Artificial Intelligence (AI) means the usage of man-made or artificial systems with the help of human intelligence for e.g.- the work done on computer systems requires the support of human intelligence. Gradually, everything is being overpowered by AI and our legal system no longer remains an exception to it. This form of the system can take under its control everything starting with legal research, drafting, and ending with delivering judgement in virtual courts. We are at a stage where there is rapid growth in business law with the application of AI and the major contributors to such a change are none other than the present practising lawyers. This has immensely contributed to the corporate world’s day-to-day activities and surely, AI is going to be ubiquitous- an essential and priceless virtual aid for both new and established lawyers.
AI IN THE FIELD OF LAW
To begin with we have seen the major impact of AI during the lockdown days where all the work was done from home without visiting the industry. When the virtual courts started functioning many lawyers were seen working on various e-forms and e-drafts. This in turn has reduced physical human interference in the legal industry. The rise of AI and its impact in the law sector has recently begun but here a question will arise in the mind of the readers as to whether the use of AI in the law field will last longer for future lawyers and whether it would prove to be beneficial for litigation purposes.
It is rightly said that AI will not replace lawyers but lawyers who understand the use of AI will replace those who do not. Considering the above two questions, it will be a boon for the legal industry. The reasoning behind this is that the use of AI has positively impacted the legal industry till now and if its use is not seen as an advantage now then it would result in severe backlash for the law firms.
The flourishing of technology and its impact in this field will not diminish the number of lawyers and judges; it will help gain efficiency, accuracy, and productivity thus resulting in the rapid growth of the legal industry. AI is known to replace the tiring laborious work e.g.- drafting legal notices, researching, case managing, and other kinds of stuff which has now become more convenient with the assistance and support of intelligence software. Another important thing to note here is that there should not be any room for error in this profession. Each case law shall be cited with proper references and citations and should be able to deliver its intended meaning. And all this can be achieved with the help of its cleverly integrated AI algorithms. Clients will increasingly prefer the use of sophisticated technology, which will in turn compel law firms and attorneys to also follow the same. The lawyers or the law firms who will be able to concentrate and resolve business law-related issues of the clients with the help of sophisticated technology would thus be considered fit over those who cannot work with its use.
BENEFITS OF AI IN THE LEGAL INDUSTRY
It has several advantages and uses that help in the advancement of the legal sector. It includes the following benefits:
- Acts as a time-saver – Contract negotiation and drafting of cases create a lot of pressure on the lawyers if it is manual work but with the use of AI, it consumes less time and is hence more effective and faster. The AI software can quickly scan through the contracts to identify their key components, eliminating the need for the lawyer to manually read them all. For instance, in the JP Morgan example, a new AI-powered software called COIN was used in 2017 which solved the issue of several commercial loan agreements and reduced 3,60,000 lawyer- hours to a few seconds. Another example that I would like to highlight is that legal advisors can identify, extract, and evaluate business data from massive contract information with the help of some tools provided by Kira systems. Using this, many contract summary graphs for M&A transactions can be done without facing any issues.
- It is cost-effective– We all know that installation of AI-powered software requires a huge investment initially but in the long-term, the return that it provides will act as a replacement for many paralegals or clerks. All such work that is supposed to be done by paralegals manually will now be simplified by AI software without any error.
- Acts as an error-detection system– Manual work requires a lot of challenging work and is time-consuming. This might lead to committing a lot of mistakes whereas if it is done with the support of AI, this error gets reduced to zero. Also, it will prevent a lawyer from rewriting a document containing errors or dismissing them.
- Highly effective for litigation– AI software has increased the ability of lawyers to forecast the work of litigation based on the historical course of previously aggregated litigation. This has improved with the help of AI-powered software. It is even employed to foresee how a legal case will turn out. To forecast the outcome of ongoing cases, several startup businesses are developing models.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN INDIA?
The first question which will come into the minds of legal professionals is that “Will AI be the replacement for a lawyer?”
India being a developing country has always welcomed the use of AI software. Among all the countries, it ranks 3rd with 19% of the industries in our country using this software to date. Similarly, the use of AI is slowly progressing in the legal industry. In the year 2017, Cyril Amarchand Mangladas for the first time introduced AI software in India in consultation with an agreement with Kira systems (which is a Canada-based software provider). To increase productivity 4% of the legal sector now makes use of AI-based technologies.
The ISAIL which is an acronym for “The Indian Society of Artificial Intelligence and Law” is the only society in India that envisions integrating AI into the legal industry. The aim of such an organisation is to spread the message of compassion and hope. I think a single action can impact the community, but a collective action can have a significant global impact. Although it is moving at a slow rate but is surely going to have the world’s biggest industry using AI-based software.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE
Soon, India will see rapid growth of AI software in the field of law and surely there will not come a time when it will supplant the existing lawyers. The lawyers using this software would replace those who do not understand its application. This software will not outgrow or replace the judges or the lawyers but will in turn enhance their working ability. In case, the technologies outgrow them it will create a sense of dependence among the lawyers and judges which will refrain them from making unassisted decisions. Without these AI-powered tools, it will surely create a lot of fuss and impair the long-term cognitive processes of the human mind.
It will overcome its disadvantages and make sure that the following three conditions are fulfilled:
- Innovative customer service.
- Higher profit margins of the firms.
- Making technology the basis for development.
This software is gradually gaining popularity in the legal industry and the law professionals who have readily adopted this tool are witnessing a higher level of accuracy in their work and good productivity. A strong relationship is being built between law and tech and to be honest, this is going to be a remarkable success soon. AI is helping legal professionals advance in their careers and its application will not make the lawyer’s expertise obsolete. The law professionals who get adapted to such a change will enjoy its benefits overall and thus contribute solely to the client’s demand. Thus, in short, Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Industry is a boon for our society.
Author(s) Name: Shreya Bhattacharya (Adamas University, Kolkata)
‘Artificial Intelligence Bone or Bane’ (Law and Tech Times, 22 May 2020) <https://lawandtechtimes.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/artificial-intelligence-bone-or-bane/> accessed 01 December 2022
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