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Many legal professionals feel that it’s important to embrace emergent technologies. Adopting novel technologies is one of many ways that legal professionals can aim to offer services that meet the ever-changing needs of clients. One such technology which has gained significant media attention and has generated a wealth of conversation both online and in person is so-called artificial intelligence. Can AI be used in law? How does AI affect law? We’ll discuss all of these within this AI Guide for Lawyers and law professionals.

In the legal sphere, AI has a lot to offer. Importantly, legal professionals looking to adopt this type of advanced technology may first need to understand what exactly AI is, how legal professionals can use it, and what uses it may serve. AI can be an invaluable tool–yet it may first need to be understood and embraced within the right framework. What’s more, AI has severe limitations that must be understood. Using artificial intelligence for law must be done in conjunction with human oversight and judgment.

In this Artificial Intelligence Guide for Law, we’ll discuss what AI is–what counts as AI and what doesn’t–as well as artificial intelligence law use cases, as well as some additional considerations that can be taken when using AI and how artificial intelligence is transforming law. When it comes to artificial intelligence and law, there’s a lot to consider. Understanding how artificial intelligence affects law can be important.

What is AI?

Over time, the term AI has shifted significantly in meaning. At one time, AI was simply a science fiction concept; writers imagined a world in which digital technology could become so advanced that we could create a synthetic or artificial intelligence. The AI we see in the news today is far from this idea, yet it offers advanced capabilities that in some instances can make it feel incredibly human and intelligent.

So, what is it really? And, is it sentient? The latter question we can answer right away: no. It is not sentient–but language models can seem incredibly lifelike and intelligent. The former question is a little more complex: AI denotes a wide range of technologies in today’s world, including but not limited to machine learning and neural language models. The “neural” refers to the fact that these systems are inspired by or loosely modeled based on the way our brains work.

Language model AIs are designed to process language and speech in a manner that can be seen as analogous to how software has been processing mathematical concepts for a long time. This enables them to process and generate coherent language–which can make them appear very lifelike. However, it’s important to note that the ability to process and generate coherent language is far from the ability to understand the concepts that that language represents. As such, it can be important to avoid anthropomorphizing AI though it may be tempting to do so.

Types of AI Used by legal professionals

Legal work can be extremely variable and multi-faceted. It can range from speaking with clients about the law and offering education to doing research, litigating, creating written communications between lawyers and other parties, and much more. As such, the ways in which AI can be of help to legal professionals are also wide-ranging and highly variable. This means that many types of AI technologies may be used by legal professionals. Let’s look at some artificial intelligence law examples:

  • Language models: AI language models can be extremely useful to lawyers and other legal professionals. For example, language models can be used to find legal codes, generate written communications (which, importantly,  must be reviewed by a human for accuracy), comb through hefty amounts of data from relevant keywords, and more. Language models can also be used in a customer experience capacity. Organizations may use language models to integrate a chatbox into their website where users can ask questions.
  • Machine Learning: Though machine learning is also considered a subset of AI technologies, it can be a distinct technology from language models. Machine learning enables software to identify and “learn” patterns over time, which can make it extremely helpful to humans looking to identify patterns that might be useful. In the context of legal services, machine learning might be used to quickly review large amounts of documents in order to identify relevant previous cases, for example. Just as is the case with language models, machine learning can be imperfect and should be used in conjunction with human judgment and discretion.
  • Combinations of AI technologies: Many applications and software will combine different AI technologies in order to provide useful services. For example, AI virtual assistants might use machine learning to gather information about how you go about your day and make recommendations based on patterns that they’ve noticed. They may communicate these recommendations to you using language processing capabilities from advanced language models.

