The Impacts Of Artificial Intelligence On The Modern Legal Practice
By Rifkatu Ali
The advent of modern technology has come to savage various complex tasks in most disciplines and most importantly the legal profession. The oncome of Artificial Intelligence results from the revolution in the global technology which influences different sectors in the field of life including the legal industry. Due to bulks of hectic tasks in the Legal industry, the need for easier means to carry out the various tasks is inevitable. In a bid to make World a better place for living, technology has introduced various novel machines which is programmed to lessen human labour and boost standard of living. The use of artificial intelligence is already transforming the legal profession making the law practice easier.Before the advent artificial intelligence, legal practitioners are engaged in wide varieties of tasks which are time confusing and sometimes can be frustrating. This tasks ranges from legal research, preparation of legal documents, computing of figures and many other tasks. As at such human being are always prone to errors which brings about in efficacy and sometimes due to lots of works to attend to, meeting up with deadlines was quite a big challenger. Today, the wonder of artificial intelligence has came to solve various challenges faced by many legal practitioners in the legal industry. This paper is aimed at discussing the impact of artificial intelligence on the modern legal practice.
2. 0 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION
Before delving into the main discussion, it is imperative to define the basic concepts of the paper for a better understanding. In doing this, the writer tends to clarify the basic concepts such impacts, artificial intelligence and legal practice.
According to Oxford Dictionary, impacts is defined as an act of having effect or influence on someone or an object. This influence can either be positive or negative. In this context, impact means the influence or effect of artificial intelligence on the modern legal practice.
2.2. Artificial Intelligence
The phrase “ artificial intelligence” is a combination of two words “artificial” and “intelligence”. The word artificial means man made, while intelligence means ability to acquire and apply knowledge or skills. In sum artificial intelligence means the ability to acquire and apply knowledge through man made device. At its simplest, AI is the advancement and use of computer programs that execute tasks that typically require human intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to inspiration of human intelligence processes by machines, particularly computer systems. A particular application called artificial intelligence includes expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.
2.3. Legal Practice
Legal practice refers to works done primarily for the purpose of rendering legal advise or giving legal representation such as : private client service, service performed by a judge in any court of record any, corporate or governmental services which is legal in nature and which is primarily for providing legal service advice or legal representation for the corporation or government agency or individual that is connected therewith. It also, involve the activity of teaching an accredited law faculty or school ; Taxation Law though not restricted to Tax law which defined under Texas Board of Legal Specialization’s standards for Tax Law; tax controversy; employee benefits and executive compensation practice; criminal defense or prosecution relating to taxation; taxation practice in the public and private sectors, including the non-profit sector; and teaching taxation law or related subjects at an accredited law school and so on.
3. 0 LEGAL PRACTICE BEFORE AND AFTER THE INTERVENTION OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Before the oncome of artificial intelligence, legal practitioners were faced with enormous tasks ranging from researching of cases, analysing of cases, searching legal authorities and many other complex tasks using traditional methods. The legal practice has not been easy as at then as the legal practitioners find it difficult to find the relevant judicial authorities and statutory authorities to support their cases. Also, there was no search engines to guide them on how to carry out a particular tasks and most of them will end up working with trial and errors. The legal practice as at then was hectic, tome consuming and quite discouraging.
However, with the development in technology which brought about the advent of artificial intelligence, there has been a great changes and development in the modern legal practice. This attest to the fact the legal practice is gradually moving from the traditional practice and advocacy to the modern means via the technology. In fact even the court itself is now gradually moving from physical hearing to virtual hearing.
Today, artificial intelligence is gaining much relevance in the legal industry. Artificial Intelligence came to enhance the works of lawyers, thereby making their work more efficient, effective, and thorough. Though some legal practitioners are now afraid that artificial intelligence might push them out of the industry as the technology keeps developing. However, the its impacts cannot be overemphasised as it has come to make the modern legal practice very easy, fast and effective. Artificial Intelligence has came to boost the legal practitioner’s skills and also their mode of perception. In fact a work which a lawyer would have done within a long period of time is now done by artificial intelligence within a very short period of time thereby saving the time of the legal practitioner and making the cost of legal service affordable. With the artificial intelligence, lawyers can even deliver legal service to a client abroad continents.
