What you need to know about:
- Choosing best AI tools for legal professionals
- How to find a secure tool and why it matters
- Useful features for law practice
If you work in the legal industry, you’ve probably been eyeing the most recent wave of AI adoption with a mixture of interest and apprehension. Are you anticipating (or dreading) the slew of lawsuits that are sure to arise from AI use and misuse? Or wondering how AI will impact your own daily work? Ultimately, as technology evolves, the law needs to keep pace—and with it, legal professionals.
Whatever your view on AI, it’s here to stay. In this article, we’ll explore five of the most game-changing AI tools transforming the legal profession and how they can benefit your law firm. If you’re not using these tools already, we can guarantee that your competition is! We'll also fill you in on how to vet AI tools suitable for the practice of law and let you know which AI features are most useful for lawyers today.
Tedium ad nauseam: Why law firms are adopting AI
Not even the often traditionalist field of law is immune to the rise of artificial intelligence. In fact, AI is already becoming a linchpin in the legal field, allowing lawyers to work more efficiently and provide better service to their clients.
AI-based tools can help law firms stay competitive in a constantly evolving global market. Dr. Axel Freiherr von dem Bussche, LL.M. (L.S.E.), CIPP/E, Partner at Taylor Wessing, weighs in:
Using AI and technology-enabled tools in the legal sector is becoming increasingly important to remain competitive and improve efficiency. These tools can assist lawyers with legal research, document review, and contract analysis and translation, freeing up time for more complex and strategic work. They can also provide valuable insights and help lawyers make more informed decisions, leading to better client outcomes.
The bottom line for many lawyers? AI tools can take over some of the mundane and tedious tasks legal professionals dread, freeing up time for more high-value work (and removing a few headaches along the way.)
Let’s take a closer look.
Five powerful AI technologies for legal professionals
1. AI-powered translation
The legal industry is already complex, but when you add international clients and colleagues to the mix, things can get even more complicated. Practicing international law requires an understanding of diverse legal systems and cultures, as well as the ability to keep up with constantly evolving laws and regulations. This can be particularly challenging when there's a language barrier.
As the legal industry continues to become more globalized, law firms are working with an increasing number of international clients. According to a Maia Research report on legal translation software, there is a growing demand for legal translation services, which is currently experiencing 13-15% year-on-year growth.
With AI translation, legal teams can:
✅ Translate legal documents faster
- Translate legal documents such as contracts, briefs, and court filings for clients
- Quickly create bilingual or foreign-language contracts (legally operable)
- Save time and resources with accurate and consistent translations
✅ Communicate smoothly with international teams and clients
- Clarify legal terms and give legal advice via email
- Submit cases in foreign languages to local authorities (legally operable)
✅ Research foreign laws and regulations
- Understand and comply with legal requirements in different countries
- Build a foundation as a global player in the market
✅ Provide multilingual legal advice
- Serve clients who speak different languages
- Improve client satisfaction and loyalty
✅ Ensure consistency of legal translations across the organization
- Use custom glossaries to save editing time and guarantee consistency in official communication across multiple languages
AI-powered translation tools are useful for providing legally operable translations, such as bilingual contracts, and convenience translations like client communications. However, it's important to note that AI translation shouldn't completely replace human translators. Some official documents require certified or notarized translations that can only be provided by a certified human translator.
For example, when a client is applying for citizenship in a foreign country, they often need to provide a certified translation of their birth certificate and other identification documents. To ensure accuracy, "human-in-the-loop" workflows are crucial to approve AI-generated translations. According to Gartner, solutions that combine staffing and software will account for 30% of all new legal tech automation offerings through 2025.
2. AI-powered knowledge management systems
AI-powered knowledge management systems have revolutionized the legal industry, giving lawyers lightning-fast access to critical information. With these powerful tools, legal professionals can quickly search through vast amounts of data, identify patterns in legal documents, and stay on top of changes in laws and regulations. Best of all, these systems automate tedious processes such as document categorization, saving valuable time and increasing productivity.
