Robot Lawyers: AI in the Field of Law
By Aditi Bhat
Most industries are striving to implement Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to improve their functionalities. However, the legal sector has been slow to catch up with it. However, today many law firms have adopted AI to save costs and ensure that lawyers focus more on tasks that add value. The days of hiring paralegals to scan documents or sort out tickets are reducing with law firms quickly implementing Artificial Intelligence systems to automate some of these menial jobs.
Artificial Intelligence in Law
Law is more or less a framework of rules, which sometimes demands the assistance of computer programming. So in many ways the AI applications perfectly suit the legal industry.
Initially, AI looked for keywords in megabytes of data, but it has come a long way since then. Through Predictive Coding and new learning abilities, AI can quickly sift through records by context and offer important information. Artificial Intelligence primarily deals with enabling lawyers to focus on creating legal content (for eg. planning a legal argument) rather than manually completing routine work like drafting a document.
The current application of AI in legal work includes preparing contracts, conducting litigation analysis, legal operation analysis, due diligence, and legal research along with several other possibilities.
Apart from the ability of AI to handle mundane work at a faster pace, law firms have gone one step ahead to take full advantage of Artificial Intelligence. Here are two ways how:-
Law firms have started using Chatbots to increase user engagement by steering potential clients to useful information about the firm. The Chatbot’s simple to use chat interface can learn about the requirements of potential clients, offer basic legal advice or answer initial queries. Through the bot’s conversation history, lawyers are already aware of the background of the client.
Law firms need to include robust Natural Language Processing (NLP) for potential clients who are unfamiliar with correct terminology. Chatbots have become increasingly popular to upsurge business for law firms.
For instance, DoNotPay is an application developed by a Stanford student. The application features a Chatbot to help people fight wrongful parking charges and to aid refugees seeking shelter. This application is a hit among the general public and legal professionals. Such AI features are gaining popularity by the day due to their ease of access and comprehension.
2. Machine Learning
Law firms with Big Data are resorting to Machine Learning to review data as quickly and effectively as possible without spending much time on initial training. This prevents firms from spending heavily on research.
Machine learning can ensure impartiality if Judges make all their final decisions in writing. For instance, in the US, law firms that adopt Machine Learning quickly scan tons of data to detect any wrong judgment. The increasingly popular practice of storing cases digitally has made it easier to integrate Machine Learning into the field of law. Technology Assisted Review (TAR) is becoming a second nature to progressive law firms.
The future of AI in Law
Artificial Intelligence is changing the dynamics of the legal department for thousands of companies across the globe by ensuring cost-effective and efficient lawyering. In the wake of ROSS, the world’s first AI lawyer hired by a US firm, there are theories stating lawyers will be replaced by robots in the years to come. This fear is commonplace when it comes to implementing AI. It is necessary to understand that any form of Artificial Intelligence used is only to enhance productivity and not to take over the human race.
While AI continues to be super-efficient with legal research and reasoning, it cannot replicate the intuitive human touch that lawyers possess. Law firms that continue to use AI will bring greater savings than ever before and those that fail to embrace AI could be left behind.
What are some of the most fascinating uses of AI in the field of law that you’ve come across? Tell us in the comments section!