The legal profession has been around for a long time, and it’s not going anywhere. Like other fields though, it’s changing, and largely because of advances in technology. Law firms everywhere are embracing new technologies to increase efficiency and minimize the grunt work, allowing lawyers to focus more on personal interaction with clients.
As with any profession, the law relies on technological innovation to keep up and remain competitive. A lot of the advances involve the use of legal management system software to manage cases, records, billing, etc. Perhaps more interesting is the use of robot lawyers.
Yes, that’s really a thing. Robot lawyers, or legal robots, are AI applications designed to perform various tasks at law firms, usually those done by paralegals or newer associates. Both parts of the term can be somewhat confusing. For one, as of yet the programs do not have physical bodies as a robot normally would, and secondly, they are not yet lawers either. They haven’t replaced lawyers in the courtroom, or in the office really. What they do is perform the tasks that require less judgment or personal expertise. They are referred to as robot lawyers because they are artificially intelligent, and also perform many tasks previously performed by associates and staff members at law firms.
These AI programs bring a number of benefits to law firms. Let’s look at some of the advantages of using legal robots:
Assistance in research
Legal codes are unbelievably long and complex. You don’t have to be in the legal field to know this. Any are the law practice involves doing a lot of research and reading of the code. This is extremely time-consuming and tedious. However, the new legal robots can perform this research in place of a human professional. They can also do it much faster and more efficiently, with algorithms designed to analyze large amounts of data and text, and then produce targeted results.
Online assistance to clients
The use of AI is an efficient and flexible way for law firms to provide online assistance to current and potential clients. If you do much business online, you’ve probably chatted with an online specialist before, and it may have not been a human. This is happening in the legal field as well, and it’s astonishing how quickly and efficiently an AI program can answer questions and find the client what they need.
No doubt you’ve seen the fine print of contracts. They’re unbelievably complex. Drawing up legal contracts and other documents is tedious and time-consuming. Legal bots are intelligent enough to handle the process, which frees up lawyers to focus on less mundane tasks. While long and complicated, contracts are predictable and repetitive, so AI is more than up for the task. The robolawyers can also be used to quickly analyze and highlight the important information in contracts drawn up by other parties.
Lower labor costs
Robot lawyers are able to perform a lot of the tasks otherwise handled by paralegals and other staff, as well as work done by actual lawyers. This means fewer personnel and lower HR costs. Part of what makes this so impactful is the jobs robot lawyers are capable of doing are some of the most tedious and timeconsuming for humans.
Legal robots can perform complex analysis and research far more quickly and efficiently than humans. This means more timely completion of projects, and ultimately faster service for clients.
Robot lawyers haven’t made their way to the courtroom (not yet, at least), but they’ve already had a huge impact on the legal profession. It will be interesting to see what further effects the use of AI has on the field.