Not surprisingly, the use of AI-powered knowledge management systems is on the rise among legal professionals.
3. AI contract analysis and management
One of the key areas where AI is making an impact on legal work today is in contract analysis and management. These tools automate mundane tasks such as document review or tracking deadlines for signed agreements. Lawyers can use AI-driven systems to quickly review contracts and identify potential issues, such as risks associated with certain clauses. These systems also store contracts centrally, making them more accessible and automating error notifications.
AI-enabled contract management tools also provide insights into past cases to help minimize disputes arising from noncompliance with laws or regulations. Natural language processing algorithms are used to detect discrepancies in existing contracts and to suggest ways to mitigate risks. This helps law firms ensure they provide the best service to their clients while remaining competitive in the market.
4. Generative AI for document creation
In the legal field, generative AI is offering a new level of efficiency for document creation. This process entails using AI algorithms to generate documents from templates and structured data sets, as well as analyzing contracts for potential risks or discrepancies. By automating these tedious tasks, lawyers can save time and money while helping their firm remain competitive in the world of advancing AI.
AI-powered document creation also helps reduce errors and spot mistakes quickly—allowing attorneys to better protect their clients' interests during negotiations by identifying potential issues before they become problems down the line. As a result, lawyers can provide more personalized services that meet their clients' needs faster than ever before.
5. Chatbots for client intake
Chatbots are a valuable first point of contact in the client intake process. AI-powered chatbots provide general advice to clients and understand complex questions using natural language processing, directing clients to the information they need instantly.
Chatbots offer 24/7 availability, quickly answering inquiries and FAQs, reducing wait times, and enabling staff members to focus on more detailed queries. Using AI-powered chatbot technology saves time and resources while providing better customer service.
A word to the wise: safe and ethical AI use
However helpful these tools may be, implementing AI technologies isn't to be taken lightly, as there are certain risks associated with using AI. It's important for firms to understand the implications of deploying AI technologies and make sure that the technology is implemented responsibly. This means establishing protocols regarding data privacy and security when dealing with confidential client data.
Firms should also consider how to use AI responsibly and ethically, such as taking steps to audit machine learning models for bias or instituting a policy that requires the use of AI to be monitored and supervised by a human.
How to evaluate the security of AI tools for the legal sector
Lawyers must be aware of the evolving legal requirements for AI to give sound counsel regarding its use and to guarantee that the tools they use in their work are foolproof.
Here are some security hallmarks to look out for:
The General Data Protection Regulation is a stringent security and privacy regulation. It affects businesses that pursue or store data pertaining to people situated in the European Union. Artificial intelligence that abides by the GDPR requirements can be relied on to honor and safeguard confidential information.
Data encryption scrambles information to create a code that can only be unlocked using an individual password or key. This makes it far more difficult for any unauthorized individuals to access the data. Regulations like GDPR demand that encryption is used to ensure personal information is kept secure.
SSO and/or 2FA
Single sign-on (SSO) allows users to access various programs and systems with only one set of credentials, eliminating the worry of weak passwords or forgotten login details. This not only saves time, but also helps to secure confidential data from unauthorized access.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two forms of authentication, such as a password and a verification code sent to their phone, before accessing their accounts. This reduces the risk of account takeover and prevents unauthorized access to confidential information.
ISO 27001 certification
ISO 27001 is an international standard that helps businesses manage the security of their information systems. By partnering with an ISO 27001-certified provider, law firms can better protect their data and guarantee a high level of security.
Valuable software features for legal professionals
Customer research carried out by DeepL in 2023 identified these features as particularly helpful for law firms.
Does the AI tool integrate where the team is already working?
How easy is it to start using this tool? How much time will it take to implement?
Is the AI trainable? Does it save and store data to customize the user experience?
How is your law practice approaching safe AI use? Is your legal team working internationally? Learn how DeepL’s secure AI translation technology can help your law firm by visiting DeepL for legal teams.