Getting started with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for lawyers

Chat about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is literally everywhere at the moment, and I’ve been finding it a bit overwhelming. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere, or do anything, without either hearing or being involved in chat about AI. 

A few weekends ago, I was in Dublin with my family. My brother-in-law, who is a film/tv director, was talking about AI-generated screenplays and what impact that could have on the film industry (not good). Then, last week, I went for a coffee in Glasgow and the first conversation I heard was about an AI solution for coursework marking. 

As a lawyer, there’s probably a whiff of doom and gloom around the subject. The involvement of AI in all our lives, both professional and personal, is now inevitable so there is absolutely no point at all in shying away from it. 

I cannot remember a technological development being spoken/tweeted/posted about so frequently, so quickly. Last year at this time, nobody I knew was talking Chat GPT, Artificial Intelligence or, in my children’s case, the end of homework.

At Moore Legal Technology, we have been deploying a number of AI solutions, primarily based around content production, for our law firm clients. 

We are determined to explore the potential of AI to benefit both ourselves and our customers – the question is how? How can one begin to assess the potential of AI, for you, when information on it is both abundant and vague, promising and frightening. 

Here is the 5-step approach we are taking. It won’t be for everyone, but it’s devised to help us stop and think as opposed to running about with our hair on fire screaming ‘AI, AI, AI!’

1. Develop A broad understanding of AI

Artificial Intelligence was previously the domain of tech geeks and science fiction; a plotline in movies dating back almost a century to Metropolis in 1927 in which an inventor obsessed with a young woman builds a humanoid robot to deceive oppressed workers and seize power. There are many other examples, many of them will be familiar to you; terminator, the matrix, ex machina and most recently M3GAN.

Up until now most people would perceive AI negatively, primarily as a result of media portrayal; a force out of control which ultimately leads to our undoing. However, there is also the potential for a huge amount of good – an alternative intelligence which never sleeps tasked with solving some of our most pressing challenges.

Truly understanding this is beyond me. However, it is my role as CEO of Moore Legal Technology to understand how this technology can be deployed to the benefit of my business and our customers. Our key values are Prosperity, Trust, and Innovation, and the use and deployment of AI falls squarely in the last value. To do this, I must take a reasoned and informed approach and not simply be swept away by the tide.

Everyone enjoys learning in different ways. I like reading and listening to podcasts. Others prefer video. Here are some of the resources I have found useful recently:

2. Gain an understanding of deployment/likely deployment in your own area of expertise

There’s no point listening, viewing or reading about every conceivable use of AI. You’ll only end up more confused. Instead, build a small portfolio of resources you can follow and keep an eye on them as they progress. They should be relevant to your area of expertise specifically. Attend events, talk to people, and build your knowledge and experience continually.

We’ve been listening to and sharing marketing agency information. For our law firm customers, the following may be useful (some predate the release of Chat GPT 3): 

For law firms there is a lot to consider around data security, GDPR, reliability etc.

3. Drill down further to develop a departmental focus

Although at the end of last year Chat GPT 3 was released and deployed as an end user facility, going forward the technology will primarily be deployed as a backdrop to apps interfaced for more specific purposes. 

What this means is that there is going to be a plethora of applications deploying the technology to introduce efficiency gains into almost every area of business; sales and marketing, operations, administration, content, reporting etc. 

This is far too much for any one person to get their head around and, given how much it is going to become embedded within life and business going forward, it is critical that everyone takes ownership of it within their own business specific area of expertise. 

The outcome of this is that you should end up with a shortlist of applications that you could potentially deploy to introduce efficiencies/provide a better service e.g., – 10 “Best” AI Tools for Business.

Most of the current AI applications for law firms to date appear to revolve around contract review and analysis, with a few leading players having emerged in the field such as KiraLuminanceeBreviaNeota LogicIronclad and, most recently, Harvey (in collaboration with magic circle firm Allen & Overy).

There are, of course, many more and new companies in the AI space (including for law firms) are emerging rapidly by the day. 

To keep up to speed within LinkedIn, some of the top influencers to follow are:

  • Richard Tromans: Founder of Tromans Consulting and Artificial Lawyer, Richard is an expert in legal AI, automation, and innovation. He shares valuable insights on AI in the legal industry. 
  • Andrew Arruda: As the CEO and Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence, a leading AI-driven legal research platform, Andrew is a notable figure in the AI and legal tech space. 
  • Laura van Wyngaarden: Laura is the Co-Founder and COO of Diligen, a company focused on AI-powered contract analysis for law firms and legal teams. 
  • Daniel Katz: A law professor and legal technology expert, Daniel is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of LexPredict, a legal analytics and AI consulting firm. 
  • Noory Bechor: As the CEO and Co-Founder of LawGeex, an AI-driven contract review and approval platform, Noory offers expertise in AI for legal contract analysis. 
  • Joshua Browder: Joshua is the Founder of DoNotPay, a legal tech startup that leverages AI to provide automated legal services and assistance to users. 
  • Michele DeStefano: A law professor and Founder of LawWithoutWalls, Michele is a legal innovation expert who explores the intersections of AI, law, and legal education. 
  • Nick Whitehouse: As the Co-Founder and CEO of McCarthyFinch, a legal AI technology platform, Nick has extensive experience in AI-driven legal solutions. 
  • Joanna Goodman: A technology journalist and author of “Robots in Law: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Legal Services,” Joanna is a thought leader in AI and law. 
  • Chrissie Lightfoot: A legal futurist and author of “The Naked Lawyer” and “Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer,” Chrissie is a prominent voice on AI’s impact on the legal profession. 

4. Define your priorities

Prioritise deployment based on business priorities/budget and ease of deployment. 

5. Implement and measure

Enough said.

AI for lawyers and law firms – Watch this space

We are only in the beginning stages of seeing and understanding what Artificial Intelligence can do for the legal sector. To stay up to date with the latest developments, follow Stephen Moore and Moore Legal Technology on LinkedIn. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the deployment of AI in the legal space, get in touch with our team and let us know. 

Other blogs that may interest you

Other blogs that may interest you