Rise of the AI-enabled lawyer

12 July 2023 14:30

Authored by Seeta Bodke, Product Manager, LexisNexis® Pacific

This is the second article in the series Future-proofing your firm for growth.

The legal profession has seen a gradual but significant transformation for several years. From increasing efficiencies and reducing the amount of unbillable time to becoming more client-centric, law firms have slowly yet steadily moved towards adopting newer and more data-driven techniques to shape firm growth.

Responsibly embracing AI

In the first article of our series Future-proofing your firm for growth, you read about how firms should get ready to explore and embrace the AI wave. Identifying key business problems and opportunities and getting buy in from across the firm are two of the most important steps to embrace AI and leverage its potential to the fullest. As you undertake this journey it is also important to consider another factor – embracing AI responsibly. What this means is that when evaluating your business needs and how AI can enable them, it is crucial to identify the right requirements for using AI and design, develop and deploy AI such that your employees, clients and the wider society are treated equally and fairly in all aspects. While taking these steps it is also crucial to be aware of the evolving legal profession and the need to future-proof its growth.

Making AI work for you

Lawyers are now more aware of the digitisation and specifically AI-powered information they can expect in their profession and of the skills they need to build to drive successful outcomes. Being a ‘lawyer’ providing the best legal analysis is no longer enough. Lawyers need to evolve to imbibe critical thinking, business development, sales and marketing, business acumen, emotional intelligence and problem-solving capabilities among many other influencing skills while continuing to provide accurate and sound legal advice.

Underlying this increase in awareness and evolutionary change in the way lawyers work are a myriad of questions – what does this change mean?  Will I be equipped to do more in my work day than before? Will it give me a better work-life balance? Will AI help me never miss out on any important case or fact? Or on the flipside will AI diminish my role as a trusted advisor?

With the ability to analyse complicated legal issues, review, redline and summarise lengthy text and even create your initial drafts, AI especially generative AI can allow you to spend more time on applying your understanding of the law and facts in crafting advice rather than focusing on laborious tasks. It will help free up your time to focus on your clients with the confidence that you have your bases covered.

AI could also be the game-changer with time being freed up, bringing in a healthier work-life balance. A better balance would lead to more motivated and happier teams that can provide better services to their clients and further enable firm growth by focusing on high-value strategic work.

While AI will do away with a lot of the drudgery that comes with your day-to-day job, it will require your judgment to eliminate any margin of error in the drafted advice. Given the need for accuracy to be coupled with efficiency, AI will complement your skills but the accountability for the output will continue to lie with you.  AI can address research tasks but will not replace a lawyer’s experience, empathy and problem-solving skills.

The key is to start your journey by getting familiar with AI, using it incrementally to understand its behaviour and the outcomes it can drive for you.

Begin your AI-enabled journey

A first step to jumpstart this transformative journey is to use AI in day-to-day research, with trusted content and understand the benefits it can bring to research tasks and while drafting data-driven advice.

LexisNexis has embarked on this journey with the launch of our premium AI-enabled research platform Lexis+®. From Lexis Advance® which offered a first glimpse into a newer world of legal research to Lexis+ which gives a fully integrated experience across legal information, this is a transformative journey to stay a few steps ahead of the curve and address the need of the lawyer of not just today but also tomorrow. Lexis+ provides an upgraded, simpler-to-use integrated interface and streamlined workflows that minimise context switching and save time while surfacing key insights to help mitigate the risk of missing something important. With a deep integration of products and decision support tools it supports your inductive and deductive reasoning with solid insights to strengthen your legal advice process and lay the ground for you to focus on what matters the most – applying critical thinking to the law, problem solving and strengthening client relationships with AI-powered tools and solutions.

Lexis+ is a crucial milestone in our endeavour to provide lawyers with the AI-enabled intelligent support and productivity tools they need to drive renewed efficiencies, significant time saving and increased focus on successful outcomes. It sets the foundation stepping stone to help you evolve in your career and make the step change necessary to responsibly make generative AI a part of your firm’s growth strategy.

Rise of the AI-enabled lawyer

In November 2022, with the launch of ChatGPT, the change we foresaw became a reality. AI has been a part of legal technology for many years now, in our legal search engines and solutions drawing links between research content and the research tasks at hand. However generative AI is about taking the next big leap – it’s a new milestone in legal innovation and opens up avenues to grow and maintain a competitive advantage.  With responsible generative AI this milestone could be the rise of the AI-enabled lawyer. When you identify the right opportunities to leverage AI, it would free up valuable time for the lawyer to hone their expertise and create unique, tailored, and innovative value for their clients and society. Junior lawyers can learn the substance in the law earlier and faster while senior and more seasoned lawyers can craft their litigation strategies in more creative yet nuanced ways.

We at LexisNexis are taking that step, laying the next stones to pave the way for you. With Lexis+ AI in the offing we are incorporating generative AI solutions such as conversational search, insightful summarisation, and intelligent drafting to provide first of its kind tools for lawyers to dramatically increase their speed and productivity and become more strategic and client-centric than ever before. Governed by our responsible AI principles, the risk of being provided inaccurate data would be minimal with Lexis+ AI because it will leverage the expansive and authoritative content from us that you trust.

Lexis+ AI will not take the driver’s seat for you. It will travel shotgun, opening new routes and opportunities to help you gain unprecedented control over your legal journey.

According to a recent study conducted by LexisNexis UK, 67% of in-house counsel said they expect law firms to use cutting edge technology and generative AI tools to provide them with the most accurate and winning advice as possible. More than 42% of lawyers from law firms surveyed feel that generative AI will positively change the relationship between in-house attorneys and their outside firms.

This is a journey that has already begun. Watching from the sidelines is not an option anymore. Partner with LexisNexis so you can be on the journey and take advantage of everything AI has to offer to the modern legal professional.

LexisNexis has been at the forefront of harnessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) including Natural Language Processing (NLP) for decades to give you more efficiencies in your workflow.   Lexis+ is an AI-powered robust legal research eco system to empower legal professionals with efficiency, simplicity and the confidence that you are seamlessly fusing the power of AI technology to take you to the new era of this transformative journey.  Experience Lexis+ now.

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