The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way every organization works. Across the world, businesses of all sectors and sizes have had to adapt to keep their teams safe. As a result, social distancing strategies have appeared gradually. In places where a physical presence is necessary, personal protection equipment, perspex glass, and visit limitations have become the new normal.
For businesses where tasks can be performed digitally, remote working options have emerged. For legal service providers, the pandemic has brought a digital revolution, encompassing not only a change of workplace environment but also a dramatic change of mindset. Lawyers have been forced to review their assumptions on how legal services can be delivered and consumed. But this change of attitude toward legal services also brings new concerns for lawyers. In a world where digital technology plays a significant role in the legal ecosystem, can legal firms streamline their processes with more technology, such as AI and bots?
Can a bot solve your legal cases?
A surprising question that some people can brush aside with a smile, but the truth is that robots are able to “solve” legal cases. In the UK, law students created an AI program that can predict the outcome of legal cases. The team ran an experiment and compared the prediction of the computer vs. those of lawyers. Unsurprisingly, the AI won hands down with an accuracy rate of over 86%, while lawyers had 66%. The team used PPI (payment protection insurance) cases for the test, using data crunching and analysis to get results. Tech experts agree that for data-powered cases, digital technology is quicker and more effective than lawyers. Ultimately, it makes no doubt that AI programs outperform humans in data-centric contexts.
There could be an opportunity in the future to rely more on Ai programming for simple cases that can be solved through data analysis. Estonia has been experimenting with AI to judge small claims since 2019. The biggest concern, however, is how people would react to bots joining the legal system.
Is it a profitable investment?
However, it can be difficult for legal firms to consider the introduction of client-facing digital technology in their day-to-day processes. A robot in the office could be an investment where the costs outweigh the return. When it comes to the gradual introduction of legal AI, it’s essential to consider the break even point formula, which in essence calculates how much use you need to get out of the legal bot before it delivers profits. With the formula in mind, it is safer for legal firms to pave the way to technology with simple and inexpensive solutions, such as a legal chatbot. Unlike PPI cases and small claims courts in the examples mentioned above, a chatbot doesn’t need to solve or predict legal cases. On the contrary, lawyers can use the bot to provide ongoing legal information and optimize work processes. Profit can be measured by how much time you save for other activities!
Is there room for digital technology in the legal business? The answer is yes. However, it will be impossible for a bot to replace a lawyer. As such, legal experts do not need to fear for their future. On the contrary, bots can provide a time-saving and accurate approach when it comes to data analysis, document generation, and legal information. Working with bots would mean that lawyers can dedicate more time working with and for the people who need their expertise.