Data has the potential to transform and disrupt all areas of the enterprise, and whenever a professional sector faces a new wave of technological change, there will always be questions regarding how that technology will disrupt the flow, and the careers of those who choose that profession.
The legal profession is no exception — in fact, our prediction is that it is one of the sectors with the biggest opportunities, and the biggest inherent risk.
Ai has alreasdy been augmenting the legal profession for many years already, freeing up humans to take on higher-level tasks such as advising clients, negotiating deals and appearing in court.
However, as the technology starts to mature, the future changes will also throw up a raft of ethical concerns too because Ai and Machine Learning are unlike other technologies. Because the algorithms utilised in Ai-based products learn from access and exposure to historical and ongoing data and can make independent decisions to determine a particular output, the implications for law might be huge.
Management of the risks associated with the use and deployment of Ai in law will demand a new mindset — one of the passengers, rather than driver.
We’ve been advising law-firms on the best ways to approach automation in the legal profession using our bot-based research methodology, and mapping method and showing firms the opportunities inherent in the approaches they already take. No one firm is the same, and so looking for the problems to fix, rather than the technology to implement creates instant value.
We’ve spent time researching the legal landscape identifying the areas where Ai is ideally positioned to augment professionals and generate tremendous efficiencies.
The biggest win in law sits in support with documentation. AI systems that leverage natural language processing to help analyse documents are much faster at sorting through large volumes of files than humans and can produce output and results that can be statistically validated. Document analysis, for example, is ripe for disruption. Machines that can read, review and flag documents as relevant to a particular case, and then if a specific type of material is deemed to be relevant, hand off to a second set of algorithms, which can get to work to find other records that are similarly relevant, are in our view, the next wave of tools.
Think about it, this alone will reduce the load on the human workforce by many hundreds of hours, simply by forwarding on only documents that are relevant rather than requiring humans to review all documents.
Support professionals in the law sector are often kept busy conducting long due diligence processes to uncover background information on behalf of clients. This works includes confirming facts and evaluating any decisions from prior cases to effectively provide counsel to clients.
A new breed of Ai powered tools will start to help these legal support professionals conduct due diligence efficiently and with more accuracy since this work is often repeititive and fact led.
A large portion of work law professionals do is the review of how contracts are worded to identify risks and issues that could have negative impacts. Lawyers redline items, edit details and counsel clients if they should sign or not or help them negotiate better terms. It’s now entirely plausible for pieces of Ai to do that bulk contract analysis contracts as well as help to write individual contracts.
Ai has the capability of analysing 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 can better answer such questions.
But with predictive technologies comes a host of ethical considerations, which is also why we work with firms to formulate and create their ethics frameworks. Do you have yours yet?
It’s clear that Ai and machine learning are already transforming law firms and the legal sector, are question is; “Are you ready for it?” and “Do you have visibility of which parts of your organisation are ready for automation?”
Overall, we’re excited about automated due-diligence and other Ai applications within the legal space. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you to map out your journey, get in touch. We have a series of easy to engage with strategic products aimed directly at the law, and legal support professions.
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