Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems’ ability to perform tasks typically done by humans through algorithms and code. These systems recognize patterns, learn from experience, and make data-based decisions. An AI system utilizes language processing methods to analyze and discover courses of action, even when it may seem impossible. What does this mean for law firms? According to the American Bar Association, Artificial Intelligence is being applied in legal settings in the following ways:
- Review of documents for discoverable or otherwise relevant information is generally referred to as technology-assisted review (TAR);
- Legal research through automated searches of a universe of case law and statutes;
- Contract and legal document analysis; and
- Proofreading, error correction, and document organization.
When applied to legal research, document review, and contract analysis tasks in the legal field, AI can sort out unimportant information or highlight critical facts that may be difficult and time-consuming. By sidestepping these repetitive actions, Artificial Intelligence can save legal professionals significant time and resources, enabling them to focus on more complex and strategic work.
Benefits of AI in the Legal Field
AI can transform the legal profession by enabling legal professionals to be more efficient, effective, and strategic. By automating repetitive tasks, legal professionals can focus more on complex and strategic work, providing more value to their clients.
By using Artificial Intelligence, legal professionals work more efficiently and reduce the time and resources required to complete tasks. This, in turn, can lead to cost savings for clients and make legal services more accessible to a broader range of potential clients.
AI has the ability to transform law practices, making decision-making more efficient, effective, and strategic. However, there are risks and challenges associated with Artificial Intelligence.
Weighing Risks vs. Rewards
The use of research tools is not new to the practice of law. For decades firms have used search engines and other legal tools to gather information for writing opinions, briefs, and arguments to the court. However, this next-level technology can significantly assist lawyers with drafting and reviewing contracts, regulatory compliance, due diligence, research, and writing briefs/reports. This is great news for law firms that want to increase efficiency, however, the results come with caution.
A current danger of AI is the possible inaccuracy of its generated responses. Because AI pulls from a vast amount of data collected over the years, the data may not be current and could be misleading or incorrect.
The best way to measure this risk is through lost opportunities. If your law firm competitors are successfully leveraging AI, they will likely be operating more efficiently and achieving more with less. This is an advantage for businesses right now, particularly in this economic climate.
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