Last spring, while tending my garden, I stumbled upon something unexpected. While digging a new flowerbed, my shovel hit a hard object. Curiosity piqued, I carefully unearthed what turned out to be an old, rusted coin. This accidental discovery led me on an exciting journey of garden archaeology, uncovering more hidden artifacts in my backyard.
This experience mirrors the process of identifying AI automation opportunities in legal work streams — a careful exploration to uncover hidden potential.
Understanding The Legal Landscape: Akin To Garden Surprises
Much like my initial, accidental discovery in the garden, the first step in integrating AI into legal workflows often starts with an unexpected realization. It could be noticing a repetitive task that consumes excessive time or a process bottleneck that consistently causes delays.
Recognizing Repetition And Time-Consumption
Just as I noticed patterns in my garden — like weeds popping up repeatedly — identifying repetitive and time-consuming tasks in legal work is the first step. It’s like finding artifacts in different corners of the garden.
Evaluating Volume And Frequency
Much like a keen gardener assessing the richness of the soil in different patches, evaluating the frequency of tasks helps identify potential automation gold mines.
The AI Automation Discovery Process: Legal Archaeology At Its Finest
Document Review And Analysis
Much like buried artifacts, legal documents can be unearthed with AI’s help. Document review is a prime candidate for automation, just like discovering similar objects in one garden area.
Sifting through legal databases is a treasure hunt. It requires methodical exploration, much like my detailed sections in the garden.
Managing contracts is like handling fragile finds — especially in tracking renewals and compliance. AI can significantly streamline these processes.
Evaluating AI Suitability: Digging Deeper
Assessing Complexity And Uniqueness
Just as delicate artifacts need human handling, some legal tasks are too complex or unique for AI. It’s all about finding the right balance.
Data Availability And Quality
The success of AI implementation depends on the quality and availability of data, much like successful gardening relies on good soil conditions.
Legal And Ethical Considerations
Respecting ethical and legal boundaries is crucial. AI in legal work must adhere to standards, just as my garden archaeology followed local regulations.
Implementing AI Automation: Nurturing The Seeds Of Change
Just as I started my garden exploration in a small patch, introducing AI through pilot programs helps test the waters, beginning with areas like document review.
Feedback And Adjustment
Regular feedback is key — it’s like adjusting my digging techniques based on what I find and how the garden responds.
As confidence in AI tools grows, expand their use to other areas. It’s like extending my archaeological efforts to different parts of the garden.
Overcoming Challenges: Taming The Legal Wild For A Garden Of Opportunities Blooms
The journey isn’t all sunshine and roses. Team resistance is like the initial hesitation to disturb my garden’s peace. Technical hiccups with AI tools are the days I find nothing interesting in the garden. Yet, persistence and a willingness to learn and adapt are the heroes in both scenarios.
Today, my garden boasts a small display of treasures, each telling a unique story. Similarly, a legal practice can thrive with AI integration, streamlining processes, and uncovering efficiencies. Identifying AI opportunities is a journey of discovery, evaluation, and careful cultivation. It’s about recognizing the potential, assessing viability, and nurturing it to fruition. The rewards, whether historical artifacts or enhanced efficiency in legal work, are well worth the effort. So, fellow legal archaeologists, let’s keep digging and uncover those hidden AI treasures!
Olga V. Mack is a Fellow at CodeX, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, and a Generative AI Editor at law.MIT. 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 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 three books: Visual IQ for Lawyers (ABA 2024), The Rise of Product Lawyers: An Analytical Framework to Systematically Advise Your Clients Throughout the Product Lifecycle (Globe Law and Business 2024), and Legal Operations in the Age of AI and Data (Globe Law and Business 2024). You can follow Olga on LinkedIn and Twitter @olgavmack.