As legal departments continue to embrace technology adoption, there is no doubt that advanced technology such as AI and contract analytics will augment the practice of law. These technologies are creating a shift in traditional legal workflows by enabling professionals to better understand contract language and obligations during internal review and negotiation. Investment in Legal AI solutions are permeating the news, and, in correlation, we are seeing that law firms and in-house legal departments are becoming better able to manage risks and exposure associated with contract management.
Drawing on his near-decade of experience as a lawyer and subsequent time in the legal AI field, Seal Software’s David Silbert discusses the landscape of Legal AI adoption in the recent Enterprise Times article, “Contract AI and the Imminent Tipping Point for the Legal Industry.” While highlighting the inevitability of technology adoption, the Enterprise Times piece also alleviates the fear that technology will replace jobs, and instead frames contract analytics as a way to equip legal professionals with the tools to enhance business value.
Below is an excerpt from David’s article:
Contract analytics are now a staple of the legal industry. Driven by continuing advances in artificial intelligence (“AI”), contract analytics has changed the way the legal industry thinks and works. It is no longer a question of when the disruption will arrive, but when the legal industry will reach a “tipping point” of growth and development. This will naturally result from multiple legal-tech advances, driven by contract analytics, as well as related technologies, that exert pressure on how legal pros work, which are coming together to create a bigger cumulative effect. While much of this is hard to predict, the tipping point is coming into sharper focus every day.
The adoption of AI is on the rise
AI is already prevalent throughout the legal industry. It will soon become indispensable to every legal professional. The hidden engine that currently powers an array of “off-the-shelf” legal technologies, including contract workflows, e-discovery, billing, and research, will become an integral part of how legal professionals work with contracts as well.
In a recent study by Ari Kaplan Advisors underwritten by Seal Software, 37 percent of respondents, representing 30 senior legal professionals from predominantly Fortune 1,000 companies, reported that they currently use artificial intelligence for analysis and review of contracts. Of the respondents who do not use contract AI, 58 percent have considered doing so. Additionally, more than 50 percent rated the likelihood that their organization will use it in the coming year as very high.
These statistics confirm an imminent period of growth for contract analytics. It ushers in the possibility of enhanced delivery of legal services through cost savings and increased revenue streams. Automation, however, will never replace human ingenuity and creativity. Rather, lawyers and legal professionals will simply leverage contract analytics and AI to enhance their analysis without the need for data or analytics specialists.
It is often said that those who do not embrace change will get left behind. Likewise, it is generally understood that lawyers are typically reluctant to adopt new technologies. Indeed, their reluctance may be tied to a perception that automation is at odds with billable-hours business models.
But this resistance ignores the reality of advances in technology. The use of contract analytics takes lawyers and legal professionals from the physical and time limitations of labour toward the efficient utilization of intellect. Ultimately, they will have more time to do higher-value tasks for their clients, like problem-solving and advising. As such, contract analytics and AI are becoming a force multiplier for business performance.