Legal Technology, AI, and the Impact of Both on the Practice of Contract Law

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Legal technology promises faster, cheaper, and more accurate business results. Artificial intelligence (AI), also sometimes referred to as cognitive computing, is a computer’s ability to reason, learn, communicate, and make decisions—and it’s a key part of making those results achievable. 

Legal technology AI developed within the past decade leverages complex algorithms to identify patterns in data, run tests, and deliver results on par with human lawyers. While it may sound like the industry is poised for an AI takeover, the reality is that man and machine are working in tandem to improve contract law like never before.

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How Legal Technology AI Solve Contracting Conundrums

Legal technology AI startups were born out of necessity. Lawyers working in the field recognized that slow workflow processes and tedious administrative tasks bogged down contracting efficiency. Business challenges like those listed below could be solved with the right technology, and so they set out to develop it themselves. 

    • Reimaging data processing: Contract review ranks among the biggest bottlenecks for legal departments. Comparing drafts to clause libraries, legal playbooks, and past agreements can take entire weeks or months if the contract is particularly complex.

      With AI, contracts can be flagged for inconsistencies, color coded for risk, fully redlined without human intervention, and automatically compared to legal playbooks for standardization. All it takes is a matter of minutes, and the end result is more time for staff to focus on negotiation strategies and client relationship building.
    • Turning confusion into productivity: In-house counsel continuously struggles with isolation from other departments, which can lead to overpromising and under-delivering if contracts are not backed by precedent. Even within teams, there can be confusion between junior associates and senior lawyers over why certain decisions are made, whose turn it is to take a pass, or which contract version is most recent. Third-party negotiations can compound the confusion further.

      Legal technology AI not only identifies and corrects errors, but can also add contextual notes to help teams and parties negotiate with greater transparency. Unnecessary back-and-forths emails are done away with, delays stemming from out of office personnel are kept to a minimum, and employees stay productive as basic boilerplate issues are handled by technology.
    • Eliminating burnout while increasing bandwidth: Burnout has become more rampant within the legal industry over the past year. Fifty-two percent of attorneys felt the burn, according to a recent study, and cited disrupted sleep, anxiety, personal relationship issues, depression, and physical health issues as contributing factors. Most corporate legal departments are overflowing with work, yet struggling to fill staffing gaps. Repetitive, mundane work only makes matters worse.

      Legal AI can take a first pass at contract review, greatly expediting the entire process from drafting to execution—often by more than a third. In fact, review times can be cut by over 90% with certain contract review and negotiation software. Lawyers can take on a greater workload without the added stress and anxiety. Less time spent on spotting drafting inconsistencies means more time for building cases and strategizing. And with more time to dedicate to themselves, lawyers can find the right balance between their personal and professional lives.

How Legal Technology AI Fuels Industry Transformation

Changes in the legal industry are well underway as a result of technological innovation, notably with regard to:

    • Due diligence: Legal professionals are able to review larger volumes of agreements more quickly and efficiently thanks to legal technology AI. The latter can provide playbook-guided contextual insertions and lawyer-quality redlining in minutes, for example. Human errors, distractions, and inexperience are no longer factors in contract discrepancies. 
    • Litigation analysis: Better decisions are made with context. Solutions that not only review but also provide negotiation assistance are in high demand as parties seek innovative ways to communicate with greater trust and objectivity. 
    • Boosted productivity: Spending less time on repetitive manual tasks enables lawyers to focus more on human-to-human interactions and value-adds. They’re able to refine their skills and elevate the quality of their work as playbook training and compliance are no longer of concern. Increased capacity opens the door to business growth—and those who are slow to walk through it may find it difficult to compete down the line.

Legal AI Tech Won’t Replace Lawyers, But It Will Make Them Better

LexCheck—an award-winning contract review and negotiation solution—features breakthrough legal technology AI that’s redefining how businesses put their negotiation and compliance playbooks into practice.

LexCheck helped RSM cut its non-disclosure review times by more than half—speeding up deal flows and dramatically boosting their response times. The leading U.S. consulting firm orchestrates more than 1,400 deals every year, and LexCheck’s laser-like focus on the contract redlining and review processes resulted in saving them over 800 manpower hours. 

The pace of legal technology AI will continue to affect corporate law in the future, so it’s imperative that teams start their digital transformation journey now if they haven’t already. And while AI will never be sophisticated enough to replace lawyers entirely, it can alleviate training bottlenecks, aid workflows, and automate daily tasks for unprecedented efficiency. After all, the most successful companies will be the ones that can embrace change and make room for growth.

Legal technology AI is constantly evolving, and so are we. If you’d like to learn more about how LexCheck can help you close deals faster, contact us at sales@lexcheck.com or request a demo to see our technology in action.

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.