This is the conclusion of a two-part guest post on Artificial Intelligence in the legal profession by Sandeep Sacheti, who leads a Wolters Kluwer team that specializes in applying the technology in a context that serves large companies and law firms. Part 1 of this post described the different types of AI and explained why it isn’t a replacement for attorneys.
AI in Legal
As you can imagine, the business of law generates a huge amount of data – often in the form of transcripts and communications between people – and requires frequent execution of repetitive tasks in addition to the highly skilled legal work. The combination of machine learning and natural language processing is perfectly positioned to help analyze large volumes of legal documents, and find associations, patterns and trends. Then legal professionals can bolster their subjective interpretations with the support of this data-driven evidence.
Because an information feedback loop is key to its continuous improvement, an AI algorithm becomes smarter and better over time and provides improved recommendations. Equally important is that robotic process automation can assign a computer to complete simple and repetitive tasks, freeing up lawyers to do more value-added work. These also tend to be the aspects of their jobs lawyers find most interesting; providing unique interpretations, communicating the implications of their matters, and acting as a business partner to the company’s leaders.
It is also a significant opportunity for corporate legal operations to improve productivity. Over the last ten years, the entire legal industry has had to move toward a model of generating more value with fewer resources. AI is an important part of making this possible precisely because its value lies in automating the mundane repetitive tasks while enabling human experts to improve results beyond what machines or people could do alone.
Wolters Kluwer’s Approach
For several years, Wolters Kluwer has been working to integrate AI into our technologies wherever it is helpful our customers. ELM Solutions, for example, is having impressive success with their LegalVIEW® BillAnalyzer offering, which relies heavily on machine learning, NLP, and robotic process automation. And CT is introducing innovative content aggregation methods to Service of Process using NLP.
Wolters Kluwer’s singular opportunity to leverage AI results from our unique combination of vast data volumes and specialized legal operations expertise. For example, ELM Solutions has LegalVIEW, the world’s largest anonymized, permissioned database of corporate legal invoices. Leveraging this data in combination with machine learning and natural language processing allows us to build truly unique solutions that dramatically improve the efficacy of the legal bill review processes. We use AI to get more out of these unique data assets, join them with our experts, then integrate the resulting tools directly into our market-leading platforms, which leads to a truly impressive increase in value for clients.
With AI becoming a more common part of our personal lives via products and services like Alexa and Netflix, it isn’t surprising that its use is also increasing in the legal space. And this is an extremely positive development for legal professionals. Yes, I am bullish on the value of AI to the legal profession, but I would also urge you to be cautious of AI “snake oil” salesmen, who add the term “AI” to every other sentence and tell you that it will revolutionize the legal profession. Ask them how much real data they have to build their so-called AI algorithms. How much legal expertise can they offer and how much do they truly understand your workflow and pain points?
I hope this post has helped to clarify how beneficial AI can be when used for the right tasks and in the right context. AI is not a replacement for attorneys, but it can help them to improve their output and enable them to bring increased value to their clients.