Some AI Tools For Lawyers And Law Professionals

AI tools for lawyers automate contract review, reduce errors, and save time through machine learning algorithms and customizable workflows. Here are a few examples:

Latch

Running a lawfirm is not easy. Behind the scenes, huge amounts of paperwork, documentation, and billing must be constantly updated and maintained. One AI tool that’s working to help simplify the legal professional’s life is Latch. Latch uses AI to provide a number of automation tools to eliminate the need to manually complete repetitive tasks. Featuring a user-friendly interface and a number of other functions, Latch is one of the best AI tools for lawyers.

latch ai tool for lawyers

Westlaw Edge

Legal research is fast becoming revolutionized by AI technology. With Westlaw Edge, lawyers and members of the legal professional can get access to 100 years of legal industry knowledge that can be searched through using AI-enhanced capabilities. Westlaw Edge provides a number of powerful features, including KeyCite Overruling Risk – a notification that warns you when a point of law has been undermined by another ruling.

westlaw ai research tool for law professionals

LegAI

If you’re looking for an efficient way to draft legal documents, LegAI may be just what you need. This tool offers an intuitive interface that simplifies the process of creating contracts, NDAs, and other legal documents. In just a few clicks you can process cases, and prepare documents with a few clicks.

CARA AI, By Casetext

CARA AI is another powerful legal research tool. According to a study by The National Legal Research Group, lawyers were able to find the cases they needed over 20% faster than with legacy legal tools such as LexisNexis. Other AI features of this tool include the automatic identification of missing cases in your drafts as well as automatically checking a document for problematic legal issues.

Lawgeex

Lawgeex is an AI-powered legal platform that helps businesses automate the review and approval of contracts. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze legal documents and provide insights and recommendations to users, saving them time and reducing the risk of errors. Lawgeex also offers customizable workflows and integrations with popular business tools.

lawgeex ai powered law software

Uses of AI in the legal world

We’ve covered some of the AI technologies that can be of use to lawyers and other legal professionals, but how exactly might they be used? While we briefly described a few potential use cases as we reviewed the different types of AI technologies that legal professionals might use, it may be helpful to take a more detailed look at what those use cases might look like. Here are some of the potential applications of artificial intelligence in law:

  • Reviewing documents and finding relevant data: One task that legal professionals might encounter often is that of reviewing documents, identifying potential legal issues, noticing patterns of potential precedent, better understanding a case or the law, and more. This is a task that AI can help significantly with.

As AI is capable of processing incredible amounts of data with incredible speed, AI can help legal professionals review documents quickly and potentially identify important and pertinent information. As AI is often far from perfect, this process still importantly requires human oversight and input, but AI may be able to enhance the efforts of legal professionals and enable them to complete tasks like this much faster than before.

ai guide for lawyers and law professionals

  • Generating written communications: Once again, it’s important to note that this requires human oversight. Still, AI can be used to generate lots of written text very quickly. This can be of particular use to legal professionals who must generate written communications.

AI can help legal professionals quickly generate writing–which must then be reviewed and edited if necessary by humans. Though it requires human oversight, this capability of AI can be a huge help to legal professionals. This can help lawyers and other legal professionals communicate with clients, other legal professionals, and other parties.

Some organizations may even be exploring the possibility of generating legal documents using AI–though there may be important considerations that need to be addressed as AI can be far from perfect, and accuracy can be highly important in legal writing.

  • Communicating with clients and potential clients in a customer service capacity: Many legal organizations want a way to offer support to potential clients around the clock. However, hiring personnel to answer questions and chat with website visitors can be prohibitively costly.

What’s more, in order to offer 24/7 service, organizations may face a significant challenge in ensuring that there’s always someone available to speak with. By using AI, organizations may be able to offer chat boxes on their website that can communicate with potential clients around the clock.

While chat boxes may not be of any use in offering legal advice, they can be used to explain things such as what a firm’s office hours are, where a legal firm operates, and more.

  • Additional uses: Though these that we’ve already discussed are common primary uses for AI in the legal world, there are many other potential use cases for AI, and we may see more emerge as the technology continues to evolve. For example, AI may also be used to help lawyers better understand the potential outcomes of legal cases through predictive algorithms. AI also may be used to personalize customer and client experiences, which can be important on the marketing side of legal work. Understanding how artificial intelligence will support better law decisions can be important; through the ability to identify patterns and make predictions, AI may be able to help legal professionals make better-informed decisions.