4.0. IMPACT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON THE MORDERN LEGAL PRACTICE UPON INTERVENTION
The impact of artificial intelligence on the modern legal practice marks the turning point of the global legal industry upon intervention. This is not unconnected with the fact that artificial intelligence has come to change the phase of legal practice making everything easy, fast and effective. The following are the various aspects of the legal practice that has been impacted by the intervention of artificial intelligence which would be discussed as follows ;
a. Legal Research
Legal research is one of the most important aspects of the legal practice. Before the advent of artificial intelligence, lawyers have to spend days or hours researching cases and flipping through the volumes of books when making legal research. However, technology has come to make everything easier as lawyers can maker such research within a very short period at their convenience. For instance, Law Pavilion and NWLR in Nigeria, helps legal practitioners to have access to use recently reported cases using artificial intelligence. Instead of lawyers spending much time checking cases in the law reports, law pavilion has made easier thereby enabling them to have access to cards at the press of botton. Other features has even been added make the research in the legal profession easier. Another example is ROSS intelligence in the U.S which allows legal practitioners to have access to all cases reported in U.S, used for legal research and can even be used to draft brief.
b. Contract Review and Due Diligence
Artificial Intelligence can be used to review contracts and carry out due diligence by a legal practitioner. Instead of groups of legal practitioners undergoing duties of reading bulky document and carry out due diligence, an artificial intelligent machine can carry out such task effectively. According to Kira System, a machine is capable of carrying out accurate due diligent contract review by searching, highlighting extracting relevant content for analysis.
c. Automation of Document
This helps legal practitioners when dealing document which is needed to be produced double or producing similar documents. Instead of undergoing wring similar documents, law firms now uses a database to create a software templates. Through the use of automated system, lawyers in the legal practice can make use of automated document to make their work easier.
d. Case Predictions
Through artificial intelligence, law form predicts the outcome of their cases before proceeding to instituting an action. Though lawyers can perform this tasks artificial intelligence does it more accurately. This will assist the law firm on whether to institute an action and advise the clients on whether to institute an action considering the prediction.
e. Legal Decision Making
Artificial Intelligence help in making judicial decisions. This is due to the fact that judicial decisions are now gradually moving to use of sophisticated artificial intelligence tools to reach its decisions in the future. A lot of online dispute resolution system has been developed to to completely circumvent the judicial process.
f. Creation of Legal Bots
This has been developed to solve client problems online without the lawyers doing it themselves. Through the use of artificial intelligence, many lawyers are now developing workable software in order to solve client issues and give advise even without the lawyer. Such response would accurate and would perform the tasks accurately as programmed.
Artificial Intelligence plays a very significant role in the modern legal practice. This is not unconnected with the fact that artificial intelligence has come perfect, simply and ensure accuracy in the modern legal practice. Before the introduction of this modern technology, some tasks being performed by the lawyers are cumbersome, hectic and being performed inaccurately. However, with the introduction of artificial intelligence, such defects has been cured. Some of the impacts of the aspects in the legal practice which has been impacted by artificial intelligence are legal research, contract review and due diligence, document automation, case prediction, legal decision making and Creation of Legal bots.
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- Weiner. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Print. MLA (7th ed.)
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- AI in Law and Legal Practice – A Comprehensive View of 35 Current Applications’, https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-law-legal-practice-current-applications/. Accessed on 20th June, 2022
This work is published under the free legal awareness project of Sabi Law Foundation (www.SabiLaw.org) funded by the law firm of Bezaleel Chambers International (www.BezaleelChambers.com). The writer was not paid or charged any publishing fee. You too can support the legal awareness projects and programs of Sabi Law Foundation by donating to us. Donate here and get our unique appreciation certificate or memento.
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