November 15, 2018
Artificial intelligence, or AI, can be used to perform a wide variety of tasks within a legal office. It has both benefits and drawbacks that can dramatically influence how successful a legal practice is. Before signing up for any AI software, you need to think about how its use will affect your clients, both financially and personally.
At present in legal services, AI has discovered a lot of things that match human-defined standards and can detect patterns in data. Data analytics tools driven by AI can extract information on how the legal workforce may best fit your firm’s requirements. Also, an AI technique like natural language processing has proven to be quite helpful in scanning documents for relevant cases, which is a time-saver.
Law firms need to adapt their business models to new technologies, without fearing the loss of their jobs. According to a report by the Legal Service Corporation, around 80 percent of legal requirements are unmet due to the shortage of resources. However, with capacity improvement through AI in legal services, lower operating cost results in an increased capability to manage the legal requirements of a significant number of clients.
Read further to learn more about the capabilities and limitations of AI for legal professionals.
AI programs can free up many hours’ worth of time that would allow paralegals and other staff members to perform other duties. The initial cost of the system would be offset by the amount of time and money saved; this allows staff members to be more hands-on with clients. For a legal firm that is just starting out, AI may eliminate the need to hire extra office help. This consideration should be weighed heavily against having someone in the office to assist clients, personally.
One of the main benefits of artificial intelligence is that there is a much lower risk of errors. Human error can be avoided with careful and deliberate actions, but time can be wasted checking each document for misspellings, grammar, and punctuation. AI can produce professional grade documents with few to no errors in a fraction of the time as a skilled office worker.
No matter how good AI is, it will never completely replace face to face interaction. Clients want to know the people who are handling their case. Face to face interaction builds a level of trust that most clients need to feel at ease. Moreover, AI cannot offer the empathy and support a client needs during their darkest hours.
While AI has its advantages, it’s a good idea to balance the benefits with the personalized touch of a friendly face when the clients walk in the front door. As a legal professional, it’s up to you to determine to what level an AI program or software will benefit your practice.
Colleen Jilio-Ryan is the Owner of Jilio-Ryan, a Tustin based premiere law consulting firm. The firm along with its certified court reporters is dedicated to providing the highest quality deposition and litigation services to attorneys, insurance companies, and corporations. With her sincere efforts, Colleen is committed to meeting the highest standards of the legal industry, and is an industry leader when it comes to on-time court reporting and deposition scheduling.