Cognitive Computing trends and innovations in Legal domain

The global legal service market has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% since 2015, and reached a value of around $713.7 billion in 2020. As per a report by Statista, this value will reach $908.26 billion by 2025, growing at a rate of 4.9% from 2021 to 2025.

The field of law has remained largely under digitized and rather slow to adopt new technologies and tools for far too long. However, change is underway and Cognitive Computing will play a huge role in transforming the age-old traditional practices of the legal industry worldwide. Technology has the potential to revolutionize every aspect of the legal field, from law firms and the corporate legal field to courtroom operations and handling of the enormous number of documents involved.

Documentation, in particular, has notoriously been a pain point for clients and corporations alike. This is why legal research has continued to be a cumbersome task since ages. Machines sort documents considerably faster than humans can, and they can produce output and results that can be statistically evaluated. Machines may review papers and designate them as important to a certain case using AI-powered software, which improves the speed of document analysis for legal usage. Machine learning algorithms can work to locate other documents that might also be relevant once a specific sort of document has been identified as relevant. They can help human workers by finding the documents that can be useful, rather than requiring people to research and analyze all documents.

Mammoth online legal data resources, such as LexisNexis and Practical Law, are constantly improving their search engines to help lawyers find material relevant to their cases faster and quicker. Lex Machina, an AI tool, also assists lawyers in creating a case strategy based on previous results in similar cases. Lawyers can also seek assistance in summarization and note-taking, saving considerable amounts of time.

Automation of documents is another innovation that can help with the qualms of documentation. Automation software is a way to assist users avoid the legal jargon of a document template. By presenting them with a questionnaire that collects pertinent data, it helps the user by simplifying the document generation process. The required data and elements are then automatically placed into the final document, which is generated by the system and subsequently provided to the user, based on the input provided. By getting rid of inefficiencies along the way in this manner, documents can now be made in minutes rather than days.

Simplification like this means that law, which was previously an industry with strong gate-keeping, becomes a lot more accessible to the common person. There have been attempts to make chatbots to help people learn about legal proceedings. Corporations, too, are using chatbots that enable both clients and lawyers. A Lawyer Bot, for example, is a software that can automate tasks typically performed by lawyers. These bots are excellent for increasing the speed of work and providing a better experience by allowing clients to self-serve online. For example, people in UK are using a chatbot called DoNotPay to dispute their parking tickets. The law firm BakerHostetler uses ROSS, an IBM Watson powered supercomputing software, to handle bankruptcy cases.

Clients often ask their counsel questions like “how likely will we win, if we go for a trial?” or “Should I compromise with the other party?” Chatbots may soon even provide data-backed answers to these. Machine learning models are being developed to predict the outcomes of pending cases, by taking as input the factual patterns of similar relevant cases. AI can access large amounts of past data and help lawyers answer such questions more accurately. A start up called Blue J Legal is developing an AI-powered legal prediction engine with an initial focus on tax laws.

Such efficiency and automation can also be introduced to contract review. After a contract is signed, overseeing and supervising it is usually a hassle. Especially in the case of large corporations which have countless pending contracts and counterparties spread across several divisions. Various NLP-powered solutions that derive and appraise vital facts across a firm's core of contracts have begun to be produced, simplifying the firm's business commitment nature for its stakeholders. They also assist the departments in staying updated with when the contracts need to be renewed. Seal Software and Kira Systems are two companies that develop such tools.

The legal market's large scale presents a strong opportunity for value creation and is a market for creativity. Although, the introduction of these technologies may be slow, one can be excited because they will certainly renew the legal business in the near future.