The legal profession has a long history of keeping pace with technology as it advances. With the development and spread of artificial intelligence (AI), various professions have embraced its ability to automate tasks that people once did. This shift has caused anxiety among lawyers, who worry about losing their jobs to machines. But it is becoming clear that, as AI evolves, lawyers will find new and innovative ways to use it in their practices.
AI is already used in some law firms to automate such tasks as contract review and discovery. In the future, as AI becomes more sophisticated, it will be able to handle more complex tasks. This inevitable evolution means that lawyers will need to keep up with the latest developments and learn how to use AI to their advantage.
What Is AI For Lawyers?
AI for Lawyers refers to using artificial intelligence to automate tasks typically done by lawyers (e.g., contract review, discovery, and legal research). AI can also be used to create documents and complete other administrative tasks.
How Can Lawyers Use AI?
Here are just a few examples of the ways lawyers can use AI in practice:
- Automating repetitive tasks: In this way, AI can free up time for lawyers to focus on other, more human-centric tasks, such as client meetings and trial preparation.
- Improving legal research: AI can assist in legal research by quickly searching through large amounts of data to find relevant information. This can save lawyers time through more efficient research.
- E-discovery: E-discovery is the process of using computers to find and review electronic data. AI can be used in e-discovery to help identify relevant documents and evidence, saving lawyers time and money.
- Creating documents: AI can be used to create legal documents such as contracts and pleadings. This can be helpful for lawyers who do not have the time to draft these documents themselves.
- Administrative tasks: Standard administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and managing law firm finances can be time-consuming and can prevent lawyers from focusing on more important tasks in their practice.
How To Prepare For The Future Of The Legal Profession
As AI continues to evolve, lawyers must keep up with the latest developments to ensure they use it to the fullest of their abilities. They should be committed to learning about new AI applications and how they can be used in their practice. Here are a few things that lawyers can do to prepare for the AI-heavy future of the legal profession:
- Stay up to date on AI developments: This important task can be achieved by reading articles, attending conferences, and taking courses on AI.
- Learn how to use AI applications: Taking courses or attending training sessions ensures that lawyers are both informed and skilled in this technology.
- Be Prepared to Use AI in Their Work: Being comfortable with using new technologies and their applications means that lawyers should be prepared to change the way they work as AI evolves.
The Bottom Line
AI is already changing the legal profession, and it is almost certain to have a big impact in the future. Lawyers should stay up to date on AI developments, learn how to use AI applications in their practice, and always be ready to adapt to the evolution of this helpful tech.
Take a listen to the Notes to My (Legal) Self podcast episode with Wei Chen, which provides additional information on how lawyers can use AI in their practice: Why Legal AI Needs Lawyers to Act Now.
Olga V. Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat and Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security. You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.