Recently considered outside the realm of possibility, artificial intelligence (AI) has become more commonplace in modern businesses. As technology evolves, applications and tools with these capabilities will continue to transform various industries, including the legal profession.
Although it may sound like science-fiction, many people are currently using AI and are not even aware of doing so. Artificial intelligence is any technology that enables a device to adapt and learn to perform similarly to how a human would. Examples include Allegra and Siri. To summarize, it collects information and uses algorithms and trends to solve problems quickly and accurately. The field of law is now integrating this technology into their everyday use.
How Is AI Being Used in the Legal Field?
There are several ways that it is already being used in the legal profession to supplement what attorneys and support staff-members do. For example, AI is able to help analyze contracts in bulk and individually, as well. A few of the popular software companies that offer AI for this purpose include the following:
This allows partners to use their time and efforts on more advanced activities that require their specialized knowledge. Examples would be negotiating deals, advising clients, and arguing a case in court.
Three aspects that AI is expertly handling in the legal profession are descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.
What Is Descriptive Analytics?
Descriptive analytics (DSA) uses technology to mine large amounts of legal data, identify legal trends, and analyze behaviors that it then turns into workable insights. Advanced data visualization (an aspect of DSA) helps people identify insights, patterns, and trends that would be difficult to find with human-conducted text review alone. It turns complicated data into easy to understand charts and graphs. Additionally, it highlights factual information to cultivate strategies, assess possible case outcomes, and estimate case values and litigation costs.
What Is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics (PA) uses data to provide insights into potential futures. There are several ways this can be beneficial. It allows law firms to gain a deeper understanding of how judges and juries might behave. By examining the profiles of judges, as well as their previous behavior in court, it is possible to predict how they might rule in specific cases. For example, the legal-tech startup, Judge Analytics, developed a platform that provides information on every judge in the U.S. This allows attorneys to develop the best strategies for their clients.
Additionally, clients often ask their counsel to predict the future. They ask questions like “Should I settle?” or “If we go to trial, will I win?”. With access to years of trial data and this type of AI, lawyers are better able to answer these types of questions.
What Is Prescriptive Analytics?
Prescriptive analytics (PSA) continually tracks outcomes of real-life decisions and incorporates them to sharpen its recommendations and offer actual advice. Intuitive interfaces and pervasive data collection is required to lower barriers to these powerful methods. Since they require ongoing access to evolving data to build and refine the results, they are constantly updating. As machine learning, natural language processing, and analytics technologies evolve, the dependence of law firms will continue to grow.
How Might AI Be Used in Law Offices of the Future?
As the future unfolds, the law school and overall lawyer training approach and curriculum will need to be changed. Legal education will become more all-inclusive. It will begin to emulate a business school education. Case studies, and active networking, and leadership training will likely be included. Although some schools have already included technology in their legal curriculum, a greater number of law students should become tech literate. Eventually—and ultimately—their ability to utilize legal software to analyze information may be just as important as their knowledge and understanding of the law.
In fact, it is anticipated that 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036. According to Legal Technology, law firms will reach a “tipping point” by 2020. It is now time for them to commit to becoming AI-ready. They should set aside the fear of the unknown and start developing an understanding of and capability for using technology. It is likely that innovation is the key to maintaining the legal profession’s relevance in this time of transformation.
With its ability to automate monotonous and time-consuming work like contract or document review and research, AI can easily improve an office’s accuracy and efficiency. It can follow trends and make predictions over immense amounts of information that would be difficult for mortal minds to manage. Although it will not replace attorneys, finding the right combination of analytic tools will vastly alter the way they perform and deliver their services. Taking advantage of the technology available provides a competitive edge over more traditional firms. Choosing to do so may be the most important decision the leaders of legal departments will make in the near future.