The rising popularity of tapping artificial intelligence to aid, improve, lessen costs and maximize productivity of various industries seem to be met with skepticism by lawyers and the legal sector as a whole. Legal process automation, is a technological development wherein a computer program perform a certain task instead of being manually done by a human.
The utilization of AI automation has been steadily rising in which the transformation in the legal industry is being felt worldwide. But will this technological advancement becomes an impediment to the legal industries workforce or will this be a timely and necessary tool that should be embraced the soonest possible?
Seasoned lawyers, paralegals, and law firms that have been actively engaged for some years may acknowledge the fact that AI automation solutions did not sprout overnight. In fact, changes including legal process automation have already occured couple of years ago. Nevertheless, the rapid advancement of its maneuvering is taking the legal industry by storm.
Is it necessary for law firms, lawyers, paralegals and even law school students to be alarmed? Is there a need for the legal professionals to worry that their service may become obsolete because of how AI is catching up with augmenting legal process through automation?
The panic may be deemed valid or not. The truth of the matter is, depending on the perspective being look at and the actions being taken, legal process automation can affect the industry in general–positively or negatively. Since at the time being, there’s no concrete answer as to how fast things are moving, but experts and advocates predicts that significant changes may occur between the time-frame of 2020 to 2025. However, for the majority of legal jobs to be likely fully automated will probably take around 20 more years or so.
Currently, start-ups and established IT-based corporations have developed softwares and provides automated services that approximately replaces about 2% of the total legal workload in a year. This may look quite low, but taking into consideration how fast AI evolves, it is thus possible that the replacement of repetitive legal tasks may abruptly mature in no time.
The Current Predicament Faced by Legal Professionals
Is it possible for computers to replace flesh-and-blood lawyers? The legal sector may be slow in accepting this change as technology is usually being blamed for the loss of traditional working-class jobs. The legal industry is notoriously known as a labor-heavy profession; nonetheless it provides both fresh grads and lawyers enough opportunities to earn.
Consequently, it appears to legal professionals that automation of legal processes may lead to job loss. Yet, advocates tries to debunk this belief. Experts says that due to economic challenges, a lot of people and companies see legal aid as an expensive commodity. As a
result, instead of pursuing legal action, most individuals or businesses no longer seek legal help since they cannot afford to pay costly fees.
Traditional legal service fees are high, this is why the need for automation is timely and relevant. AI automated solutions can significantly reduce time spent on drudge work. This means that days spent by a human working manually can be replaced by a few hours of computer work through the use of a sophisticated algorithm.
Automating certain legal processes that usually eat a huge amount of work hours, is a big win on efficiency and effectiveness. This means that if a legal professional or law firm knows how to use automation properly, not only that there will be a incremental increase in productivity, but also in profitability. When a lawyer or paralegal become more productive, the likelihood of entertaining new clients and accepting new cases will also grow exponentially. Not to mention that this technological advancement may lower costs, which in return can bring down fees that will ultimately attract more clients.
Legal professionals, just to cite a few examples, can now automate processes through the use of keyword searches instead of manually reviewing and scanning documents or books. A mountain-full of paperwork can now be replaced by algorithms which reviews, analyzes, compares data of cases, jurisprudence, and prediction of which information will be relevant.
These AI advancement and future possible changes is indeed promising. This, however doesn’t mean displacement of legal professionals. On the contrary, this technological evolution will actually help both the legal industry and its clients to arrive more on a win-win agreement.
Although automation is still not very accurate and lax in doing other processes like filling out taxes, creating tax return, or reviewing trust account. However, these services can now be outsourced and even conveniently process with the help of a computer just like the services provided by Bottrell Group. This company assists law firms by helping them save precious time so they can concentrate more on what they do best.
Bottrell team of consultants are seasoned professions with an extensive experience in audit and annual compliance requirements for legal trust accounts. Not only that, law firms and legal professionals can now have a taste of automation with Bottrell’s legal charge-out rate calculator. This tool helps ensure that the firm or legal professional stays competitive. It helps in budgeting for future profits and calculate staff rates.
Ergo, automation of legal processes should not be feared of. Instead, it should be a welcome change in order to stay relevant in this present age. Thus, the legal community needs to adapt well to it so as to be prepared instead of being swept away.