Once upon a time, in the thriving metropolis of Legalia, two skilled lawyers approached legal research differently. Max, the traditionalist, spent hours poring over statutes, regulations, case precedents, law review articles, and legal resources in online legal databases and at the library. Armed with a yellow pad, sticky notes, and a word-processing program, he meticulously analyzed each piece of information, slowly but steadily making connections and drawing conclusions.
Levi used a generative AI tool developed explicitly for legal research. With just a few clicks and prompts, he accessed vast databases of legal texts, including cases, court opinions, laws, statutes, regulations, articles, and more. The AI tool quickly generated concise summaries tailored to his needs.
When Levi and Max were assigned a complex intellectual property rights case, Max spent days sifting through legal volumes, cross-referencing cases, and manually extracting relevant details. Meanwhile, Levi entered the case’s details into the AI tool. He received a comprehensive overview of relevant laws, statutes, and recent court decisions in seconds.
The AI tool searched a broader range of legal texts across more jurisdictions than Max could ever cover manually. It pinpointed specific passages in legal texts directly relevant to Levi’s queries, saving him from sifting through irrelevant information. It even highlighted potential arguments and counterarguments based on similar cases.
Max struggled to keep up with new cases and regulations concerning fast-moving legal issues as the trial approached, while Levi’s AI tool continuously updated its database with new information. With proper citations and references included in AI-generated results, Levi could easily verify and incorporate his findings into his legal briefs.
Both lawyers presented compelling arguments at trial, but Levi emerged victorious. The custom generative AI tool had given Levi access to a wealth of information quickly and efficiently, saving him valuable hours and ensuring he accessed more of the most up-to-date legal information.
Conversational AI Speeds And Eases Legal Research
This tale illustrates how custom generative AI tools can enhance your legal research capabilities. Vendors typically build generative AI models for legal research using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques. They train the AI on massive legal databases that include court decisions, case histories, statutes, and other legal texts. The AI models learn to understand legal language, the contexts surrounding legal issues, and the relationships among various legal concepts.
When a user prompts an AI system with a legal question, AI offers concise and accurate answers. Prompting is done conversationally, in the form of questions and answers or directions and responses between the user and the tool. The conversational aspect offers a more intuitive experience than traditional keyword-based and boolean search interfaces. You get comprehensive and contextually relevant answers, saving time and improving efficiency. But as with any great invention, generative AI comes with challenges.
- An AI model’s accuracy and reliability depend on the quality and relevance of its training data. Biases and inaccuracies in the training data can lead to erroneous research results.
- Interpretability also remains a concern, as lawyers need to understand how the AI reached its conclusions to ensure the legal reasoning and principles apply in the context of the case at hand.
- Data privacy and security are critical considerations while using AI tools to explore sensitive legal information.
- Lawyers must apply their domain-specific knowledge and expertise to appropriately interpret and apply AI’s findings.
But, no doubt, using generative AI can potentially revolutionize legal research. By dramatically improving your research efficiency, accuracy, and depth, AI empowers you to make more-informed decisions and represent clients more efficiently. Are you excited about the future of legal research? What challenges do you foresee with the use of AI in legal research? Have you used or will you use an AI-powered tool for your research?
Olga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.