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Law Technology Today

2024

The Time is Now to Incorporate AI into Your Legal Services Functions

Monica Zent

Summary 

  • Lawyers use AI to research and analyze simple legal disputes or to review and draft documents and courtroom speeches, as well as offer insights into legal arguments.
  • By incorporating AI into legal operations functions, you can streamline research and organization tasks that previously drained a lot of time. 
  • The use of AI represents a major shift in thinking for the legal industry. 
The Time is Now to Incorporate AI into Your Legal Services Functions
iStock.com/Adene Sanchez

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In 2023, ChatGPT news stirred up headlines and virtual water cooler gossip across the globe, but the truth is that generative AI was already in use by many progressive members of the legal profession and has been for a while. And now, with the increasing adoption of ChatGPT, it’s clear AI is here and not going anywhere. Lawyers use AI to research and analyze simple legal disputes or to review and draft documents and courtroom speeches, as well as offer insights into legal arguments. Many of us in the legal profession created AI-powered bots within the past five years to address basic client intake queries or routine questions. AI lends itself to a ton of legal applications, increasing efficiency for law professionals and access to resources and savings for clients. Plus, as AI is used more—through data and interactions—it becomes smarter and more intuitive. ChatGPT just takes it to the next level in terms of ease and computing power. It’s clear AI can potentially change the face of the entire legal profession. The possibilities are vast. So, does that mean generative AI can help you? The answer is most likely yes. With AI, you can:

  1. Help legal teams with limited resources
    The ability to manage workflow volumes you might not otherwise be able to tackle without increasing budgets and headcount is a huge benefit. AI can enable teams to move lawyers and legal professionals up the value chain by off-loading routine tasks. It could easily be used to cull documents, provide verification and citations, and do preliminary assessments or automated searches. The possibilities are only limited by the prompt given, the data provided, and what is legally allowed by State bar licensing bodies.
  2. Support legal ops efficiencies
    By incorporating AI into legal operations functions, you can streamline research and organization tasks that previously drained a lot of time. AI can handle routine low-value tasks like transcription or evaluating spend data against workflows to better understand where the greatest cost drain exists and how to plug that. Applications of AI to document review and analytics in litigation can reduce costs and potentially impact outcomes for the better.

  3. Advise clients faster
    Using AI to assist with data review and analysis means the ability to analyze more data and information quickly, so that you can provide better input and recommendations, improving client relations and creating a better, more engaged experience for them.

There are obvious legal ramifications to using AI and ChatGPT or other artificial intelligence tools hitting the market daily. These technologies cannot totally replace an attorney—the personal relationship, knowledge, experience, and guidance a law professional can provide to clients. However, AI can enhance, speed up and augment the work that attorney is expected to do. AI is only as good as the data sources it has access to so if the input or data sources are flawed or incomplete, outcomes could be inaccurate. Not to mention, there is always the potential for gaps in the information or missed nuances, so anything going through AI, especially complex legal questions, needs the eye of a trained lawyer or a sophisticated legal services professional who can cite check and validate sources before bringing them to a client.

If used properly, there is no doubt that AI has the ability to transform the legal industry and is already doing so. The use of AI represents a major shift in thinking for the legal industry. One that we can’t and shouldn’t ignore. If you haven’t already looked into AI, now is the time to get out there – learn more, test the limits of how AI can help your legal team, and find out what everyone is talking about. 

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