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The AI Revolution in the Legal World (Part 1)

By Mariano Werner - Lemontech


By Mariano Werner | CEO - Fri, 08/11/2023 - 11:00

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The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has marked a milestone in the history of technology and is redefining the way we interact with the world. This revolution has spread to various industries, from transportation to healthcare, but its impact in the legal realm is especially relevant and transformative.

As society moves into the digital age, lawyers and legal professionals are faced with a constantly changing environment and a growing demand for more efficient and effective services. In this context, the adoption of AI in the legal world has become essential to stay competitive and provide quality service to clients, something that we at Lemontech agree with 100%.

In this article, we are going to talk about some benefits of incorporating AI, and also address some ethical and legal implications of doing so.

Benefits of AI in Legal Practice

There are many benefits of implementing artificial intelligence in the legal field. The main ones are:

  1. Automation of routine and repetitive tasks

The day to day of the lawyer includes repetitive tasks with little added value, such as the review of contracts, the identification of specific clauses and the management of documents. Before the advent of AI, these activities consumed a great deal of time.

With artificial intelligence, these tasks can be efficiently automated. AI systems can analyze legal documents, extract relevant information and classify it into specific categories. Additionally, machine learning algorithms can learn from previous interactions and refine their processes over time, resulting in greater accuracy and efficiency.

This level of automation not only saves lawyers time and effort, but also reduces costs for clients, allowing lawyers to focus on more complex and strategic matters. In essence, we can do better quality work, faster, and also focus on the most creative/fun parts.

  1. Data analysis and search for legal information

Access to relevant and up-to-date legal information is essential. In the past, searching for case law and legal precedents could be time consuming and required careful review of many sources.

With artificial intelligence, lawyers can access more databases of case law and precedents in a matter of seconds. Algorithms can analyze large volumes of legal information and deliver accurate and relevant results.

This allows attorneys to easily find similar cases and make informed decisions based on interpretation of the law and prior experience. In other words, it allows them to find the blocks on which to apply their legal criteria more quickly: less time looking for these blocks, more time thinking about what it implies and how they can be best used.

  1. Improved document management and legal processes

Document management is an essential part of legal work, but it can also be a time-consuming task. Handling contracts, deeds, evidence, and other legal documents requires meticulous organization and fast, efficient access to information.

Artificial intelligence has transformed document management in the legal world. AI systems can automatically index and classify documents, making it easy to find and retrieve information. The ability to identify and tag specific clauses and concepts within a contract or document also streamlines legal processes.

In addition, AI has improved the drafting of legal documents. Natural language generation systems can write standard contracts and deeds based on templates and predefined parameters.

In this way, the lawyer can free up the time he dedicates to managing this volume of work and also avoid relevant errors (expiration of deadlines, human errors, among others), and dedicate it to better customer service.

Ethical and Legal Implications 

The benefits are clear and compelling. But the ethical and legal implications of using AI are worth discussing. We highlight some aspects:

  1. Privacy and data protection

Handling sensitive data is an essential part of legal practice, and with the adoption of AI comes additional challenges in terms of privacy and information security. Lawyers and legal technology companies must ensure that their client data is protected and that required security standards are met.

Before incorporating an AI tool, it is necessary to understand, at least schematically, how it works. In many cases it is not possible to maintain the confidentiality of the information. It is the lawyer's responsibility to define what can be used and how to use it. Even the most public tools, like ChatGPT, have mechanisms to make them a bit more private. And certainly there are many use cases where confidentiality is not critical. In this, the lawyer's criteria is essential (and unavoidable).

  1. Responsibility and human supervision in legal decisions

As AI becomes more autonomous and complex, concerns about liability arise in legal decisions made by AI systems. The responsibility always rests with the lawyer. And it is worth noting that AI is not infallible.

Lawyers must be prepared to step in and correct AI recommendations if there are errors.

Moving toward the implementation of AI in conflict resolution, a clear understanding of biases and potential discrimination is essential. Let's start from the assumption that these exist today in the people who administer justice, but let's try to overcome this: we can, systemically, move to a system that if not without bias, at least could be with biases that we have deliberately agreed upon in advance.

Conclusion (Part 1)

The automation of routine and repetitive tasks has freed lawyers from the monotonous workload, allowing them to focus on higher value-added activities and provide more efficient service to their clients. AI has demonstrated its ability to process large volumes of information in record time, offering accurate and well-founded results that support legal decision-making.

However, the adoption of AI in the legal world also presents ethical and legal challenges. Data protection and customer privacy are critical issues that must be approached with caution. Lawyers and legal technology companies must ensure that AI systems comply with data protection regulations and laws, ensuring the security and confidentiality of information.

As we move into the future, it is clear that lawyers will need to adapt to this new technological paradigm. AI will transform the traditional roles of lawyers, and legal professionals are expected to become adept at interpreting and understanding the results provided by AI systems.

The artificial intelligence revolution in the legal world is underway, and lawyers have the opportunity to lead this change, adapting to new technologies and taking advantage of the benefits that AI offers because, tomorrow, AI is not going to take away your job — it’s the person who knows how to best use AI who will take the job away from you.

(In the part 2 of this article, we will discuss the future of lawyers in the age of artificial intelligence, the transformation of the traditional roles of lawyers, the collaboration between lawyers and AI systems, as well as innovation and creation of new legal services)

Photo by:   Mariano Werner

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