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  • Kaushik Karmakar

Transformation of the Legal Industry and Law Firms with the application of AI and Machine Learning


In any profession that we come across, whenever there is a case of adoption and application of new and modern technology, there is skepticism and doubts that arise in the minds of people who are embedded into the existing system. The questions that surface, obviously relate to their own existence and the stake of their jobs and the current skill set that they possess. The same does apply for the legal industry too, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning thus sounds Greek and are profoundly resistance oriented, by even bigger law firms in question across the world. However application of artificial intelligence and machine learning have actually proved to be a boon for the firms who have accepted it with optimism, rather it has boosted the capabilities of legal professionals and even have supplemented their work protocols into a systematized, swifter and accurate resolution orientation for the services to the clients.


Now, taken all that into consideration, questions are expected to be asked regarding, what exactly is artificial intelligence?

The simplest answer to that is, artificial intelligence mimics certain operations of the human mind and is the term used when machines are able to complete tasks that typically require human intelligence. The term machine learning is when computers use rules (algorithms) to analyze data and learn patterns and derive insights from the data. Artificial intelligence is a large factor shifting the way legal work is done.




Reviewing documents and performing legal research becomes easier. How?

AI-powered software improves the efficiency of document analysis for legal use and machines can review documents and flag them as relevant to a particular case. Once a certain type of document is denoted as relevant, machine learning algorithms can get to work to find other documents that are similarly relevant. Machines are much faster at sorting through documents than humans and can produce output and results that can be statistically validated. They can help reduce the load on the human workforce by forwarding on only documents that are questionable rather than requiring humans to review all documents. It’s important that legal research is done in a timely and comprehensive manner, even though it’s monotonous.


It helps the support professionals take their focus to more important aspects

In law offices around the world, legal support professionals are kept busy conducting due diligence to uncover background information on behalf of their clients. This works includes confirming facts and figures and thoroughly evaluating the decisions on prior cases to effectively provide counsel to their clients. Artificial intelligence tools can help these legal support professionals to conduct their due diligence more efficiently and with more accuracy since this work is often tedious for humans.

Review management of existing contracts and identification of legal risks

A big portion of work law firms do on behalf of clients is to review contracts to identify risks and issues with how contracts are written that could have negative impacts for their clients. They redline items, edit contracts and counsel clients if they should sign or not, or help them negotiate better terms. AI can help analyze contracts in bulk as well as individual contracts. There are several software companies who created AI tools specifically for contract review such as Kira Systems, LawGeex and eBrevia that help sort contracts quicker and with fewer errors than humans.

AI has the potential in the process to predict legal outcomes

AI has the capability of analyzing data to help it make predictions about the outcomes of legal proceedings better than humans. Clients are often asking their legal counsel to predict the future with questions such as “If we go to trial, how likely will it be that I win?” or “Should I settle?” With the use of AI that has access to years of trial data, lawyers are able to better answer such questions.


Settling of divorce cases

A typical divorce settlement can take a year or more and can cost $27,000 on average in the United States. With a goal of “making every divorce amicable,” Wevorce provides couples a self-guided online divorce solution for a fraction of the cost. Couples can define their “optimal outcomes” and the AI-powered machine walks them through five modules and all the critical decisions that need to be made for their particular circumstances. There are also legal experts available to step in to provide guidance when needed.


AI in the innovations in the healthcare sector

In the healthcare sector too, AI has been able to make a profound impact already. With the race of countries across the globe to discover the anti Covid 19 drug, so far the application of AI has been exceptionally mind boggling. In the article with the heading ARE YOU AND AI THE FUTURE? https://www.temasekreview.com.sg/our-stories/exploring-the-promise-of-ai, the article states that the taking into account the conventional method of research for a drug generally takes a minimum of 8 long and laborious years before researchers are able to discover the a chemical compound that is promising enough to begin clinical trials, after which they can hope to establish the drug and announce its efficacy. This is simply because out of 10,000 compounds which are tested, only 10 to 20 make it into pre clinical research and trials. So analyzing all this data using AI could actually speed up the process of research.


Similarly any domain or industry which uses vast volumes of data, identifying the same data which is applicable, analyzing them and using them makes our lives much easier, smoother and faster.


So, will adoption of AI spell doomsday for the legal profession?

According to Deloitte, 100,000 legal roles will be automated by 2036. They report that by 2020 law firms will be faced with a “tipping point” for a new talent strategy. Now is the time for all law firms to commit to becoming AI-ready by embracing a growth mindset, set aside the fear of failure and begin to develop internal AI practices. There are many who believe innovation is the key to transforming the legal profession. That’s precisely what NextLaw Labs, “the first legal technology venture created by a law firm,” plans to do.

It’s clear that AI and machine learning are already transforming law firms and the legal sector.


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