Aug 14, 2018

AIs affect on the Legal Profession - Key Takeaways

Doug VaughnDoug Vaughn recently attended the International Association of Defense Counsel's Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal where he moderated a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession.  The panel contained subject matter experts in e-discovery and legal applications of artificial intelligence programs who also explained “supervised machine learning” and how it is being used in the legal profession as well as the expected impact of AI on the delivery of future legal services.  

Some key takeaways from the Artificial Intelligence program:


Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) was the first broad application of AI in legal practice, using technology based solutions for e-discovery practice by organizing, analyzing and searching large and diverse data sets.  These products are now widely available in the marketplace.  Successful use of TAR may be measured by weighing tradeoffs among considerations including effectiveness, efficiency, availability, familiarity, general acceptance of candidate methods and, importantly, cost.  Legal analytics for predicted trends and outcomes are developing and being readied for mass implementation.  Legal bots interact with audiences to provide either a specific function or to provide customized answers to a user’s specific question. 


Expect AI to reduce or eliminate routine tasks in legal practice and to affect law firm billing.   As machine learning evolves, expect more reliability in predictive outcomes.  While robots may not replace lawyers, certain functions traditionally performed by lawyers are being or have already been replaced by technology.  Examples include simple wills, contracts and incorporation of businesses.   Legal research formerly available solely through fee-based subscriptions are now often available via free internet searches.  Imagining the future, recommendations are likely to be made to protect the public from unreliable AI programs.  There will still be a need for sophisticated legal analysis and representation before courts.   Bar associations are likely to recommend mandatory technical expertise of practicing lawyers and societal impacts of the use of AI will likely be scrutinized to determine whether to modify traditional notions of fault when glitches occur.