Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the stars of today’s current technological revolution. Computers can analyze data faster and more accurately than humans can, and as a result, many businesses are beginning to harness the potential of this technology. The computers use algorithms to process data, learn patterns, and then draw insights from the data. This is changing the way work is done across many sectors, and legal practice is no exception. Here are a few ways in which AI is changing the legal profession

Due Diligence

Due diligence is one of the primary tasks that lawyers and legal support professionals perform for their clients. This work involves thoroughly assessing a situation and confirming facts and figures, and as such, it can be very tedious and time-consuming. In order to achieve meaningful results, lawyers must conduct a comprehensive investigation that is free of error. AI tools can reduce the number of mistakes and process vast quantities of data (including contract review and legal research) more efficiently than humans can.

Predict Legal Outcomes

One of the virtues of AI is its ability to gain insights and make predictions based on the analyzed data.  In the context of law, this means that artificial intelligence may have the ability to make better predictions about the outcomes of legal proceedings better than humans. For example, an AI that has access to years of trial data can help lawyers answer difficult questions regarding legal counsel to their clients such as, “Should I settle?” and “How likely am I to win if we go to trial?”

Electronic Billing

AI can be used in electronic billing to automatically compute lawyers’ billable hours. Electronic billing aims to improve on paper billing by reducing disputes on line items, provide more accurate client adjustments, provide more accurate reporting and tracking, and reduce paper costs. 

The benefit to AI is improved efficiency, and while many who embrace it with a growth mindset, some are wary. With new technology, there are, of course, questions that arise. Will more law firms adopt AI out of a mentality of progress or from peer pressure? Will AI expedite the legal process in the long term? Regardless, artificial intelligence is already transforming the legal sector.