Over the last two decades, the profession of lawyers has undergone substantial changes induced by technological advances. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now on the verge of profoundly transforming the legal profession and to improve the efficiency and accuracy of legal tasks by saving time and minimising errors.

Improving the efficiency

Law firms adopting these technologies can improve the quality of legal services and better serve clients since AI significantly reduces the time and resources needed for legal tasks.

AI offers significant benefits for legal document drafting, analysis, and comparison. It creates standard contract templates with built-in legal language and clauses, conducts legal research, and reviews large volumes of documents to flag potential errors or inconsistencies. It can identify key terms and clauses and highlight relevant information of a document.

AI can analyse transactional or financial documents, social media feeds, and online press/podcasts to identify patterns and trends, evaluate past performance, anticipate legal and compliance issues, and assist with fraud detection.

AI has the potential to revolutionise legal document drafting, enhance due diligence investigations, reduce costs and errors, and help lawyers assess potential risks more accurately. However, AI can't replace the nuanced legal analysis provided by humans. For now, it lacks the human ability to understand and interpret context and thus should not replace the expertise of a skilled lawyer. Moreover AI sometimes reproduces biases from its training data that could impact decision-making. Deep learning will certainly change the game in the future.

Reducing legal costs

Largest law firms have adopted digital transformation strategies based on AI notably to address their client's main concern in terms of reduction of legal cost and fees, especially in the current economic climate. Thomson Reuters' 2024 Report on the State of the Legal Market shows a growing bifurcation between large and mid-size law firms. Larger firms are investing more in digital transformation strategies based on AI, while midsize firms are increasing their associate headcount.

While AI may eventually supplant lawyers, for now, only those who can use AI will maintain a profitable business. Some clients are already objecting to AI-generated legal documents and emails.

In any case, the days when an army of lawyers drafted dozens of documents for a closing are undeniably over. The shift towards value-added services is crucial if not vital for the legal industry.

Addressing recruitment issues and management issues

The legal profession suffers from profound problems of attractiveness which, in Luxembourg, are reinforced by local issues (property prices, traffic problems...). While AI can offer immediate solutions, relying too heavily on it could be a long-term problem for law firms as they risk losing out on the highly qualified lawyers of tomorrow who will become partners in the future.

AI can also assist lawyers who lack management skills, as it is always available and doesn't show any susceptibility or pride. However, in November 2023 some users of the ChatGPT subreddit complained that the chatbot was becoming lazy and unhelpful as it refused to perform certain tasks. The company later acknowledged in a post on X in December 2023 (formerly Twitter) that model behaviour is "unpredictable" and promised to fix it.

Originally published by Paperjam.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.