AI in Legal Services Handbook 2021 by InvestCEE and SimpLEGAL

In December 2021, InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy in collaboration with Hungarian digital law firm SimpLEGAL issued a practical guide on legal AI. Smart legal technology opens up new opportunities for digitizing legal services, yet law firms and in-house legal departments often still lack clarity as to the use cases and basic terminology used in the legal AI domain.

The handbook is non-sponsored professional content so instead of listing particular AI vendors, we aimed to inspire engagement with AI-based solutions in a creative and transformative way, help increase the added value of legal services and enable fair business processes through legal technology. This blog post summarizes the key take-aways and provides free access to the full English language handbook. The Hungarian language version is available HERE.

 


About the Legal AI Handbook

In a changing economy increasingly driven by data, business-minded legal teams often find themselves under pressure for greater efficiency and productivity. In case of law firms, clients expect quick turn-around time and accurate responses, hence advanced legal technology can demonstrate innovation, which benefits the client. In the case of corporate legal departments, as business needs are growing and internal resources for handling large and complex legal matters are limited, smart technology can have a multiplier effect by reducing external spending and increasing internal efficiencies.

While the theoretical discussion about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting legal services may still be ongoing, forward-looking legal teams (and clients who trust their lawyers) are better advised to shift from debate to taking action. A proactive approach to deploying AI-based solutions requires practitioners and beneficiaries of legal services to consider:

  • how they can actually benefit from this technology while complying with ethical standards and 
  • how to best implement it in a responsible, creative and human-centric manner.

This report is meant to be a guide for innovative legal teams and demanding business clients, both large and small and irrespective of industry background. Our aim is to showcase that professional teams who equip themselves with the adequate AI-based legaltech solutions now have the opportunity to:

  • explore alternative ways of working and design new business models (increase margins), 
  • pioneer data-driven legal services (increase accuracy, work quality and efficiency) and 
  • become the client-focused providers of legal advice the market landscape requires them to be. 

Overall, using AI-driven tools in a legal context should mean that lawyers can deliver better value to their clients. In most cases, these smart solutions are not specific to any particular practice area or industry segment. Responsible and creative use of AI in law is more about the mindset of users than the limitations of the technology itself. With this report, we aim to inspire engagement with AI-based solutions in a creative and transformative way, help increase the added value of legal services and optimize fair business processes through legal technology.


Use cases: the benefits of using AI in legal workstreams

Law firms and corporate legal teams are often curious but uncertain as to how they can harness AI-empowered tools in legal and compliance matters. Clearly, lawyers from various backgrounds are increasingly driven by the need to achieve more accurate results in less time. In a dedicated section of the legal AI handbook, we have collected the most common use cases where AI-driven solutions can help lawyers (and business teams) with their efficiency goals.

In particular, we looked at the following workstreams:

  • Due diligence & document review
  • Contract management
  • Litigation & predictive analytics
  • Legal research & discovery
  • Chatbot solutions
  • Legal spend management
  • Knowledge management for legal teams
Legal AI Handbook Poll Cover

Professional insights for implementing Legal AI solutions 

Implementing AI-augmented legal services can bring great value to legal teams of all sizes and from any industry background. In order to realize that value, lawyers need to be aware of and choose the adequate legal technology solution that best fits their particular client service and everyday working needs. 

Adopting AI in legal work is an area that cannot be left just to IT or innovation groups, but instead will need to include the consideration of firm-wide or company-wide management to make the right decisions. Sourcing and implementing the adequate legal AI solution can be a daunting task, yet it is easier with professional support who can help manage the process. Legal teams should look for a partner that has an implementation methodology as well as an experienced team.

The Legal AI Handbook includes best practice tips and guidance from our professional advisory team at InvestCEE regarding the following key considerations:

  1. Uncovering team priorities and actual user needs with a legaltech focused IT audit – tips and tricks by legaltech advisor Zbyszek Konieczny
  2. The maths behind legal AI and calculating the return on investment (ROI) for AI projects ROI calculation methodology adapted to AI context by legaltech advisor Chuck Henrich
  3. The Role of Human Resources Management in Deploying Smart Technologies – change management insights from HR advisor Gabriella Drávai

As regards the legal framework regarding AI and natural language processing, the handbook highlights that it is currently in a nascent phase in the European Union (EU). In a dedicated section of the Legal AI Handbook, Dr. Dániel Necz, founding partner at digital law firm SimpLEGAL analyzes the EU’s draft AI regulation (the “AI Regulation”) published in April 2021 and additional mandatory rules concerning the processing of personal and non-personal data that are highly relevant in AI context.


Conclusions 

In a changing economic environment legal teams from all backgrounds are best advised to find ways to explore smart technology solutions, evaluate pilot project results, accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) in solutions of choice and come up with new business models to monetize AI-assisted legal work. Testing AI tools in pilot projects enables gaining hands-on experience at often lower costs, and is also a convenient way to determine how AI impacts everyday legal work streams and team management going forward. 

Adopting AI-based technology solutions in legal context certainly requires a holistic approach, where legal practitioners and in-house counsels feel empowered in their professional roles, but their advisory potentials are not eroded. It is essential to figure out the people and process related aspects first, assess outcomes of pilot projects and then decide how to manage new business models that optimally combine human expertise and smart tools.

If you have any questions about the Legal AI Handbook or would like further guidance in this context, leave us a note below!

    Join our Smarter Legal newsletter!

    Once a month, we email readers with legaltech tips, trends and advice to stay ahead of the legal innovation curve.  Sign up to get it in your inbox!

      error: Content is protected!