Every breakthrough in the field of law has been revolutionary, be it the shift from typewriters to computers, from libraries solely for legal study to internet portals dedicated to finding relevant case laws, or from fax machines to emails. The latest in that list is the penetration of AI in law.
There is no doubt that AI can change the way lawyers work and the way the law is viewed in India. To quote Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, – “Technology is relevant to the government as it fosters transparency, efficiency, and objectivity.”Artificial intelligence has the potential to aid judges by facilitating the rechecking or evaluation of their work, process, and judgment.
A giant step towards a technology makeover of the legal system in India, is the apex court’s recent move to transcribe proceedings live using Artificial Intelligence (AI). On February 21, CJI Chandrachud announced his most recent AI-aided initiative — live transcription of Constitution Bench proceedings. In addition to transcriptions, SUPACE (2021) (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency) – a portal that enables the Supreme Court to leverage machine learning to process vast amounts of data they receive when filing cases and judgment translations, is another AI-based initiative.
AI In Legal Transcription
Transcription has predominantly been a manual operation in the past, until the advent of AI. Today, AI in law is used for automated and accurate transcription through speech and voice recognition. The lack of typing or stenographic services for low-value litigation and the need for e-discovery of legal materials has led to the recording of many court proceedings on advanced systems that identify speakers.
Afterwards, these recordings are sent to a court reporting agency for certification and legal transcription. Here is where AI, natural language processing (NLP), and speech recognition can greatly speed up the transcription process.
Here are some of the benefits artificial intelligence can bring to court systems, litigators, and the court system itself.
- Transcripts delivered faster
- Cost reductions
- Increased capacity for lawyers to serve more clients
- Transcripts on demand
- Access to searchable audio
Scope Of AI In Law
There are various ways by which the legal industry can benefit from AI technology to its advantage to reap the maximum benefits. Below are some ways AI in law is beneficial:
- Legal Research Work
Besides the long hours and monotonous nature of legal research, most law firms need comprehensive legal research which is a crucial part of the work of a lawyer or judge and often has to be done under stringent deadlines. AI-based software helps to overcome this challenge by significantly improving the efficiency and accuracy of legal processes. For example, AI helps judges deliver judgments promptly by providing relevant case laws within a single click. Using machine-run software, a lawyer can review contract documents quickly and highlight relevant clauses.
- Verify documents in less time
Legal practitioners spend a lot of time reviewing multiple legal documents as part of the due diligence process. The process of converting and organizing all such vital documents is certainly time-consuming and cumbersome. Nevertheless, thanks to AI solutions, the tedious task of due diligence can now be handled much more quickly and accurately. Clients need answers quickly.
With the power of artificial intelligence, document intelligence identifies, categorizes, extracts, and delivers relevant information from documents in thousands of volumes. Artificial intelligence software scans a document and automatically breaks it down into searchable information, extracting key clauses and obligations. An intensive document review is a lengthy and arduous process, which is compounded by the fact that “time kills all deals.” With Document Intelligence, document reviews can be conducted faster and more efficiently. As a result of AI in law, due diligence document review time may be reduced by up to 70%, while critical provisions can be discovered across thousands of documents in a matter of minutes.
- Document management and automation
Automating legal document management is essential for managing high volumes of routine legal work for sustainable growth. AI-driven document management software stores and organizes legal files, including contracts, case files, notes, and emails, using tagging and profiling. Such a system, not only makes it easier to locate and retrieve documents but also supports full-text search capability.
- Increased productivity
Improved efficiency across the firm can be achieved by automating routine manual tasks with AI. Whether you’re searching for a contract, conducting due diligence, or creating an invoice, AI in law increases productivity of processes. Lawyers who become more efficient can spend more time with their clients while increasing their billable hours.
- AI in law produces more accurate and higher-quality work
Information can be reviewed in real-time using Technology Assisted Review (TAR tools), including predictive coding. TAR, computer software to electronically categorize documents based on input from experts, allowing document organization, prioritization, and review, to be expedited. This allows lawyers to identify potential risks earlier, advise clients wisely about their exposure, and prevent legal problems before they arise. The use of AI in law enables firms to quickly identify relevant information and define the universe of data and custodians that must be safeguarded when a lawsuit has been filed, or even merely threatened.
- AI improves organizational and logical structure.
Attorneys can detect loopholes in their documents and complete their legal analysis more quickly using AI-driven tools. An analysis program that has learned from repeated analysis, for example, can identify missing terms or definitions in known types of contracts. In a legal memorandum, document analysis can uncover a logical connection that hasn’t yet been firmly established, which allows attorneys to strengthen their weak points. Smart software that allows attorneys to switch between levels and views quickly and conveniently enhances the overall structure and logical flow of the document for both parties.
Future of AI in Law
Across the globe, AI in law has exploded exponentially, with new developments emerging daily. AI has proven to be beneficial in the legal field in several ways, including that it has assisted legal professionals in conducting fast-paced research, aided judges in making decisions, and assisted law firms in gathering data for due diligence which makes their work more efficient. Although AI can assist lawyers in certain areas, it cannot replace them.
There are, however, challenges and risks associated with the inclusion of AI in the legal industry, such as lukewarm acceptance of AI by legal professionals, lack of proper systems and data, and high cost of use. The full integration of AI in law will only be possible following the implementation of a legal framework to minimize the risks associated with its actions. For AI to be included safely, we need to be fair and balanced.
Here are some suggestions:
1) A strong regulatory framework is required that clearly outlines this intelligent machine’s obligations and liabilities.
2) Accountability has to control the actions of AI in law.
3) privacy needs to be protected by stronger data protection laws.
Thus, we should not shy away from technological advances, but embrace them and make use of them to our advantage by putting in place legislation that protects the interests of its users.
Edited By: Naga Vydyanathan