AI and Lawyers: The Benefits of Both Together

icon-contract

Two impactful market forces converged between 2000 to 2017 that opened the possibility of incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into corporate legal department workflows. First, data storage prices dipped from $12.40 per GB to $0.004 per GB. And then data volume grew from 2 to 26 zettabytes. With this upswing of data came huge advances in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) that brought AI to the forefront of technology today.

The rise of AI has also raised quite a few concerns; namely, its implication for the human workforce. Despite all the buzz surrounding the application of AI in the legal field, it is important to separate fact from fiction and look at the very real ways legal departments are using AI and attorneys together to improve their practices.

Is There An AI Attorney for Contract Work?

To date, a true “AI attorney” does not exist. Rather, AI-based platforms are used to automate certain aspects of legal work; typically, the most routine tasks. For instance, in the corporate legal sphere, an AI solution scans a draft for errors and inconsistencies in boilerplate clauses. It can redline and offer content-based revision suggestions based on a company’s AI Digital Playbook. In other words, technology is taking the first pass, but a human touch is still required for the last mile.

Should Attorneys Feel Threatened by AI?

As the American Bar Association duly notes, there are certain functions which AI cannot provide: adaptability, creativity, empathy, and judgment. Despite advances in technology, these attributes are unique to humans. For instance, while an AI contract review platform can recognize and redline a deviation from a standard playbook, it doesn’t know if the change is justified based on the relationship with the particular client. Attorneys understand that they owe their clients a duty of competence in such a highly specialized field, and they have a legal liability to oversee the technology that assists their work. In short, AI will always need someone to maintain the guard rails.

Is AI Difficult To Implement?

Attorneys may also worry that the technology is prohibitively expensive or too difficult to implement, thereby leaving their businesses unable to compete. However, these fears are unfounded given current market realities.

AI solutions are affordable options for many legal departments, especially with pricing that scales. And using one can be as easy as sending an email or uploading a few dozen contract samples to the platform. 

Out of the starting gate, the average lawyer is more productive when using AI for contract review. This productivity improves over time as attorneys become more familiar with the AI. Senior attorneys are able to reallocate 15% of their time away from contracting altogether and onto more high-value tasks, saving 33% in costs.

How Can AI Help Corporate Legal Departments?

AI is not replacing attorneys, but the composition and structure of legal departments will inevitably change over time. First, scores of junior-level attorneys who are buried in routine paperwork and wholly reliant on senior attorneys for approvals will become a much welcomed thing of the past. Recruiting and training costs will decrease. Second, the next generation of AI-savvy attorneys will bring an entirely new skillset to the workforce, including the ability to solve problems and make more strategic decisions using technology. 

With the help of an AI-powered contract review and negotiation solution like LexCheck, corporate legal departments can combine the collective skill and knowledge of attorneys and AI—creating a workforce that leverages the best of both.

LexCheck can:

    • Look for specific issues in agreements that attorneys have trained the AI to identify

    • Provide attorney-quality review and markup that can automatically tailor third-party agreements to conform to a negotiating playbook

    • Verify that a draft adheres to legal playbook guidance

    • Review contracts to look for deviations, errors and omissions in accordance with the legal playbook

LexCheck technology adds a layer of due diligence and efficiency to the contract review and negotiation process. In fact, it is capable of reviewing an entire contract draft in under five minutes—shaving days, if not weeks, off the closing time frame. With so much time saved, attorneys can shift their focus towards more meaningful and impactful tasks.

Given its proven ability to increase consistency while reducing expenses, AI is likely to become the gold standard for streamlining legal workplace efficiency over the next decade. It is here to stay, and attorneys who work in tandem with it will be well positioned to engage in more satisfying and productive work.

LexCheck leverages the strength of attorneys and AI to transform how legal teams work. If you’d like to learn more about the difference it can make, contact us at sales@lexcheck.com or request a demo.

gary-sanghaGary Sangha | Founder & CEO

Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.