If we could look into the future of the legal profession, we’d likely see a vast difference from the field we work in today. Artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that began 20 years ago and is currently the subject of much research and discussion, will likely have made its way prominently into the law.
We are already facing opportunities and challenges in AI in terms of our personal lives, specifically how it will and should take over individual day-to-day tasks as well as tasks that deal with the population as a whole.
To think that the legal profession will escape the seemingly certain integration of AI into society is not admitting the prominence of the technology and is certainly not harnessing its benefits.
The Beginning of AI for the Legal Profession
When the technology boom was in its infancy, and email and personal computers started to emerge as efficient ways to access information, Director of Software Sales for Record Technologies Jay Leib was scanning clients’ documents into databases. His realization that the print and scan method was incredibly inefficient led him and his business partner, Don Roth, to create a program that would electronically manage documents for litigation. This idea led to the purchase of an e-discovery application and the creation of Discover Cracker, a tool that lawyers needed but that was lacking in the marketplace.
The Revolution Had Started
Instead of dealing with tons of papers and hours of scanning, lawyers were able to progress to more efficient workflow through the use e-discovery along with digital legal research and document review. Again though, there was a lack in the marketplace. Why rely on antiquated search tools when you could potentially avoid problems by turning to data analyzers, or early AI tools that would allow a lawyer to identify trends, mitigate risk and prevent unnecessary legal spending?
AI Is Changing the Way Lawyers Do Business
Today, lawyers think, do business, and interact with clients differently because of artificial intelligence. AI in the legal profession is much more than technology that increases efficiency and minimizes risk. It’s a great hope for the future that could revolutionize the industry by pushing the boundaries of existing ideas. What is so intriguing about AI is that it’s creating a paradigm shift when it comes to how lawyers and others in the profession facilitate their work. Often referred to as cognitive computing, AI deals with computers learning to complete traditional human-actioned tasks and actually build on skills.
Through AI, our computers will increasingly get better at searching for patterns within data, at performing tests to analyze data, and at looking for results targeted tightly to our queries. AI will become incredibly more helpful in telling data stories so that lawyers can better predict litigation, and anticipate workflow and challenges.
If you’re interested in AI and want to learn more about how it can benefit your work as an attorney in New York City, consider taking NY CLE courses that dive into AI concepts.