Despite what we see on TV, the legal industry has always been rather slow at adopting new technology. Even now, most of a lawyer’s research is done the old fashioned way and requires a small army of assistants and paralegals. However, recent advancements in artificial intelligence are set to change that permanently.
Currently, when searching through legal records, you’re limited to querying specific events or types of crime. Finding information that is relevant to the case at hand requires a human being read through the various documents to draw conclusions. New AI with deep learning abilities will be able to search through records by context and offer relevant information without the need for a human assistant.
For more on that and other ways AI will be making an impact in the legal industry, we asked a group of industry experts…
What’s The Future Of Artificial Intelligence and Law?
Here’s what they had to say…
Charley Moore, CEO & Founder of Rocket Lawyer
“People want to consume legal services in the same way they conduct online banking or use Snapchat. Consumers are already driving this change and they will increasingly look to access legal services in the easiest way possible. Online services like Rocket Lawyer and artificial intelligence will not take away jobs from lawyers, but rather, they will help increase the market for legal services. For instance, the majority of users who are on the Rocket Lawyer platform have never hired an attorney before and because of that, they have an affordable and simple way to connect with legal help.”
Adelyn Zhou , CMO of TOPBOTS
“Most of the paralegal and research work will be performed by artificial intelligence powered technologies. A lawyer will no longer need to sift manually through thousands of documents and previous rulings. A computer will also advise the lawyer on how to present and negotiate the case to maximize results. All this saves lawyers time to focus on the client and issue at hand. However, the automation of so much legal work may also usher in more frivolous lawsuits as the barrier to filing a suit will decrease.”
Rishi Khanna, CEO of ISHIR
“The legal industry has been untouched till now. Untouched by technology and it has had a low impact on this industry, it seems as if in spite of all the technology advances, it has remained unfazed. Experts believe that Artificial Intelligence or AI, however, is expected to have deep lasting on this industry. AI, compared to other technologies, is expected to address the key challenges of the legal industry and make the life of lawyers much easier. For example, lawyers need to invest a lot of time in perusal of documents such as diligence, research, investigations and compliance related works. If lawyers were to use AI for this job using predictive coding in electronic disclosure, the speed and accuracy of the outcome can be much higher.
There is yet another exciting use of AI in the legal industry. Lawyers can predict the case results with the help of automatic analysis of case records in the past with the use of data mining and predictive analytic techniques. AI can analyze large amount of legal documents, cases and legislations and act as a legal (web) advisor in the future. For a direction, this can be a really useful tool for clients seeking quick legal advice.”
Sally Kane, Lawyer & Legal Content Director for PaperStreet
“In the future, artificial intelligence will help enhance the work of the lawyer but will not replace high-level analytical and problem-solving tasks altogether. In 10 years, AI will perform many of the tedious, repeatable tasks that legal professionals perform today, such as contract review, document review, legal research and analyzing growing volumes of data in e-discovery. Low level roles such as data entry, litigation support, and document review will be eliminated or restructured to integrate AI capabilities. High-level roles, such as partners and judges, will not disappear but will be augmented by AI. Eventually, AI will become an integral part of all aspects of law practice, including recruiting, calendaring, case management, time tracking, and billing.”
Marc Lamber, Attorney at Fennemore Craig
“Nothing is certain, except for constant change. If I was a soothsayer, I’d say that technology will continue to play a more and more significant and widespread role in our practice. Technology’s rapidly-changing tentacles will continue to permeate all aspects of the law.
I can envision a day when law firms will employ holographic workstations, allowing attorneys to view, process and analyze vast amounts of data in 3D and 2D environments. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the amazing potential to interact, and suddenly, the computer becomes your legal partner, allowing for real-time strategization, debate and negotiation.
We’ve already employed tools like Google Glass, iPads and wearables, increasing our interactions with our clients and juries and decision makers. In the future, perhaps technology plays a greater role in civil resolutions, and in mediums like Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) technology has the potential to make the process more efficient and more fulfilling for everyone involved.
Who knows? Stay tuned, as it’s a very exciting time to be practicing law.”
Aaron Vick, CSO at Cicayda
“Today, legal technology exists in silos based on function (i.e. researching case law, finding responsive documents, drafting pleadings, etc). The epitome of useful, technical, and advanced software is the simplification of analysis and research within the UX while harnessing all the technological marvels behind the scenes. This sweet spot is where AI will excel.
The logical next step is collaboration as the technology evolves and becomes experts within a particular function.
I envision AIs collaborating across data silos, both public and private, constructing various case strategies based on game theory, relevant case law data, and concepts uncovered within the discovery material.”
Scott Parker, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sinequa
“’Software is eating the world’, wrote Marc Andreessen in a 2001 essay for the Wall Street Journal, referring to technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. The legal industry is not immune to these forces, and within 10-15 years practicing attorneys will spend their time working primarily in the upper branches of the legal task tree. Other legal services will be performed by non-lawyers and by technology. The way these expert attorneys find and collaborate with each other will be completely transformed by then as well. The trend has already begun, enabled by machine-learning technology like Sinequa’s Cognitive Search & Analytics platform. Used today by progressive law firms, the technology canvasses and makes sense of millions of records and documents including attorney biographies, subject matter summaries, billable hours, and more to suggest collaborators with relevant expertise based on current matters and other legal accomplishments.”
Alex Solo , Co-founder of Sprintlaw
“There’s a lot of hype around AI applications in legal services, particularly in light of the launch of ROSS and wave of new companies touting software that will ‘replace the lawyer’. The reality is that tech is still a long way off from replicating the people skills, social awareness and intuition required to make a good lawyer.
Rather, the AI we’ll see in the next 10-15 years is enabling software that helps lawyers, by making their job more efficient and automating repetitive, computable tasks – for example, through predictive electronic discovery, intelligent legal research and automated document preparation.
Accordingly, we think the role of the lawyer will begin changing from the traditional ‘expert at law’ to the tech operator, and law firms will begin to look more and more like tech companies. Law students would be smart to look beyond their university education and become tech literate, as their encyclopaedic knowledge of cases may be less important than their ability to analyse data and operate legal software.”