Beyond the Hype: A Deep Dive Into the Real Value of AI For Lawyers

Beyond the Hype: A Deep Dive Into the Real Value of AI For Lawyers

Picture this — a dystopian world where AI has replaced human lawyers, leaving them wandering the streets with nothing but their law degrees to keep them warm at night. 

Right out of a sci-fi movie.

Even though AI coming to Google Search is hot off the press, your job is going nowhere.

AI has been around in some form since the 1950s. It combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem-solving. It simulates human reasoning by perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information to perform functions that normally require human intelligence.

Even though Machine Learning (ML) is used synonymously with AI, it’s only a form of AI.

We then have Generative AI (GAI), which is a branch of ML capable of generating new content such as text, images, video, code, etc in response to prompts.

Large language models or LLMs are a type of GAI because they also generate new combinations of text. LLMs are neural networks with many parameters trained on large quantities of text using self-supervised or semi-supervised learning (forms of ML).

ChatGPT has become the symbol for this new era that we’ve stepped into but what will change the world we live in is not ChatGPT itself. The technology that it is built on — which is rapidly evolving — is the real breakthrough.

The rise of AI in the legal industry is not a threat, but an opportunity. Think of it like Neo discovering the Matrix — AI is the key to unlocking your full legal potential.

But with AI taking over, concerns about putting privileged information into a tool like ChatGPT are on the rise, especially those that deal with privileged legal data.

The AI Advantage: What Can You Do For Me?

AI applications have exploded — from automatic reminders to drafting agreements and everything in between. 

How can you, as a lawyer, benefit from these AI applications? 

Well, let’s find out.

1. They allow for early (& more accurate) risk assessment

Analyzing large volumes of data and identifying key information is a hefty task. Early case assessment or ECA can help lawyers make informed decisions ahead of time. 

While Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) is capable of reviewing information in real-time, machine learning models are able to predict the outcomes of cases in fairly surprising ways, some providing 90% accuracy

Not only can you understand your position accurately, but also predict costs and stay transparent to stakeholders.

2. Structured workflows that save time

Comparing, organizing, and analyzing documents has become faster than ever. Not only speed — lawyers are realizing that such technology can improve the overall structure and logical flow of documents.

Here’s how:

  • Allocating tasks to the right people
  • Identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies 
  • Making data searchable and identifiable in relevant file types
  • Building workflows, for example, to handle an employment investigation issue
  • Automatically categorizing, tagging, and retrieving legal documents based on content and relevance

Tasks that took hours are now done within minutes.

3. Less mind-numbing work

Research, review, and document quality control. Stuck with this low-value work for clients? 

Time to change that. 

Add your unique value and complete focus to the work that computers can’t do so you can free up time and mental energy. This will also give you the freedom to take bigger risks.

AI can do the first round of “heaving lifting,” taking out the boredom and allowing attorneys to feel more confident about the work they do.

While you are aware of all these benefits, it can still bring up fears about AI replacing your job. 

You’ve seen the bots. You’ve tried your hand at them. They’re pretty solid. 

But not as solid as clients want their legal advisors to be.

Things that make you want to throw your laptop out of the window? That’s being given away to AI. It’s here to make the nit-picky part of the job easier and faster so you can do what you were meant to — focus on providing a great service to your clients.

Who's Outline Is It Anyway? AI Use Cases For Lawyers

AI is good at finding items that meet human-defined criteria and detecting patterns in data. Basically, it’s a master of “search-and-find” tasks. 

It can apply human-fed rules once it has identified something and then taken action. For example, “if-then,” “find me,” and “tell me” tasks.

But remember, that AI is filled with bias. This can make it difficult to draw objective conclusions free of fallacies such as cause and effect.

Yet, 44 percent of legal work could be automated by AI as found by economists at Goldman Sachs. So, forget the due diligence all-nighters and let AI do the legwork:

1. Legal research: Lawyers can quickly sift through volumes of data and identify relevant cases, statutes, and other legal information. 

2. Finding smoking gun evidence: Identifying evidence that may not be apparent can be hard. AI can help reach the end of inboxes in minutes, leaving more time for lawyers to discover relevant information.

3. eDiscovery: Allows lawyers to scan documents using specific terms and tags to get instant responses and find evidence that matters. 

