How can lawyers benefit from AI?

September 19, 2023
It's natural for lawyers to focus on the risks of using AI within their business. But are they also considering the benefits of AI for their legal teams?

Lawyers have naturally been wary about the use of AI in their business, with many focusing on how they can mitigate the risks associated with misuse of the tools. Yet, for many lawyers, the benefits of AI will far outweigh the risks involved.

In this article, we'll cover five of the biggest benefits of AI for lawyers, and why it's important to weigh the risks up against the rewards.

What are the benefits of AI for legal teams?

1. Increased productivity

One of the biggest benefits of AI for lawyers is that it empowers them to work more productively

With Goldman Sachs estimating that 44% of legal tasks could be automated with generative AI, legal AI tools could enable lawyers to step away from the low-value, repetitive admin tasks they find themselves buried in. 

Automating this routine admin work allows legal professionals to focus on the higher-impact projects that require their expertise and real-world experience instead. Rather than manually reviewing NDAs, for example, legal teams can focus on high-impact tasks instead.

It isn’t difficult to foresee a future where AI-enabled tools substantially reduce the amount of low-value work that falls on the shoulders of in-house lawyers - Daniel Glazer, London Office Managing Partner, Wilson Sonsini

2. More thorough review and research

Another benefit of AI for lawyers is that it can expose ideas, errors, and opportunities that they hadn’t identified themselves

AI contract review software is particularly useful for this as it automates the contract review process, flagging any errors and deviations from standard contract terms.  

Not only does this automate the time-consuming process of reviewing contracts, but it also means you’ll have a second pair of eyes to help spot clauses that need negotiating or risks within a contract

Similarly, generative AI solutions can assist lawyers with legal research. Since AI assistants like ChatGPT are trained on masses of data (more than 300 billion words), they can naturally retrieve more information than humans can.

When paired with a lawyer’s expertise and verified, the information provided by generative AI platforms can both speed up and enrich legal research processes. 

3. Faster and more efficient contract processes

AI can also benefit lawyers by automating routine contract admin tasks. With estimates that businesses lose 9 per cent of their annual revenue due to poor contract management practices, it's likely that using AI will benefit your bottom line, too.

For example, AI contract tools like Juro can be used to draft, review and summarize contracts up to 10x faster than traditional tools, allowing legal teams to manage their contracts faster and more efficiently.

Want to hear about how lawyers are already using AI to speed up their contract workflows? Our General Counsel, Michael Haynes, has shared his experience using Juro's Legal AI Assistant in our latest edition of The Bundle.

For a more personalized conversation about how AI can be leveraged to improve the way you create, review and agree contracts, hit the button below.

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4. Cost reductions

It's easy to think of legal AI tools as just another cost for finance to approve. However, some AI tools will also reduce costs for your business.

In fact, analysts at PwC propose that businesses can save up to 2 per cent of their annual costs by using legal tech to minimize the risk of inaccuracies and non-compliance.

You can also reduce costs by using AI to automate some of the work you'd typically outsource to contractors or law firms.

These cost-savings will vary a lot between different businesses. For a rough idea of how much you could save by implementing an AI-based contract management tool, check out this ROI calculator.

5. Opportunities to upskill

There’s been a lot of talk about whether AI will replace lawyers. Really, we should be talking about what AI empowers lawyers to do and how they’ll be able to upskill to leverage the tech successfully. 

In fact, a survey by Thomson Reuters revealed that 88 per cent of lawyers believe basic AI training will become mandatory in the next five years. 

If used effectively, artificial intelligence will enable legal teams to work more productively than ever before.

Lawyers who familiarize themselves with the technology, become better at engineering prompts and really understand the potential use cases will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t.

The lawyers waiting today will find themselves five years behind in development when it comes to finally taking the plunge and experimenting with AI - Patrick Hicks, General Counsel, Trust & Will

How to get started with AI

As a lawyer, it's natural to be focused on risk when it comes to using generative AI. However, it's also important to remember how AI can benefit lawyers in their day-to-day work.

You need to carefully consider the risks of using AI, and the risks of not using it. Once you've weighed them up, you'll be able to decide on a plan that works for you and your business.

There's a lot of information you'll need to do this, though. Below are some useful resources that will put you on the right path.

For more advice on how your legal team can benefit from AI, check out these guides to AI for legal teams or fill in the form below.

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