Technology has long played a role in making the workplace more efficient — and artificial intelligence (AI) is no different. Capable of automating time-consuming and mundane tasks, AI is designed to make operations easier. In fact, it's already making positive changes in the legal profession, with the DoNotPay chatbots in London and New York being prime examples. Regarded as the world's 'first robot lawyer', the chatbots have helped over 160,000 people contest parking fines for free, and are now being trialled in small-claims courts.
However, this doesn't mean AI will eliminate the human element in the profession. In fact, it's birthing what's being called an AI augmentation arrangement ― a setup in which humans and machines work hand-in-hand to improve results. But what exactly is AI?
In a long-form article on AI by ZDNet, AI is described as any system that demonstrates human intelligence behaviours such as planning, problem-solving, data collection, information analysis and even reasoning. In other words, AI is a technology that can perform human functions. You can think of AI as your hyper-efficient colleague, but in machine form. As such, it can help you in the following ways:
AI Helps in Data Collection and Analysis
Inside Big Data emphasises how data collection and analysis are core responsibilities carried out by Legal Secretaries and Assistants. These include, but are not limited to, pulling up similar court cases, compiling documents relevant to a pending case and checking relevant data. Both data collection and analysis, incidentally, are core strengths of AI, making it particularly useful in the legal field. Verizon Connect details how AI can help in making sense of large volumes of data and presenting it in easy-to-digest visual formats. These processes turn raw data into something useful, which can then help lawyers win their cases and boost a firm’s reputation in the process.
AI Helps in Contract Reviews and Management
Law firms are also responsible for reviewing an assortment of contracts to make sure no provisions go against the client. This is time-consuming work that entails analysing contracts in bulk. AI tools such as LawGeex and eBrevia can help in this regard, as they are tailor-made to review and sort contracts, identify risks and other issues, and spot errors. With the help of AI, therefore, you can take on a more proactive role in preparing contracts, saving the firm’s lawyers a considerable amount of time and effort so they can focus on making sure all contracts sent to the firm are in favour of clients.
AI Helps in Building Credibility
We discussed in “Building Credibility as an Assistant” how credibility is an asset that’s pivotal to your success as a Legal Assistant. One way you can improve it is by being consistent, which AI can help you achieve. With this hyper-efficient colleague helping you out, you can be very productive and punctual when it comes to accomplishing your tasks. Not to mention that AI can keep you from getting overwhelmed, making it easier to take full responsibility of every task given to you. In other words, AI can help you perform better – enough to earn your superiors’ trust.
Change is Good
All that, of course, is contingent on one crucial factor: your ability and willingness to adapt with the times. So you need to keep educating yourself, specifically on the latest technologies such as the aforementioned AI tools available in your field. Eventually, law firms will look for individuals who can take full advantage of this innovative technology – so it’s best to stay ahead of the curve and start learning now.
Author: Leslie Pondexter
Leslie Pondexter is a former Legal Secretary who now works as a freelance HR consultant. She also writes regularly about technology utilisation in the workplace and contributes articles to both print and online publications.