Additional considerations – Ethical and Other

When it comes to artificial intelligence and law, pitfalls, and opportunities are both abundant. The use of AI in the legal world may be freight with potential complications. For example, if AI generates work that is inaccurate or harmful, questions of who the responsibility or liability falls on may arise. It’s important that all AI-generated content, whether it be client communications or anything else, must be reviewed by human legal experts. AI is imperfect, and legal professionals must ensure that they’re offering effective services to clients. As technology continues to evolve, we may see legislation designed to address issues such as these. For now, it’s important that human legal professionals use their own discretion and best judgment as they navigate these issues.

The bottom line

Legal professionals looking to embrace emergent and novel technologies may be particularly interested in the ways AI can help bolster the efforts of legal professionals in offering the best possible services to their clients. Benefits of artificial intelligence in law may include helping save human legal professionals time and money, which can translate to faster results for clients, as well as potentially more accessible legal services.

What’s more, AI can be used to increase efficiency and help human legal professionals recognize patterns they might have otherwise overlooked.

Even understanding how artificial intelligence will change the future of law, it’s important to remember that in its current state, AI has severe limitations. AI is largely incapable of understanding the concepts that it’s able to communicate, and for nearly any use case, AI will require extensive human oversight.

For example, machine learning being used by legal professionals to identify patterns and relevant past cases, must still be used in conjunction with human critical thinking and discretion. AI can make mistakes, so anything that AI generates must be reviewed by humans before it’s passed on. In any case, where legal professionals use AI, it’s important that they default to their own better judgment and exercise caution and discretion.

Still, even despite its inherent limitations, AI can be a highly useful tool in the legal world, and artificial intelligence-driven law may be a field that expands over time.  What’s more, as AI evolves, we may see it become even more capable, and the role of artificial intelligence in digital law may expand.

AI Guide for Lawyers: Use Cases and Benefits of Artificial Intelligence for Law Professionals

a robot hand represents AI is touching and the symbol of law, Themis Statue Holding Scales Balance

Many legal professionals feel that it’s important to embrace emergent technologies. Adopting novel technologies is one of many ways that legal professionals can aim to offer services that meet the ever-changing needs of clients. One such technology which has gained significant media attention and has generated a wealth of conversation both online and in person is so-called artificial intelligence. Can AI be used in law? How does AI affect law? We’ll discuss all of these within this AI Guide for Lawyers and law professionals.

In the legal sphere, AI has a lot to offer. Importantly, legal professionals looking to adopt this type of advanced technology may first need to understand what exactly AI is, how legal professionals can use it, and what uses it may serve. AI can be an invaluable tool–yet it may first need to be understood and embraced within the right framework. What’s more, AI has severe limitations that must be understood. Using artificial intelligence for law must be done in conjunction with human oversight and judgment.

In this Artificial Intelligence Guide for Law, we’ll discuss what AI is–what counts as AI and what doesn’t–as well as artificial intelligence law use cases, as well as some additional considerations that can be taken when using AI and how artificial intelligence is transforming law. When it comes to artificial intelligence and law, there’s a lot to consider. Understanding how artificial intelligence affects law can be important.

What is AI?

Over time, the term AI has shifted significantly in meaning. At one time, AI was simply a science fiction concept; writers imagined a world in which digital technology could become so advanced that we could create a synthetic or artificial intelligence. The AI we see in the news today is far from this idea, yet it offers advanced capabilities that in some instances can make it feel incredibly human and intelligent.

So, what is it really? And, is it sentient? The latter question we can answer right away: no. It is not sentient–but language models can seem incredibly lifelike and intelligent. The former question is a little more complex: AI denotes a wide range of technologies in today’s world, including but not limited to machine learning and neural language models. The “neural" refers to the fact that these systems are inspired by or loosely modeled based on the way our brains work.