4. Creating timelines: AI can help in scheduling, creating timelines for projects, and completing manual tasks to boost productivity. It can also create timelines of events or facts relevant to a case, making it easier to visualize and analyze the data.

5. Early case assessment: AI tools are able to predict outcomes by analyzing data to ensure accurate and cost-predictable discovery. 

6. Due diligence: Pulling specific documents, spotting variations, and highlighting issues are just some of the things AI can do. The best part? All of it happens in seconds. 

7. Review: It has become easier than ever to feed AI with “your standard” and then it can check documents using those pre-defined rules.

8. Workflow automation: AI can automate a process end-to-end to ensure that there is human intervention only where needed. 

9. Access to information: Barriers to justice have been reduced. The cost of accessing legal help isn’t high anymore — chatbots are being developed to answer common legal queries or direct users to relevant resources or services.

10. Compliance monitoring: Evolving regulations can be monitored, ensuring businesses remain compliant and don’t miss the mark. 

11. Outlining: AI can help lawyers create and organize outlines for legal briefs and arguments, saving significant time and effort.

Just FYI, ChatGPT generated an outline for the article you’re reading right now. But hey, I’m a real person writing it.

As legal AI advances, the things it can be used for advances, too. 

It’s almost like a legal assistant for lawyers. When clients asked you a question and you immediately looked it up on Google, now it’s time to fire up ChatGPT with those same questions for, well — better answers.

Remember that you’d rather be safe than sorry. Using tech that saves you time and helps you do your stuff faster is a great way to stay with the curve: For example, we announced Logikbot AI at our most recent product launch event.

Tools that can help you stay on top and make you efficient are very much here, constantly evolving, and promising.

Prompting Change: Some AI Prompts For Lawyers

Having a conversation with ChatGPT can feel intense. Sometimes it just doesn’t get you. It’s unable to decipher context and gives you vanilla answers. We’ll come to that in a minute.

Before that, let’s talk a little bit about prompting itself.

It’s the new “Google Search.”

One thing is established — the better the quality of your prompts, the better the output.

So, here are some examples attorneys can use in different types of legal work that they do:

  • Act as the best lawyer in the world. What are the pros and cons of [legal argument/position]? Give me a breakdown of how these arguments can be used in the courtroom in [jurisdiction]. Put them in a table. 
  • What could be the potential impact of [legal issue] on [affected parties]? Give a checklist for [affected parties] to follow in order to ensure that they can cope with it. If the checklist does not solve, remedy, or make the situation better, suggest other alternatives and come up with a revised and full-proof checklist. Do this task as if you were the legal counsel for [affected parties].

Remember that sometimes even when you specify “and,” “or,” or give the prompt more context, it could not give the result you expected. So, just add the specific prompt again. For example, “The checklist you provided was not enough to solve our problems. Come up with a revised and full-proof 10-point checklist which solves our problem step-by-step.”

Conversational prompting is when with every new prompt, you give the AI more and more context so that it leads you to more nuanced and accurate responses.

It will also remember things that you mentioned before in a thread. But if it does not consider a piece of information for the new prompt you’ve given, add that context with another prompt.

Let’s look at a few more prompts:

  • Prepare a 1-page draft of a co-founder agreement between the founders of a tech startup. Write down a 1-pager of a proposed co-founder’s agreement that will cover all the important aspects of ownership, shares, rights, IP, confidentiality, etc.
  • What is the correct procedure for [legal action] in [jurisdiction]? Give me a detailed step-by-step process along with the documents required, any hurdles I may face, and authoritative resources and websites I can refer to.

While you may ask ChatGPT to review your documents, remember that you might be questioned on issues like privileged information and confidentiality. 

For compliance-driven professionals like lawyers, that means a cautious approach is best. This involves anonymizing information by removing or replacing personally identifiable information, confidential details, or any content that could compromise the privacy of individuals or breach legal obligations.

Logikbot AI will take these concerns away because the information will not be public but within a secure and private environment that values confidentiality.

From Naive to Pro

AI is rapidly developing, offering better advantages as the days go by.

As ethical concerns get wiped out with better versions, there will be more and more to experiment with.

The reality is that these tools are designed to eliminate the tedious mind-numbing work to make the legal practice more efficient and fulfilling for attorneys.

But remember that people are just starting to test the limits of this technology.

So start curious, know what it's capable of, and figure it out as you do what you're already good at.

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