How AI and big data analytics will revolutionise the legal system
AI and big data analytics are changing the way lawyers think, the way they do business and the way they interact with clients. Artificial intelligence is more than just legal technology. It is the next great hope to solve or at least improve access-to-justice and completely transform our traditional legal system.
Let us dive into the fascinating world of AI, big data analytics and how it is transforming the very landscape of the legal system.
Legal analytics supercharged by AI and big data analytics
The latest legal software uses AI and big data analytics to make predictions from or detect trends in large datasets. Firms use legal analytics to predict trends and outcomes in intellectual property litigation and are now expanding to other types of complex litigation. With the advent of new technology, firms can also leverage a massive database of law firm billing records to provide baselines, a comparative analysis and suggestions for efficiency improvements to both in-house counsel and outside law firms.
Recently, we have also seen the use of legal analytics in judicial opinions to predict how specific judges may decide cases, including providing recommendations on specific precedents and language that may appeal to a given judge.
For example, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently upheld the use of algorithms in criminal sentencing decisions. While such algorithms represent an early use of primitive AI, they open the door to use more sophisticated AI systems in the sentencing process. Several online dispute resolution tools are being developed to circumvent the judicial process.
Technology-Assisted Review increases efficiency by fifty-fold
Technology-assisted reviews (TAR) are the first major application of AI and big data analytics in legal practice. They use technological solutions to organise, analyse and search large, diverse datasets. Studies show that TAR improves efficiency in document review time by fifty-fold compared to human reviews.
For example, predictive coding is a TAR technique that can be used to train a computer to recognise relevant documents by starting with a “seed set” of papers coupled with human feedback. The trained machine can then review large numbers of documents very quickly and accurately, going beyond individual words to focus on the overall language and context of each document. Numerous global law firms now utilise TAR products due to their efficiency and accuracy.
Practice management assistants paving the way
Many technology companies and law firms are partnering to create programs that can assist with specific practice areas, including transactions, due diligence, real estate, bankruptcy, litigation research and preparation.
The first robot lawyer, ROSS is a tool that provides legal research and analysis for several law firms and can reportedly read and process over a million legal pages per minute. RAVN, a similar system developed in the United Kingdom, assists with due diligence in real-estate deals by verifying property details against official public records. According to the attorney in charge of implementing the program, RAVN can identify and work with specific variables to complete two weeks’ worth of work in two seconds, making it over 12 million times quicker than an associate doing the same task manually.
Legal bots are interactive online programs designed to interact with an audience to assist with a specific function or to provide customised answers to the recipient’s specific situation. Many law firms are developing bots to assist current or prospective clients in dealing with a legal issue based on circumstances and facts. Other groups are developing pro bono legal bots to assist people who may not otherwise have access to legal resources.
For example, a Stanford law graduate developed an online chatbot called DoNotPay that has helped over 160,000 people resolve parking tickets, and is now being expanded to help refugees with their legal problems.
Are AI and big data analytics the way forward?
Although widespread in industries from aerospace to waste management, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data are cutting-edge technologies not usually associated with the legal profession.
Long considered a conservative profession, the legal trade is undergoing a shift thanks to Fourth Industrial revolution technologies like AI, an increasingly important tool in a law firm’s kit.
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