Language model AIs are designed to process language and speech in a manner that can be seen as analogous to how software has been processing mathematical concepts for a long time. This enables them to process and generate coherent language–which can make them appear very lifelike. However, it’s important to note that the ability to process and generate coherent language is far from the ability to understand the concepts that that language represents. As such, it can be important to avoid anthropomorphizing AI though it may be tempting to do so.

Types of AI Used by legal professionals

Legal work can be extremely variable and multi-faceted. It can range from speaking with clients about the law and offering education to doing research, litigating, creating written communications between lawyers and other parties, and much more. As such, the ways in which AI can be of help to legal professionals are also wide-ranging and highly variable. This means that many types of AI technologies may be used by legal professionals. Let’s look at some artificial intelligence law examples:

  • Language models: AI language models can be extremely useful to lawyers and other legal professionals. For example, language models can be used to find legal codes, generate written communications (which, importantly,  must be reviewed by a human for accuracy), comb through hefty amounts of data from relevant keywords, and more. Language models can also be used in a customer experience capacity. Organizations may use language models to integrate a chatbox into their website where users can ask questions.
  • Machine Learning: Though machine learning is also considered a subset of AI technologies, it can be a distinct technology from language models. Machine learning enables software to identify and “learn” patterns over time, which can make it extremely helpful to humans looking to identify patterns that might be useful. In the context of legal services, machine learning might be used to quickly review large amounts of documents in order to identify relevant previous cases, for example. Just as is the case with language models, machine learning can be imperfect and should be used in conjunction with human judgment and discretion.
  • Combinations of AI technologies: Many applications and software will combine different AI technologies in order to provide useful services. For example, AI virtual assistants might use machine learning to gather information about how you go about your day and make recommendations based on patterns that they’ve noticed. They may communicate these recommendations to you using language processing capabilities from advanced language models.

Some AI Tools For Lawyers And Law Professionals

AI tools for lawyers automate contract review, reduce errors, and save time through machine learning algorithms and customizable workflows. Here are a few examples:

Latch

Running a lawfirm is not easy. Behind the scenes, huge amounts of paperwork, documentation, and billing must be constantly updated and maintained. One AI tool that’s working to help simplify the legal professional’s life is Latch. Latch uses AI to provide a number of automation tools to eliminate the need to manually complete repetitive tasks. Featuring a user-friendly interface and a number of other functions, Latch is one of the best AI tools for lawyers.

latch ai tool for lawyers

Westlaw Edge

Legal research is fast becoming revolutionized by AI technology. With Westlaw Edge, lawyers and members of the legal professional can get access to 100 years of legal industry knowledge that can be searched through using AI-enhanced capabilities. Westlaw Edge provides a number of powerful features, including KeyCite Overruling Risk – a notification that warns you when a point of law has been undermined by another ruling.

westlaw ai research tool for law professionals

LegAI

If you're looking for an efficient way to draft legal documents, LegAI may be just what you need. This tool offers an intuitive interface that simplifies the process of creating contracts, NDAs, and other legal documents. In just a few clicks you can process cases, and prepare documents with a few clicks.

CARA AI, By Casetext

CARA AI is another powerful legal research tool. According to a study by The National Legal Research Group, lawyers were able to find the cases they needed over 20% faster than with legacy legal tools such as LexisNexis. Other AI features of this tool include the automatic identification of missing cases in your drafts as well as automatically checking a document for problematic legal issues.

Lawgeex

Lawgeex is an AI-powered legal platform that helps businesses automate the review and approval of contracts. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze legal documents and provide insights and recommendations to users, saving them time and reducing the risk of errors. Lawgeex also offers customizable workflows and integrations with popular business tools.

lawgeex ai powered law software

Uses of AI in the legal world

We’ve covered some of the AI technologies that can be of use to lawyers and other legal professionals, but how exactly might they be used? While we briefly described a few potential use cases as we reviewed the different types of AI technologies that legal professionals might use, it may be helpful to take a more detailed look at what those use cases might look like. Here are some of the potential applications of artificial intelligence in law:

  • Reviewing documents and finding relevant data: One task that legal professionals might encounter often is that of reviewing documents, identifying potential legal issues, noticing patterns of potential precedent, better understanding a case or the law, and more. This is a task that AI can help significantly with.

