The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) will impact every industry and profession, with the legal world now being taken by storm as the revolution hits the doors of law.
Founded by Joshua Browder, the DoNotPay app aims to be the world’s first robotic lawyer based on ChatGPT technology, which produces text based on written prompts. All was in place to support a defendant arguing his case against a speeding ticket, and while certain legal complications may have postponed the historic moment for now, AI’s involvement in the legal industry has now become Pandora’s box open.
While the evolution of AI offers the legal industry an opportunity to reduce costs, streamline legal processes, and save time, there are concerns of invasion of privacy and higher attrition rates that need to be addressed.
AI refers to a sophisticated technology that can enable computers to mimic human intelligence, perceive senses, make decisions, and take actions on their own. AI can now be used to improve performance in legal work that is purely mechanical and routine in nature. Jobs that are limited to searching for information or documents could be done more efficiently with AI technology.
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Due diligence, for example, consumes a lot of time and human resources that could otherwise be devoted to real value-added activities. What normally takes hours or days can likely be done in less time with the help of AI-powered tools.
Lawgeex, a legal tech company, offers contract review services. Legal documents are marked with red lines according to the instructions entered into the machine. Another legal tech company, Clearlaw, allows attorneys to view historical contracts, extract key data and categorize them as needed. This reduces opportunities for error and improves service delivery.
AI tools could also be used for standard form contract creation and contract management. This can save lawyers time that can be more productively reinvested in advising and formulating legal strategies.
prediction and research
AI also has the potential to transform litigation. Judgments, orders and other information available in public records could be analyzed and used to predict outcomes in a pending case.
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For now, a Toronto-based startup called Blue J Legal is using AI-based legal prediction technology, mostly focused on tax law. This AI is claimed to be able to predict the outcome of cases with 90% accuracy. This can go a long way in helping litigants provide their clients with more accurate information and employ better strategies to serve their interests. It can also help minimize the number of cases going to court, thereby reducing the burden on already overburdened courts.
Therefore, AI has the potential to offer litigators the ability to form opinions supported by data and analysis, rather than relying solely on intuition.
Another area where AI could increase productivity is in legal research. From students and young lawyers trawling through volumes of case law manuals and commentaries to using Indian legal search engines like SCC Online or Manupatra, legal research has come a long way.
However, they limit themselves to keyword matching to find relevant cases and legal information. Casetext, powered by AI, goes beyond that and focuses on finding cases based on legal opinions expressed in plain English.
Despite all the advances in AI, it seems unlikely that lawyers will become expendable. It’s true that certain jobs that only require searching through databases and documents for relevant information are at risk of being automated.
But the art of arguing in court and in court requires much more than mere imitation of human intelligence and behavior. When it comes to emotional intelligence and quick thinking, a machine will always be a step behind a human. With the advent of AI, instead of spending hours collecting data, the time saved could be used for roles that require greater intellectual engagement.
However, any technology powered by AI must be used with a great deal of caution. AI-powered machines only function based on information fed to them, and they also need to be taught how to process that information. Since the entire system relies solely on information, there is a possibility of data breaches and misuse. Information entered and processed in the system must be regulated by a strong data protection regime.
Jaya Negi is a Managing Associate and Yudhajeet Sinha is an Associate at Anand and Anand in New Delhi
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