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Fivefold surge in legal productivity with use of AI, says white paper

04 Jun 2020 / technology Print

Fivefold surge in legal productivity with use of AI

Swiss artificial intelligence (AI) pioneers Logol have published a white paper on AI and the legal profession.

Logol is a specialist technology company that partners with law firms. It says that a firm implementing the right technological instruments can create, review or redact documents four to five times faster than before.

With AI, lawyers can review 100 times the number of documents they did before, in the same amount of time – and with a level of precision previously unattainable.

The company points to the large-scale contract reviews by European firms after the implementation of GDPR, which was accomplished at speed using AI.

Transform

The white paper says that the rise of AI will radically transform the world of law, redefining how legal work is conceived, managed and executed. Logol says that early adapters will benefit from enormous competitive advantages.

“Recent developments are accelerating the trend that sees unprecedented levels of automation permeating the legal profession,” says founder and chief executive Marco Farina.

The white paper has its focus  on the various areas of the legal profession where AI is helping lawyers work faster, such as:

  • Collecting information,
  • Preparing cases,
  • Predicting litigation outcomes,
  • Reviewing contracts,
  • Automating document management, and
  • Augmenting the human capabilities necessary to a successful attorney. 

Efficiency

“Law firms and legal professionals will achieve new standards of effectiveness and efficiency. The cost of legal services will come down, greatly benefitting also the consumer,” says Marco Farina.

“For the first time, embracing technological innovation becomes crucial for all legal practices, to better leverage resources, reduce internal costs, and offer enhanced service for less.”

The white paper points out that, until a few years ago, even the best lawyers were still doing most of their work by hand, relying mainly on their strong memory, vast competencies, and solid education to perform their work.

Automation

However, recent developments in commercial, as well as experimental applications, indicate that AI will lead to unprecedented levels of automation in the legal sector.

Beyond relieving lawyers of time-consuming and less satisfying tasks, AI is also redefining what makes a lawyer a great lawyer.

The white paper says: “Take memory skills, for example. Traditionally, good lawyers were known for having a great memory, and it is easy to see why. Trials can last years, and during court hearings, it is necessary to quickly remember when each topic was touched upon, and what was said by whom, in order to immediately realise when accounts given by witnesses or other attorneys change or are inconsistent

“Today, lawyers can effectively turn to their AI-empowered computers. These can act as digital assistants and immediately present all previous dialogues of any person on any issue since the start of a trial.

"As a consequence, attorneys can now aspire to compete as top-level lawyers without having to excel in mnemonic skills, and without having to carry cumbersome amounts of paper documents with them all the time.”

Weaknesses in contracts

AI-powered machines can also spot weaknesses in contracts, and predict the probability of winning a case in court.

In the US, experienced corporate law and contract review lawyers were pitted against the LawGeex AI algorithm in a competition to spot issues with five non-disclosure agreements.

The machine came out on top, with an average 94% accuracy rate, against the lawyers’ 85%.

Grunt work

But while AI speeds up processing power and assists greatly with the grunt work in law offices, it’s not going to replace humans any time soon. The white paper draws an analogy with the use of robots in the auto industry:

“The first robots in the auto industry were introduced at the end of the ’60s, over 50 years ago. Basically, their task is to move pieces of metal around and fix them together.

"Today, Tesla, one of the most technologically advanced companies in the world, with an objective of completely automating its auto production, still employs tens of thousands of workers. The reason is that automating everything simply has not been possible.”

Client needs

The white paper predicts that automation will be a decades-long process, and that human lawyerly skills, such as understanding the needs of a client, the weakness of an opponent’s case and even the mood of a judge, can never be replaced.

During the long transition period, the tasks that remain unautomated will become more and more important, since this is the type of work that will ultimately make the difference in the successful outcome of a legal action.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland