From research to contracts, AI is changing the legal services industry
There are many reasons a person chooses to become a lawyer or work in the legal industry, but hours of paperwork every week isn’t one of them. Often legal professionals spend a lot of time trying to find and properly classify information in their complex and siloed filing systems.
To complete the many tasks they are responsible for, paralegals, attorneys, and compliance and contract specialists need the ability to quickly identify relevant information in an overabundance of big data.
That’s where AI comes in. Natural language processing (NLP) is an AI technique that can help legal professionals quickly surface insights across millions of unstructured data sources, like printed books, legal websites, commercial databases and historical case files. By augmenting manual processes with AI, paralegals and attorneys can focus on more rewarding, higher-level tasks like working with clients.
Let’s explore a few of the major responsibilities of legal professionals and the top AI use cases in the legal field.
Legal research and drafting
While making legal decisions, attorneys and their teams spend time sorting through documents and running database searches to locate and review relevant statutes, laws and precedents. Not only is this a time-consuming and detail-oriented process, but if the correct keywords aren’t used, important resources may not even surface. Legal teams can use AI search tools like NLP to pull up information quickly, identify emerging trends and reveal hidden connections that help perform billable work faster.
Paralegals and attorneys can also use AI to help ensure all relevant facts, laws and statutes are included in legal documentation and follow the tedious standard formatting rules. AI solution provider LegalMation created a domain-specific model focused on legal terminology and concepts. The LegalMation platform helps legal teams craft early-phase response documentation in under two minutes.
Contract lifecycle management
Legal organizations create, update and store a large volume of contracts throughout their entire lifecycle. From initial drafting and negotiations to compliance management, maintaining these hundreds and sometimes millions of contracts — often stored across multiple repositories — represents a huge investment.
To ease the workload of contract review, legal professionals can use AI to help quickly identify and surface contracts in need of renewal before they expire. Teams can also use AI to help minimize the negotiation time frame by suggesting standard updates and renewal opportunities during protracted negotiations.
Legal technology firm ContractPodAi offers an end-to-end contract management solution that can analyze inventories of over 400,000 contracts. Designed to help counsel easily and cost-effectively manage any contract throughout its lifecycle, ContractPodAi clients report over 50% reductions in contract renewal time.
Law firms are experimenting with digital subscription services, which provide fast, affordable online legal services that can help reduce operational costs and empower teams to serve additional smaller clients without sacrificing quality. Teams can use AI-assisted customer service to offer clients a faster way to get common questions answered automatically. For example, teams can deploy AI-powered chatbots equipped with search capabilities that can surface relevant data, present it to customers and perform other tedious tasks, enabling legal teams to focus on higher-level work.
Affordable legal services provider QNC GmbH built its “digital law firm” subscription service Prime Legal to provide fast, affordable, flat-rate online legal services to small businesses in Germany. Lawyers can now match client questions against the Prime Legal database of 180,000 previously answered questions and typically respond to client inquiries in less than an hour.
Legal organizations are exploring AI to help automate time-consuming and labor-intensive workflows across the legal industry. By empowering employees with quick access to high-quality information, firms using AI gain cost-reducing efficiencies and higher customer and employee satisfaction levels.