The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Modern Legal Practice

The evolution of artificial intelligence is having a major impact on our lives and work, and the legal industry is not an exception to that. By making work procedures simpler, forecasting the outcome of cases, and of course, introducing the new possibilities for legal practice, AI technology is transforming the modern legal practice in manners that we never thought of. In this blog post, we will discuss the crucial role of artificial intelligence in the legal industry and how it alters lawyers’ work. You will discover how AI is bringing a new legal jargon that is more reliable, precise, and creative.

Credit: Pexels

Brief Overview of Artificial Intelligence

In order to comprehend the effects of AI on the law, the first thing, what AI is, should be understood. In other words, AI is the name of the computers or machines which are made to do the tasks which normally need human intelligence. These machines are made with algorithms and the ability to process huge data amounts to make decisions on their own without human intervention. The use of AI in various sectors has been on the rise as a result of the new breakthroughs in machine learning and natural language processing. The software technologies enable computers to learn from the data input, and thus they will be able to develop their performance in time.

Relevance of Artificial Intelligence in Modern Times

In the present time, the world moves so quickly, and there is so much information overflow, so, it is essential for businesses to use technology like AI to be ahead of their competitors. The legal sector too is not free of the many problems it has to encounter, for instance, the increasing workload, the ever-rising costs, and the clients who want to be met with the services that are faster and more efficient. Thus, the use of AI in the legal field will solve these issues by speeding up the work of lawyers and, as a result, making them more efficient. To illustrate, AI software can read documents quicker than humans with better accuracy and also, it can reduce the cost at the same time.

Impact on Legal Practice

Credit: Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence has already made a difference in many areas of law like the revision of contracts, e-discovery, due diligence, and the prediction of the outcome of cases, to mention a few. Hence, the lawyers can focus on the important tasks, for example, counselling clients, rather than spending hours on hand reviewing the documents. Moreover, the expansion of virtual assistants that utilize AI technology such as chatbots gives the firm the twenty-four seven help they need. Hence, the law firms can improve their service as well as the client satisfaction.

Thus, this also eliminates the need for the number of workers that are for administrative tasks. Besides, AI technology is making lawyers more productive and also helps them to save the costs, and it is also providing them the data-driven insights which are very helpful in making decisions.

History and development of AI technology in the legal sector

Credit: Shutterstock

The question of the use of AI in the legal field has been a topic of the discussion in recent years, and many are yet to decide on its impact on the present-day legal work. Although, AI is something known, the emergence of this technology in the legal field can be dated back to the 1950s. Initially, the AI was used only in the areas such as document review and data analysis. This was regarded as a significant step forward since it cut down the time and money that lawyers were spending on these tiring tasks by using automated methods for them.

Although it was in the 1970s that AI got the focus of the legal industry with the start of the expert systems. The computer programs that are the expert systems are the ones which are like human decision-making procedures using the if-then rules. These systems were first developed for the study of law and predicting the results of a case, but later, they were used for other functions like contract analysis and risk assessment. This was the first step of a huge transformation that could take place in the legal field with AI technology.

The technology upgraded, thus the AI started to learn and acquired its skills. In the 1990s, NLP was developed, thus the machines could finally interpret and scan human language. Thus, the AI systems to be able to do the simple tasks like the drafting of contracts and the conduct of the due diligence reviews were not as possible. The first decree of the 21st century was the AI’s main merit in the world of law that was the machine learning algorithms. Machine learning is a thing where a computer is able to learn from the data without being programmed that way, that is, it can get better and better at its task over time.

Thus, the result was that many law fields like litigation strategy, case outcome prediction, and even sentencing recommendations started to have a high level of predictive analytics and decision-making tools. Thus, deep learning has become a significant part of the AI growth in the law over the last years. Virtual reality is a virtualization of the human brain’s ability to capture and think about complicated systems because it models the patterns of thinking and recognizing.

Therefore, NLP has made a big leap and now AI systems can not only understand and create human language. In the modern age, the use of artificial intelligence has basically made the review and analysis of documents and contracts faster and more accurate.

