AI for in-house lawyers: where to start in 2024
Welcome to the future! The legal sector is going through a time of upheaval due to AI (Artificial Intelligence) but in-house lawyers are still caught up in a spiral of chaos of issues and manual processes from which it seems difficult to find the time to understand what new tools are available and reorganise their legal operations. But whether or not resources are allocated to improving the efficiency and competitiveness of corporate legal departments, developments in AI continue to advance by leaps and bounds: at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), super artificial intelligence is being developed that aims to bring together all scientific knowledge, something that will radically transform the way science advances. Does change still seem far away for the legal profession?
In this article, we explore how legal professionals can dive into the fascinating world of AI and take the first steps to capitalise on its benefits. Imagine an AI that not only analyses legal data but learns and evolves to anticipate the needs of the legal department. This groundbreaking project in the US is just the beginning of what AI can bring to the legal profession. But first, let's look at what is known so far.
Three keys to implementing AI in the legal department
- Getting started with AI for in-house lawyers
- AI applications for in-house lawyers
- Artificial intelligence: the sail of the legal future
Getting started with AI for in-house lawyers
Implementing AI can seem daunting at first. The initial over-information and high expectations, as well as the doomsday predictions that were some of the first reactions to the technology, do not make it easy. However, a few months after the explosion of generative AI with the arrival of Chat GPT, we already have some certainty about how technologies such as generative AI can help the legal sector. Consider the following steps when implementing AI in your legal department:
1. Explore market tools and collaborate with experts
Explore the vast market for AI solutions and collaborate with experts in the field. Research recognised vendors and their solutions, and evaluate which best meets the specific needs of your legal department. Don't underestimate the importance of seeking advice from specialised professionals; their experience can be key in guiding you.
Our advice? Start with generic Gen IA solutions, there are several conversational chat options you can use to ask for anything from rephrasing text or translations to summaries. Try the free and paid versions of Chat GPT, Bard or Bing. You will find that you can make great progress with these types of solutions.
2. Set clear objectives
Setting specific goals is critical to the successful implementation of AI. Clearly define how you want to use AI in your legal work and what results you hope to achieve. Whether improving the efficiency of contract review, increasing the accuracy of legal analysis, or something else, clarity of purpose will be your compass on this journey. Here are some use cases:
- Use AI to create draft texts or complex emails.
- Try expressing raw ideas, texts with very complex facts and subordinates, and ask for a rewrite from there. For example, split this paragraph into points and ideas.
You can use the IA as an assistant to ask for time-consuming manual tasks to be done more quickly, or to speed up the review of external consultants' reports.
3. Start with small projects
Take a gradual approach to AI implementation. Start with less complex projects or specific tasks to familiarise yourself with the technology and understand its impact on your day-to-day work. This approach will allow you to adapt gradually and gain a deeper understanding of how AI can be effectively integrated into your legal practice.
We encourage you to create an account on a conversational generative AI application, such as Chat GPT, and start doing tests such as summarising, translating or rephrasing texts, or quickly extracting key information from legal texts, just as you would ask a colleague, but without waiting and in just a few clicks.
4. Ensure security and privacy
The security and privacy of legal data are non-negotiable. Ensure that the AI solutions you are considering meet the highest standards of security and privacy. Confidence in data integrity is essential for the successful implementation of AI in the legal sector. Similarly, make sure that you do not disclose personal information and confidential data in such generic tools. It seems obvious, but it needs to be emphasised.
5. Get trained and keep up-to-date
In the fast-changing world of AI, continuous learning is key. Attend courses, seminars and conferences on AI in law to keep abreast of the latest trends and applications. By staying up to date, you can make the most of technological innovations and optimise their application in your legal practice.
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6. Encourage internal collaboration
Share your experiences and learnings from using AI with your colleagues. Encourage internal collaboration by looking for opportunities to work on joint projects that leverage the strengths of each team member. Internal collaboration strengthens the implementation of AI and maximises its benefits.
Sometimes there is reluctance, but it is worth trying, testing and exploring new ways of organising and working. It is more worthwhile to stop and think again; creating a space for collaboration and internal reflection will be a driver for change.
7. An ethical and responsible approach
Ethics and accountability are key to using AI in the legal sphere. Consider ethical and legal issues, including transparency in the use of data and algorithmic decision-making. An ethical approach not only meets ethical standards but also builds trust in the use of AI.
8. Don't ignore AI
Staying informed and up to date with AI is essential. Ignoring innovation could leave you behind in an increasingly technology-driven legal environment. Curiosity and a willingness to learn will always put you at an advantage on this journey into the legal future. But if you ignore technology as disruptive as AI, you are likely to see how far ahead the rest of the world is in a few years.
AI applications for in-house lawyers
There are a multitude of AI applications for the legal department, but the most important thing is to have legal tech providers that integrate AI with other technologies that genuinely serve the legal department in its day-to-day work. At Bigle Legal, for example, we develop artificial intelligence to integrate with our Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) platform, to boost the detection of entities in contracts, summarise text, translate into other languages in a single click, resolve doubts or extract key information in seconds, among other things.
Artificial intelligence: the sail of the legal future
In 2024, AI for lawyers is no longer a futuristic possibility, but a reality that will transform the practice of law. By taking the first steps towards implementation, exploring specific applications and diving into the fascinating world of prompting, lawyers can be at the forefront of this revolution.
Get ready to embrace the future and empower your legal practice with the endless possibilities of AI. This is a journey into legal innovation, and every step you take will bring you closer to higher levels of efficiency, accuracy and quality in your work. The path to the future of legal practice is within your grasp!