Technological evolution, specifically artificial intelligence, is rapidly changing the legal industry and legal profession. Modern software can now scan legal documents, streamline communications, and find relevant casework for lawyers.
In fact, about 39% of the work done by lawyers can be automated by technological advancements according to McKinsey Global Institute.
Software revolution in the legal industry
In the early years in the 21st century, law firms began streamlining the document review process by experimenting with software. During this time, gigabytes of data were collected, were reviewed, and lawyers were asked to run search terms.
Over time, the algorithms became popular and sophisticated. Humans are setting the parameters but computers are breaking down those millions of pieces of information to be readily available.
Integrating the back-office with the front-office
A firm grouped together back-office specialists by practice area. Each practice area has devoted marketing and financial professional which directly translates greater proficiency in business development and pricing for that area of law.
It’s like a billing specialist working directly with a partner to reduce rejections and appeals by resolving e-billing issues for that practice area.
“No touch” law firm invoicing could be enabled by AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) in law firms holds lots of potential.
Systems that are being used by law firms already are “familiar” with what is being done.
As an example, if a lawyer had a phone call, attended a meeting, or worked on a document, traces of that information is already embedded in the system.
AI then stores the data, provides a timesheet at the end of the day, gathers up into an invoice on a specific day every month, and then billed to the client.
Big data used to predict litigation pricing
Time entry is hard and almost all timekeepers dislike the task—but AI brings new benefits to pricing.
Time entries are considered to be a huge data set and a panelist envisions applying AI to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of time cards and building a budget for the most complex litigation matters with 80& probability.
The firm then could offer the client a fixed fee and price in the remaining risk.
Innovation must be initiated from the top
Leaders who are taking innovation seriously and who are actively involved in development are typically in firms that are successfully improving how things are being done. Implementing innovation must always be initiated from the top.