Benefits of AI in Legal Practice

Credit: Pexels

AI is a major issue in various fields, and the law industry is also one of them where it is used. The main reason of this is because AI can handle the huge amount of data and do the complicated tasks in the fast and reliable way. Thus, AI is the cause of the change in the way lawyers conduct their business. Here, we will discover how AI has brought the legal practice to the most efficient, most precise and the most accessible point.

Efficiency is the main issue in the legal field, lawyers, typically, have to deal with a high number of cases all at once. The AI technology will be able to eradicate the dull jobs like the document review, contract analysis and legal research. Thus, the lawyer’s tedious tasks can be done away with and be used for the more important issues. Therefore, it not only enhances the efficiency but at the same time, it cuts down the chances of making a mistake.

The document review is one of the primary sectors where AI has been the major factor of the change. At that time, lawyers had to manually traverse through the paper mountains to find the vital information for their cases. In this way, the creation of AI-based devices like the e-discovery software, this process can now be done faster and accurately. These tools make use of the techniques of natural language processing to peruse thousands of documents within minutes and underline the major issues that can be the basis of a case.

In addition, AI has also helped to raise the standard of legal practice by eliminating the possibility of human mistakes. The legal practitioners should be alert in the case of the details of the contracts or the legal documents because of that they are the ones who make them. Nevertheless, workers are prone to make errors owing to the fact that they work for a long time and the situations are extremely stressful. The truth that lawyers can now use AI-based proofreading tools or contract management software that is operated by machine learning algorithms to detect and fix errors before it is sent to clients or courts is a way for lawyers to be confident about the accuracy of their work.

Besides, a significant merit of AI is the availability of justice to the whole law sphere. The traditional means of getting a lawyer was financially prohibitive for the people who could not pay the high fees or did not qualify for the free legal aid services. However, people can get legal information that is vital for them without paying for a lawyer’s time by using chatbots which are inspired by natural language processing algorithms or virtual assistants that can capture voice commands just like Siri or Alexa. This is the reason that justice has become more attainable for the low-income people, and it has also contributed to the solution of the problem of the legal aid services that are overloaded.

The AI has quickly and greatly advanced efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility in the domain of legal practice. Automation of the usual tasks, improvement of precision, and the provision of lawyers’ services have made a legal profession to which lawyers can now direct their time to prepare advice of quality for clients and accept complex cases confidently. Considering the ongoing development of AI, we can foresee that the legal profession will be the area that will be improved in the future.

Potential Challenges and Ethical Considerations:

Just like any other new technology, the process of introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into the legal industry comes with many ethical and moral issues which need to be addressed properly. Here, we will be talking about some issues which lawyers can have in using and other possible solutions to these problems.

The main problem that has been discussed about AI in law is the fact that it might eliminate human jobs. Through the fulfillment of projects such as contract review, legal research and document drafting, AI systems will be able to automate them and as a result, the jobs among the legal professionals will be lost. This result, in turn, would meaningfully alter the job market for lawyers and paralegals. Though in some cases, AI can replace particular tasks, it cannot replace the judgment, empathy, and critical thinking skills required for legal success. Thus, AI will not ruin the total job market but will be used to make the work of the lawyers more valuable and interesting by doing the boring and repetitive tasks.

Besides, the issue of bias in the AI systems has been raised. AI, a technology we have created, is the same as us; it has the same biases and prejudices. The biases can be controlled and regulated during development. Hence, the first step has to be for them to be monitored and controlled before being integrated into the legal system. For instance, if an intelligent judge based on AI makes a biased risk assessment towards some groups of people or specific criminal history profiles, it could lead to unfair sentencing decisions. The problem to be solved in this regard is that the developers must ensure that the training data sets are varied and bias-free. Audits should also be conducted to identify discriminating patterns in the decision-making process of an AI system.

Data privacy is another significant concern when using AI in law. As these systems rely heavily on vast amounts of personal data to function effectively, sensitive information may fall into the wrong hands or be misused. Legal professionals must protect client data by implementing robust security measures throughout their organization’s processes involving AI technologies.

Leave a comment