As AI is capable of processing incredible amounts of data with incredible speed, AI can help legal professionals review documents quickly and potentially identify important and pertinent information. As AI is often far from perfect, this process still importantly requires human oversight and input, but AI may be able to enhance the efforts of legal professionals and enable them to complete tasks like this much faster than before.

ai guide for lawyers and law professionals

  • Generating written communications: Once again, it’s important to note that this requires human oversight. Still, AI can be used to generate lots of written text very quickly. This can be of particular use to legal professionals who must generate written communications.

AI can help legal professionals quickly generate writing–which must then be reviewed and edited if necessary by humans. Though it requires human oversight, this capability of AI can be a huge help to legal professionals. This can help lawyers and other legal professionals communicate with clients, other legal professionals, and other parties.

Some organizations may even be exploring the possibility of generating legal documents using AI–though there may be important considerations that need to be addressed as AI can be far from perfect, and accuracy can be highly important in legal writing.

  • Communicating with clients and potential clients in a customer service capacity: Many legal organizations want a way to offer support to potential clients around the clock. However, hiring personnel to answer questions and chat with website visitors can be prohibitively costly.

What’s more, in order to offer 24/7 service, organizations may face a significant challenge in ensuring that there’s always someone available to speak with. By using AI, organizations may be able to offer chat boxes on their website that can communicate with potential clients around the clock.

While chat boxes may not be of any use in offering legal advice, they can be used to explain things such as what a firm’s office hours are, where a legal firm operates, and more.

  • Additional uses: Though these that we’ve already discussed are common primary uses for AI in the legal world, there are many other potential use cases for AI, and we may see more emerge as the technology continues to evolve. For example, AI may also be used to help lawyers better understand the potential outcomes of legal cases through predictive algorithms. AI also may be used to personalize customer and client experiences, which can be important on the marketing side of legal work. Understanding how artificial intelligence will support better law decisions can be important; through the ability to identify patterns and make predictions, AI may be able to help legal professionals make better-informed decisions.

Additional considerations - Ethical and Other

When it comes to artificial intelligence and law, pitfalls, and opportunities are both abundant. The use of AI in the legal world may be freight with potential complications. For example, if AI generates work that is inaccurate or harmful, questions of who the responsibility or liability falls on may arise. It’s important that all AI-generated content, whether it be client communications or anything else, must be reviewed by human legal experts. AI is imperfect, and legal professionals must ensure that they’re offering effective services to clients. As technology continues to evolve, we may see legislation designed to address issues such as these. For now, it’s important that human legal professionals use their own discretion and best judgment as they navigate these issues.

The bottom line

Legal professionals looking to embrace emergent and novel technologies may be particularly interested in the ways AI can help bolster the efforts of legal professionals in offering the best possible services to their clients. Benefits of artificial intelligence in law may include helping save human legal professionals time and money, which can translate to faster results for clients, as well as potentially more accessible legal services.

What’s more, AI can be used to increase efficiency and help human legal professionals recognize patterns they might have otherwise overlooked.

Even understanding how artificial intelligence will change the future of law, it's important to remember that in its current state, AI has severe limitations. AI is largely incapable of understanding the concepts that it’s able to communicate, and for nearly any use case, AI will require extensive human oversight.

For example, machine learning being used by legal professionals to identify patterns and relevant past cases, must still be used in conjunction with human critical thinking and discretion. AI can make mistakes, so anything that AI generates must be reviewed by humans before it’s passed on. In any case, where legal professionals use AI, it’s important that they default to their own better judgment and exercise caution and discretion.

Still, even despite its inherent limitations, AI can be a highly useful tool in the legal world, and artificial intelligence-driven law may be a field that expands over time.  What’s more, as AI evolves, we may see it become even more capable, and the role of artificial intelligence in digital law may expand.

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