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Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking off, and it's one of the most promising advances in the law. High-profile cases prove that AI can be as useful as a human lawyer, such as when software predicted a woman would commit suicide or when AI was used to monitor the text messages of criminals on Facebook. The rise in the use of artificial intelligence is driving interest in automation tools and services for legal services outsourcing.
Artificial intelligence can be applied to many facets of legal services outsourcing including document automation such as word processing or tabular data entry from spreadsheets, call centre manager assistance including introducing artificial agents on the phone, e-Discovery support by automatically retrieving relevant documents from email archives and databases.
The Challenges of Implementing AI in Legal Processes
The legal industry has been slow to adopt technological advancements, despite the benefits of AI. A deeper investigation is required about the challenges that come with implementing AI for legal services outsourcing, which are as follows:
- Cybersecurity must be addressed with robust systems and secure tech, which most law firms lack at present.
- Artificial Intelligence requires a specialized approach. A feedback loop is constructed to continuously update existing systems so that AI capabilities are at their best.
- It is difficult for law firms to hire resources with expertise in both artificial intelligence and legal services.
- In the early stages of legal AI, vendors of legal AI technologies may find it difficult to provide numerous case studies to potential clients.
- AI systems need to be updated on the daily changes in the legal regulations to avoid making incorrect predictions.
Legal industry trends indicate that over 80% of senior lawyers consider AI and machine learning (ML) crucial to their success.
Artificial Intelligence Advantages
Fast decision making
Legal professionals deal with ambiguous situations on a daily basis - how does one interpret legislation or case precedent? How should one advise their client? It takes hours, even days for lawyers to research, investigate and make recommendations.
AI can be trained to seek out and analyze this information, digesting the data in seconds or minutes so that lawyers have a clear recommendation and a supporting decision-making process. In fact, new technologies are already available to help law firms automate their analysis - these tools use neural networks (a computer system designed to work like the human brain) to draw on vast pools of expert behaviour. AI can also take into account a client's specific circumstances when making decisions - so it can provide more bespoke advice for every case compared with traditional methods of legal reasoning. The upshot? Legal professionals will be able to focus on higher-value tasks, while AI automates some of the menial work for legal services outsourcing.
Dissecting a Case
AI can sift through thousands of documents and crunch seemingly endless data to identify patterns, trends, and commonalities in a client's legal situation. Just as Google search algorithms pull up relevant web pages, AI programs provide better outcomes for lawyers by pulling out important court decisions or articles that are linked to an original dispute in some way. This ability to plow through reams of information regarding legal services outsourcing almost instantly is hugely valuable - it helps clients find their footing when they're unsure how the law applies specifically to them. It also saves time so lawyers have more time with each client, giving counsel a chance to explain their recommendation in detail. Plus, law firms save money on expensive researchers who previously spent hours searching deep into archives for the same information.
Taking on Legal Research
AI means that lawyers can expand their focus to higher-value tasks - such as negotiating and drafting contracts - rather than concentrating solely on legal research. The process of searching for precedents or similar cases can take hours - a lawyer might look at dozens or even hundreds of cases but still have no idea which one is relevant to their needs. AI systems help lawyers narrow down those results so they discover the most appropriate case law quickly and easily, saving time and money in the long run. It's also sped up the decision-making process so lawyers don't waste hours on something they know nothing about, nor do they spend days researching obscure points that don't affect their clients directly. And if an AI program like IBM's Case Explorer is used to automatically collate and interpret all the relevant information instead of a human, there are none of the biases or preconceived notions that can cloud judgment. Instead, it draws on pure legal services outsourcing data to make decisions.
Putting Knowledge at their Fingertips
AI also puts more expert legal services outsourcing information at lawyers' fingertips. Not only does this give them a better understanding of client needs and market trends, but clients have access to reliable information they might not otherwise have found on the internet - especially when it comes to complicated areas like medical malpractice law. Some technology companies are even developing dedicated AI systems for specific industries so lawyers working in certain fields (like employment law) don't need to pay thousands for additional training courses - AI can be used to teach them everything they need to know. And because it's always available and constantly improving, there's no need for expensive refresher courses or additional education. It saves time and money - the perfect solution for cash-strapped law firms.
Helping Clients Prepare
AI programs have other beneficial uses too. For example, they can help pop stars (or anyone with a complex contract) get ready for contract negotiation by providing information on previous deals within the same field and highlighting any red flags before negotiations begin. In other words, it gives them an edge over their competition by helping them come prepared to a meeting where millions of dollars are at stake. It also provides guidance on commercial considerations that affect business contracts - like understanding the precise terms of an agreement or getting a clearer picture of what happens when it's breached. Even Hollywood lawyers are using AI to prepare for legal services outsourcing, by predicting how parties will behave in a trial and helping to draft their case strategy based on that data.
Creating New Solutions
AI can't replace all hard-working lawyers just yet, but it does create new opportunities for attorneys who want to make a difference within their profession. For example, technology companies have created programs like IBM's Project Debater which is designed to argue both sides of a debate - so instead of one camp arguing from an emotional standpoint while the other presents logical arguments (which isn't always effective), both camps use cold logic and compelling reasoning to win over people who are unsure about their opinions. The system is completely autonomous - it doesn't require human intervention, so it's free from bias and inaccuracy. And in the long run, these programs will improve decision-making skills for humans while transporting some legal jobs to machines.
Artificial Intelligence in Legal Services
In addition to transparent e-billing, reducing human error, and reducing paper costs, AI is proving useful in many areas of law. By implementing AI in the legal services outsourcing area, the following processes can be implemented:
- Document review with eDiscovery sorts relevant topics, terms, and other criteria, saving up to 70% time and preventing errors in NDAs, wills, trusts, and other legal documents.
- The contract review and lifecycle management process organize, tracks, and negotiates contracts efficiently. Data-driven insights into contracts help attorneys develop new strategies, draw conclusions, and devise future strategies. This can improve sales, procurement, compliance, and finances.
In legal research, AI extracts information from court cases, laws, and regulations, as well as legal opinions.
- Analysis of similar cases helps in litigation prediction, achieves fast-track settlement negotiations, and avoids risky cases.
- Management of Intellectual Property (IP): AI can be used to manage the disclosure of inventions, docketing, filing applications, valuing IP portfolios, and budgeting.
- AI can perform document searches and extract key information using data analytics and due diligence.
- Keeping up with GDPR, CCPA, and other data protection laws calls for compliance and risk management.