29 Nov 2018 Verbit Editorial
5min read

7 AI trends that are redefining the legal industry

AI technology is defining the new normal in all facets of life. Finding examples of this phenomenon is certainly not a stretch. Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa are relied on by millions to perform simple tasks. Ride-sharing giant Uber leverages AI tech to predict fares, ETAs, and optimal pick-up locations. Facebook seems to know what you’re thinking even before you do and manages to serve up an ad that is perfectly suited to your interests.

While the legal sector is, traditionally, a conservative one, many organizations are recognizing the benefits of AI and adapting by incorporating the latest technologies into their day-to-day operations.

Here are the top 7 AI trends that wield tremendous power to revolutionize the legal industry

1. Document and Contract Review

Although many lawyers continue to cling to the belief that no one (or thing) is more adept at identifying relevance than a trained lawyer, many studies dispute that claim. The result of significant research and practice reveals that algorithms are, in fact, much more accurate in this regard than humans.

They’re also significantly faster. AI-assisted review programs possess the capability to examine large sets of files and, based on a particular set of criteria and parameters, identify and prioritize the most important ones for a case. All of this occurs in mere seconds, in comparison to the hours it would take even the most experienced of legal personnel to complete this same task.

2. eDiscovery

Through predictive coding capabilities, legal professionals can teach software to analyze human feedback, learn what information is relevant to a case, and then locate that kind of data. Machine learning processes reduce the time spent sifting through off-topic information. This means fewer hours are spent working to collect information, freeing up valuable time to focus on more strategic tasks.

3. Legal Transcription

The legal sector heavily relies on audio and video files, as all processes are typically recorded for use in cases. All of these files must be transcribed or captioned to maintain accurate records.

AI-driven legal transcription drastically speeds up this notoriously slow process, giving legal professionals faster access to precise information so that cases can be solved quicker while boosting transcription accuracy to meet the sky-high industry standards in law.  

4. Due Diligence and Research

Lawyers must conduct highly comprehensive investigations for meaningful results. As such, mistakes and inaccuracies can sometimes occur.

AI-enabled software is capable of performing more accurate due diligence review by searching, highlighting, and extracting relevant content for analysis, almost instantaneously. Machine learning technology can be pre-trained to recognize concepts and comb through hundreds of documents in mere seconds. The technology minimizes costs, reduces the risk of error and, most importantly, speeds up the process.

5. Legal Analytics

AI-enhanced programs can amalgamate tons of data to allow for meaningful predictions. The data can then be analyzed in order to make predictions about the outcomes of legal proceedings and more successfully than humans.

Leveraging analytics to accomplish legal objectives creates strategic advantages for law firms. Going forward, the lawyer who knows how to find the correct answers quickly and with certainty will win out over the lawyer who doesn’t.

6. Legal Chatbots

Chatbots are gaining steam in the legal profession as a new way to answer basic client questions and free up lawyers to deal with more complex matters. They represent yet another channel of communication for law firms to interact with both existing and potential clients.

Through intricate AI-based technology, bots are able to process text input and interact with users to answer questions from people wanting to learn more about a certain subject. Aside from assisting staff with optimizing their processes, bots also benefit legal customers by being available 24/7 to provide assistance on demand.

7. Cybersecurity

While AI is more often used for good, it also has the potential to be appropriated for more sinister purposes by amplifying hackers’ arsenals to create more sophisticated attacks and easily bypass basic protection methods. Legal organizations are beefing up their cybersecurity to respond to digital threats and secure their networks and confidential information.

AI tools unlock extensive possibilities, namely the ability to detect patterns and anomalies in real time. Leveraging machine learning algorithms to monitor and efficiently respond to potential network threats represents a major upgrade over more commonplace security solutions.   

AI technology is at its best when it is accomplishing narrowly-defined tasks and completing time-consuming, repetitive work. It offers the opportunity to revolutionize a number of legal processes while saving time and money.

But, while machines can process, store and recall information much faster than people, professionals still need to apply critical thinking to that information. Therefore, by leaving the mundane or tedious tasks to the machines, AI has immense potential to allow law professionals to take on a more strategic role.

With this massive technology movement steadily growing, experts are predicting even more innovations in the very near future. All of this boils down to one key conclusion: legal AI is here to stay.