I can hear the jokes now… “well, it may be Artificial, but at least it’s intelligent! “ Yes, lawyers have been on the receiving end of jokes for many years, but most of us work hard for our clients, care about them and do our very best to ensure the best possible outcome under the circumstances with which they are presented.
As a profession over the years, attorneys have generally been considered smart (hey, we passed law school and the Bar exam!) but now clients are hearing about this truly SMART new technology that has even passed the bar exam! So, should attorneys feel threatened?
The Impact of AI on the Legal Industry
There are indeed numerous programs out in cyberspace that tout AI legal skills. Essentially they can make attorneys’ lives easier by doing some of the following:
- Automating routine tasks.
- Reviewing and analyzing documents.
- Researching specific legal cases, statutes, and regulations.
It’s clear that AI is here to stay and its impact is only expected to grow in the coming years. But what does this mean for attorneys and you, the client? The Law Office of Milena Christopher, a Dripping Springs law firm serving Hays, Blanco, and Travis counties, understands there are both benefits and challenges to this new technology. Let’s dive into what those look like today.
Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence in Law Firms
While there is much to be seen about how AI can fully impact the legal industry in the years to come, we have identified a few benefits this new technology could bring to both lawyers and clients including:
- Time savings. The use of AI has allowed lawyers to automate tasks that were once time-consuming and repetitive. This frees up time for more valuable activities, meaning more time can be spent interacting with clients and developing strategies for cases.
- Document review and analysis. Much time is spent reviewing numerous documents to prepare for a trial or case. AI can review and analyze these documents quickly and more efficiently.
- More client care. When the tedious, intricate, and repetitive tasks are removed for attorneys, it gives them more time to spend with their clients. More time can be spent keeping clients informed through every stage of the legal process.
Overall, AI is expected to transform the legal industry by enabling lawyers to work more efficiently and effectively. It also gives attorneys a chance to provide higher quality services and spend time focusing on clientele.
The Challenges of AI for Lawyers and Clients
While lawyers' use of artificial intelligence can save them time and help them focus on their clients, there are certainly challenges to introducing this new technology into the legal sector. Here are a few issues that arise from relying too heavily on AI:
Questions arise as lawyers begin to use artificial intelligence to draft paperwork and research information. AI programs have been known to make mistakes with the information they provide in addition to not citing all sources.
Attorneys are ethically responsible for making factual statements, which means double-checking facts and not relying solely on artificial intelligence to produce final drafts.
As stated in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, “a lawyer shall not knowingly reveal confidential information of a client or a former client to anyone else…”
Does this include information provided to AI programs? The depth of this issue has yet to be determined, which means that attorneys should use extreme caution with the information that they are providing to artificial intelligence software. They should also be transparent with their clients about how AI is being used in their cases.
At the end of the day, lawyers must ensure that the use of AI does not violate ethical standards or legal requirements. Additionally, lawyers are still in charge of their own judgments, content, and services. While the use of artificial intelligence has its place, there are still obstacles to overcome as this new form of technology continues to be integrated into the legal sector.
And while Robot Lawyers may one day argue successfully in court, there is something no robot can do:
- Be creative in strategy of the case.
- Be sensitive to the concerns of the client.
- To give individualized attention to the client’s matter.
After all, every case is different – different facts, different counties, different judges, different parties, etc.…. which all require analyzing them individually to do what is best ultimately for the client.
AI and the Future
Because we have yet to fully see how this kind of technology will affect the legal industry, we believe the best option is to proceed with caution. As with many things, artificial intelligence is ultimately a tool. Used correctly, it will help lawyers with their overall goal of saving their clients time and money. But it certainly doesn’t replace the human touch or the knowledge that skilled attorneys have gained through their years of experience.
If you’re looking for an attorney who focuses on your personal needs when assessing every part of your case, call The Law Office of Milena Christopher. We offer clients in the Hays, Blanco and Travis Counties and surrounding areas a personable and caring experience.