper allows law firms to provide their services at more affordable rates. It allows lawyers to take more cases because of its time-efficient and resourceful advantages. Social media and digital technology have allowed many lawyers to operate their services online, which has proven to be very useful during online court proceedings due to pandemic lockdowns. The reduction in need of a separate accountant or translater or document drafter has proven to be financially beneficial to lawyers and concerned law firms.

Lawyer-AI collaboration:

The notion of lawyers being replaced by AIs is not an unheard one. Deep learning, a sub-area of AI, has proven to be more successful than humans in processing visual data and analysing images from the images, what objects or living things exist, relationships with each other, event estimation, object/person tracking, etc.[23] The accuracy rates of AI programs in drafting and analytic works have proven to be more than that of human lawyers.[24] Enhanced mitigation of risk and compliance reporting is also the benefit AI provides. However, the functionality of AI is highly dependent on the input data and the foundation database which entails that AI alone is not sufficient- AI is a help, not a conqueror of the legal field. AI helps lawyers expedite their work, and free them up to focus on tasks that still require a human brain.[25] Rather than emphasising the Lawyer vs. AI debate, it is essential to transverse the prospects of Lawyers-AI collaboration.


Drawbacks of AI

It is baseless to assume that AI is fully equipped and free of cons. The dynamic role of an attorney that involves strategy, creativity and persuasion cannot be reduced to an AI program. Although AI has fast and reliable data processing, it cannot be trusted for abstract or critical thinking. According to Deloitte, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 legal-related jobs will be automated by 2036 because of AI causing unemployment issues.[26] Cyber-security threats, hacking and online theft can cause privacy and security concerns upon confidential documents. The training process is a real challenge to Legal AI developers as a huge amount of data is required to train AI-algorithms and input-output training data.[27]


Technological Myopia

Technological myopia awakens the need to strategically think about technology to remove corporate short-sightedness.[28] The capacity of future technology should not be judged based on today’s enabling technology.[29] Substantial limitations as stated above in the drawbacks might change in the upcoming time, bringing drastic changes in the legal realm. Such development can avail alternative careers in the legal field and ensure a reformed legal service in terms of cost, quality and time-efficiency.



Artificial Intelligence in the legal profession accommodates a vast array of different things, fundamentally about data and using it in different ways in ways that add value for the benefit of clients and practitioners. It primarily uses machine learning through natural language processing to perform works related to law. Artificial Intelligence has been predominantly used for legal research and legal analytics. Intelligent automation allows layers to prepare a legal document in a short period with high accuracy. Artificial Intelligence has proven to help efficiently protect IPs and review contracts. Furthermore, it has made the completion of tedious transcribing and translation work speedy and precise. Therefore, needless to say, the legal profession has undergone a huge revolution in the development of Artificial Intelligence. The market for such software and technology is vast and growing. Developers are trying to accommodate new features to assist lawyers and omit repetitive and tedious paperwork from their schedules. It has made law firms self-reliable as a separate team of linguistic experts or paralegals are less needed. The pros of this changing legal landscape have overshadowed the cons however the prospect of its advancement and progression is never-ending.







[4] (Page 106)

[5] (Page 1262)

[6] European Parliament, Committee on Legal Affairs. Report with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics (2015/2103(INL)) 16.


[8] Political Frontier of Jurisprudence: John Chipman Gray on the State Neil MacCormick






















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