The AI hype cycle has taken the legal community on a journey. From the beginnings of the never-ending but never plausible promise to the spirited backlash to the “Well, actually, you’ve accidentally used it all along!” It seems like lawyers are more involved with AI these days, at least to the extent that they’re told that legal research software is basically “doing AI” behind the scenes.
But to some extent the profession traded backlash for lack of imagination. Artificial intelligence can invigorate legal research, but it can do a lot more if lawyers have some confidence.
Last week Kira Systems GurusAI for Lawyers: How Artificial Intelligence Adds Value, Expands Expertise, and Transforms Careers (Affiliate Link) to Provide Lawyers With A Direct Guide To The Technology And Its Potential.
From research to analysis to contract review, the book shows what potential AI can flow into your practice. It’s almost as if the logic of AI pervades the structure of the book, with multiple pages from other authors adding new insights or demonstrating use cases in their own personal styles – no overview of a data set would be complete without treating it from multiple perspectives and consensus conclusions. A chapter on research authored by the case text crew tells the story of a solo practitioner who uses his AI product to successfully dissuade a client from a life sentence. Most of the stories about artificial intelligence are nowhere near as dramatic, but it’s hard to argue the importance of getting over the technological problems you might face while keeping up with the latest developments.
The book does not shy away from ethical questions about technology. Dealing with bias and unauthorized exercise problems can be as much a reason to keep lawyers away as being a die-hard idiot, and calming those nerves is at least as important in any induction tape as having a convincing use case.
If you are still scared of the concept of bringing artificial intelligence into your practice, this is the book for you. And if you’ve embraced the tech revolution by now, this book provides a useful overview of ways to expand the use of AI in the legal industry.
Even if they won’t take on the job, the robots will come and how well you handle them will determine your practice in the future.
Joe Patrice is Senior Editor at Above the Law and co-moderator of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re into law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also the managing director of RPN Executive Search.