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Incorporation of AI technology in the legal sector


Published on October 12 , 2023


“Hey Siri, what are the odds of winning the lawsuit I filed against my employer who discharged me from work without prior notice?” Do you think that Siri will have the capability one day to answer such type of questions? With technological developments being seen as disrupting all areas of business, streamlining the way we work, most sectors were happy with these changes, except for the legal sector which was resistant when it came to embracing technology, especially in the field of practice. However, with the effects of the pandemic and more customized solutions for the legal sector, the resistance is slowly being replaced by eager adoption. The rapid increase in the innovation of diverse artificial intelligence driven legal tools in the past few years, has created an indirect incentive for law firms to shift towards including AI-based software and services in the completion of their daily tasks and legal practices in general, and especially after the partnership between AI and legal counsels which has driven the improvement in productivity of law firms who had already taken a leap forward into the world of legal technology.

The topic at hand, gives rise to the following problematic: To what extent will AI technology transform the traditional practice of law in the legal profession?

1- What is artificial intelligence and what does it constitute of?

The Oxford English dictionary defined AI as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”[1] That being said, AI refers to machines or tools that are able to perform human tasks which normally require intelligence such as thinking, understanding, analyzing, sifting through documents, and drawing out conclusions. In other words, AI can be seen as the merging of machine with human thought, by mimicking the latter’s behavior through the study of patterns. It is important to clarify that AI mimics human intelligence using two different ways: firstly, through machines that are taught and trained to perform human tasks based on data input which is known as ‘machine learning’ whereby machines are taught to search for patterns in the given data in order to draw out conclusions. The second method concerns more advanced programs, which have the ability to train themselves without the need of human intervention based on trial and error.

2- Application of AI services in the legal field

Whether it is apparent or not, AI has recently become an indispensable assistant to almost every legal counsel. Attorneys who embrace the change and familiarize themselves with the latest legal technology programs, will undoubtedly serve as better assets to their firms than other team members. Many legal firms have already started to incorporate the use of AI LegalTech in several aspects of the firm’s day-to-day work. Four main aspects will be furtherly discussed in order to highlight the multiple ways lawyers can benefit from the use of AI within the legal industry.

A- Document review for due diligence and litigation

It is the duty of every legal counsel to review all the files and documents associated with the case brought before him. This process can sometimes be stressful and highly demanding due to the fact that not a single important notion can be missed while reviewing the given data as it can directly affect the whole process of the litigation. Nowadays, lawyers can have easy access to AI tools which can uncover most relevant information in the materials presented to them. The most significant tool in this framework is E-Discovery software, which enables lawyers to electronically scan all information found in a certain document using specific search terms or codes in order to sort out the data that are most closely connected or related to the issue at hand.  This method surely reduces the manual human effort put on reviewing data and speeds up the overall document review process allowing lawyers to have more time analyzing complex information revealed and focusing on enhancing relations with their clients.[2]

B- Substantive contract reviews and analysis

Contracts are the most essential components of almost every sector in society and the core of all business transactions. On a daily basis, lawyers have to review and analyze contracts in order to advise their clients on whether to sign these contracts or negotiate for better terms and conditions. There are several AI services that provide fast and efficient techniques to organize and help in negotiating contracts which lead to better outcomes and thus greater client satisfaction. The first example is Kira Systems which is a machine learning software that identifies, analyzes, and extracts contents from legal documents for the purpose of contract review and analysis. The software’s company affirms that this system has the ability to perform contract-review process up to 40 percent faster if a legal counsel is using it for the first time, and up to 90 percent if it is being used by an experienced lawyer.[3] Another AI software which assists lawyers in the tedious process of contract review is COiN (Contract Intelligence platform) which runs on a machine learning system that identifies patterns based on specific coding, dates, or geographic locations specified in contracts. This software is currently being used by law firms in order to aid them in the process of analyzing commercial contracts. SpotDraft is also a third contract management platform which uses AI in order to analyze contracts. This software is specialized in extracting key information from any type of contract that is directly associated to a certain issue a lawyer is trying to analyze. This software also has the ability to detect possible errors found in a certain document. Hence, AI LegalTech services can review, analyze, and organize different types of agreements, which would have taken a group of persons months to complete especially that some contracts can be thousands of pages long.[4]

C- Legal research

An extremely vital area in which AI is increasingly making significant improvements is legal research. Legal research was historically a hand-operated process whereby law students and junior lawyers had to search hours and even days through heavy books and case law publications in order to find relevant information and precedents. Today however, most lawyers generally conduct research using legal research platforms such as LexisNexis and Westlaw that make use of AI technology.[5] However, even more advanced legal research platforms that utilize AI have been recently established such as ROSS Intelligence. This software was first launched in 2018 and is now known to be the “the world’s first artificially intelligent legal counsel”[6]. It is with no doubt that every lawsuit requires diligent legal research. However, the numerous available links regarding a certain case, precedents to read, and information to consider, can overwhelm lawyers who can spare a minimal time during their day on research. For that reason, lawyers may take advantage of ROSS Intelligence which generates search results based on natural language inquires whereby legal counsels can simply ask their questions and in return receive limited information which can entail directly related case-laws, suggested readings, and secondary resources. Moreover, Ross Intelligence has the capability of drafting legal memorandums based on the results that it generated and evaluating legal writings. In short, Ross Intelligence can read and understand natural languages in order to research and give out responses or conclusions that are usually backed up with different references and citations. Similar to most machine learning programs, Ross learns and enhances its functions with time.’

