Artificial Intelligence – The Next Wave of Legal Technology

The amount of information an attorney must deal with today is staggering. Anything that can help you search, understand, and create that information can be a huge advantage, saving you and your firm time and energy that can be better utilized elsewhere.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly spreading across the nation and the world. Numerous industries have already embraced AI, however law firms, traditionally wary of new technology, have been a bit more hesitant to incorporate AI into their daily workflow. That is beginning to change, as AI platforms become more accepted and apps are being developed specifically to be utilized in law firms. 

Before we discuss some of the AI applications, we must first understand what AI is.

What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think, learn, and perform tasks like humans. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving. If you have used Google search, you have used AI. These tools are particularly effective in a legal setting where documents are at the core of legal practice. They can help draft and review documents, perform legal research, create and review discovery, and much more.

A Cautionary Note
AI can be extraordinarily helpful in the practice of law; however, it will not replace the need for an individual to review and confirm the AI’s output. A number of attorneys have been sanctioned for using AI without confirming the accuracy of the information. This is especially true for legal research. Several states have enacted regulations/practical guidance for use of AI for law firms.

An article by LexisNexis warns that proper oversight is essential to the use of AI tools for legal purposes. They say, “Work product and conclusions reached by AI cannot replace human judgment, and must be reviewed by lawyers for completeness and accuracy.”

Here are some of the areas in which AI apps and systems are most useful:

Assistance Settling Cases
EvenUp is an intelligent software system to assist in the preparation of personal injury demand letters and medical chronology. Powered by access to millions of records, EvenUp’s AI-driven demand packages and medical summaries, robust estimates for each element of loss, and impactful storytelling for loss of enjoyment and duties under duress, can save time and even achieve larger case settlements. When integrated with a case management system, it can pull information already entered into a case.

Legal Research
Both Westlaw and LexisNexis have incorporated AI into their legal research platforms. One of the significant advantages is the ability to use plain-language to create your searches.

Numerous third party platforms, such as Lex Machina, a legal analytics company owned by LexisNexis, can assist with legal research as well.

Document Preparation and Review
Preparing and reviewing documents is a critical part of the practice of law. Numerous apps can assist with those complicated and difficult tasks.

CoCounsel, from casetext (part of Thompson Reuters) can create and review documents for you. “CoCounsel gives litigators a competitive edge by helping with everything from research and memo drafting to document review and deposition prep.”

And, of course, there is ChatGBT, which is one of the best-known AI systems and is revolutionizing the use of AI around the world. While not specifically geared to the legal market, it can be extremely helpful for drafting and reviewing documents. According to an article published on Rankings, “Since it is a natural language text generator, ChatGPT excels at creating long-form documents. What’s more, it’s great at developing documents that follow a highly-structured format. This means that ChatGPT has the potential to streamline your process of drafting formal legal documents.”

Marketing & Branding
Jasper helps generate high quality marketing content and campaigns while keeping your brand voice consistent across channels. This includes Generative AI for text, images, and logos.

Munch turns long-form video content into short-form content of various formats for distribution across social media. They do this by extracting the most engaging, contextual nuggets from your long-form content and presents you with coherent, shareable clips.

We have only scratched the surface of applications that utilize AI in a law firm setting. At their best, they will integrate with other software you may already be using. At the very least, when used properly, they can make your firm more efficient by taking over some of the more mundane parts of the practice, thus freeing up time that you and your staff can spend on what you do best – practicing law.