Library Blog

Artificial Intelligence & Law Practice


According to computer scientist Andrew Moore, “artificial intelligence is the science and engineering of making computers behave in ways that, until recently, we thought required human intelligence.” There are a number of ways that artificial intelligence (AI) does and will exist in the practice of law. According to a Law Technology Today article, there are (at least) three ways firms can use AI: for legal research and due diligence; to review documents and contracts; and to predict legal outcomes.

In 2017’s Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Legal Practice, author Gary E. Marchant states, “the use of AI in law will thus be an evolution, not a revolution. But make no mistake, AI is already transforming virtually every business and activity that attorneys deal with, some more quickly and dramatically than others, and the legal profession will not be spared from this disruptive change.” A recent article in The American Lawyer explains that AI isn’t coming, it is already here. The article’s author, Rhys Dipshan, said, “today, AI is the unseen engine behind a host of off-the-shelf legal technology tools. It is so embedded in products from e-discovery to e-billing and contract analytics to legal research that it’s not hard to see a day when AI becomes unavoidable.”

As described, one area which has been, continues to be, and will be influenced by AI is legal research. For an in depth review see How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Legal Research by David Lat. While this article is presented by and focuses on Westlaw/TR products, there is similar use of AI in other legal research and legal technology products. 

Artificial intelligence is everywhere in life and especially in law. t’s hard to describe it all in a simple blog post but it’s also hard to imagine what the future holds.  For that, talk to Richard Susskind. (We have several of Susskind’s books in our library. Specifically, see Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future.)

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