D- Litigation outcome prediction

What clients mostly care about when claiming their rights is the outcome of the trial. AI legal services have also played a significant role regarding this matter by analyzing ruled upon cases with similar facts and providing statistical analysis in order to predict litigation outcomes in the most accurate way possible.[7] Such AI LegalTech programs will enable associates to confidently advise their clients on how to move forward with their lawsuit. Two systems which utilize AI in order to interpret court judgments and predict litigation outcomes are Lex Machina and Solomonic.[8] The information extracted from previous court judgements by AI legal tools can reduce the possibility of wasting resources when filing a lawsuit and the probable risk associated with forming litigation strategies especially if it was predicted that a case will most likely not succeed. That being said, when lawyers have insights into future outcomes, they will certainly thrive to apply smarter and better strategies in order to minimize the number of cases that actually need to go to trial and to increase the chances of their clients to have maximum access to justice.

3- Challenges of AI use in the legal industry

Despite all the benefits that legal associates may benefit from the use of AI LegalTech programs in the legal profession, there are several challenges that might hinder AI’s positive impacts. First of all, most AI driven technology tools and services are costly and thus require huge investments from law firms that are willing to incorporate them in the completion of their daily tasks. Another challenge of AI LegalTech is the lack of a solid regulatory framework that determines the rights and obligations of AI legal tools because there exist no legal systems which govern the activities conducted by AI machines and programs in order to hold them liable for their own wrongful acts. More than that, it is still not clear whether AI-driven tools will ensure the protection and privacy of the personal data of clients; therefore, lawyers must always verify the constant presence of confidentiality especially that they have previously sworn on maintaining complete discretion while fulfilling their tasks and duties towards their clients.[9]


It is with no doubt that artificial intelligence is playing a significant role in transforming the legal profession. Many fear that this technology might one day replace human lawyers and thus lead to an entire legal revolution. However, it should be confirmed that AI will not be able to replace legal counsel because the human element is indispensable in the field of practice due to the simple fact that the legal profession will always require the emotional human aspect which AI programs will never have. Nonetheless, partnership and cooperation between legal professionals and AI legal technology has served law firms in various areas of practice. One of the achievements seen from integrating AI programs in law firms is that lawyers now have additional time at hand to focus on more complex tasks, formulate arguments and strategic planning, and get to know their clients better and closely interact with them for an enhanced relationship. When lawyers thrive to become trusted advisors with a client centric mentality, that is when their reputation will start preceding them. Consequently, they will ultimately boost their personal reviews and gain more clients thus increasing their law firm’s total revenues. In short, the legal sector is a noteworthy example on how the combination of AI and human lawyers can lead to the improvement in the quality of legal services, productivity, and work efficiency within law firms and the legal profession in general. As a final statement, lawyers should refrain from completely relying on AI legal tools to give out any legal advice or complete a given task, and on the other hand, AI legal tools should never provide any legal advice in the absence of a lawyer’s involvement or intervention.

[1] <https://www.lexico.com/definition/artificial_intelligence>

[2] J. KERN, “AI in Law: Transforming Legal Practice”, < https://www.clio.com/blog/lawyer-ai/>.

[3] D. FAGGELLA, “AI in Law and Legal Practice – A Comprehensive View of 35 Current Applications”, <https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-law-legal-practice-current-applications/>.

[4] L. DONAHUE, “A Primer on Using Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession”, <https://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/a-primer-on-using-artificial-intelligence-in-the-legal-profession>.

[5] R. VANNI, “How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Legal Profession”, <https://kirasystems.com/learn/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-legal-profession/>.

[6] <https://www.311institute.com/meet-ross-the-worlds-first-ai-lawyer/>

[7] R. VANNI, “How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Legal Profession”, <https://kirasystems.com/learn/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-legal-profession/>.

[8] A. HESHMATY, “Use of AI in law firms to predict litigation outcomes”, <https://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/blog/future-of-law/using-ai-to-predict-litigation-outcomes>.

[9] S. SHIKHAR, “Role of artificial intelligence in law”, <https://blog.ipleaders.in/role-of-artificial-intelligence-in-law/>.