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AI for legal documents: 2024 tools and uses

June 11, 2024


What is AI for legal documents? 


Artificial Intelligence (AI) for legal documents is a type of technology that streamlines workflows and automates repetitive processes related to legal documentation. It uses natural language processing to analyze large volumes of text along with machine learning to draw new conclusions based on previous data and patterns. 


It’s important to note that using AI tools in the legal industry comes with risks, including data privacy concerns and potential biases. Regarding AI-generated text, legal professionals should be especially cautious. Generative AI isn’t always accurate and has even been known to make up information, which is exactly what happened when two New York City lawyers were sanctioned for submitting an AI-generated legal brief that cited non-existent cases.


Despite these potential drawbacks, AI can be a powerful, time-saving tool for legal professionals. When used right, this innovative technology can improve document management and collaboration, boosting efficiency and client satisfaction.        



How to use AI for legal documents


Law firms can use AI to improve a number of day-to-day processes involving legal documents. We’ve outlined several potential use cases below. 



Document generation


Generative AI for legal documents can create near-instant first drafts based on parameters and details specified by a legal professional. By automating the initial groundwork of organizing and preparing ideas, professionals can use their expertise to refine the AI output into a final draft.



Legal document review


AI can scan legal documents for errors, formatting issues, and other problems such as inconsistent details, names, and dates. Algorithms catch mistakes that humans could easily miss when checking for accuracy — and unlike humans, machines don’t get review fatigue.



Legal document analysis


AI can analyze legal documents in a number of helpful ways. It can uncover potential issues based on similar documents and identify personal information that may need to be redacted for security purposes. It can even analyze tone, identify key terms, compare different document versions, and check to make sure that documents follow compliance guidelines.  



Legal research


By identifying legal cases, statues, regulations, and precedents that inform document writing, AI can help cut down the time it takes to do legal research. Human professionals should always review AI-provided research and other outputs for accuracy. 



M&A due diligence


Mergers and acquisitions require thorough processes for due diligence across several key areas, including strategy, operations, finance, and human resources. AI can streamline these processes by reviewing legal contracts and large volumes of documents quickly while identifying any potential risks. 


Related ReadSimplify secure document exchange for law firms



Benefits of AI for legal documents 


Because legal professionals work with so many documents on a daily basis, AI tools that help manage, share, and support the creation of legal documents can be highly valuable. Below are some benefits of leveraging AI in this way:



Improve productivity


With AI supporting first drafts of documents, research, and other time-consuming tasks, legal professionals can focus mainly on work that requires their skill and expertise. The result? More gets done in less time.



Increase efficiency


By automating burdensome and routine aspects of document management, AI can give legal professionals more time to do impactful work for their clients. It increases efficiency across departments and organizations, helping legal entities thrive during busy periods. 



Boost work quality 


Using AI can increase the quality of legal documents with automated quality assurance and fact-checking features. Not only does the technology provide peace of mind with an extra level of review, its analytical capabilities can prompt legal professionals to make new improvements.



Enhance client experiences


Because of its impact on quality and efficiency, AI can boost client satisfaction. When AI tools drive better processes, faster service, and fewer errors, clients will notice and appreciate it. 



Increase talent acquisition and retention 


AI tools that improve processes can have a significant impact on employee acquisition and satisfaction. Staff are more likely to join, stay, and grow their careers with firms that invest in technology to help manage their workloads. Legal professionals looking for work will also be drawn to organizations using innovative technologies in this way. 



How to choose AI for legal documents


There are many options to choose from when it comes to AI tools in the legal profession. Choosing the right solution will allow organizations to benefit from cutting-edge technology in ways that make the most sense for their business. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when assessing AI: 



Evaluate security


Some AI tools will share information with developers or incorporate client data into their databases. Legal documents contain sensitive information from clients, so security is a must. Legal entities can protect themselves and clients from the serious consequences of a data breach by investing in a secure AI solution. 


Related Read: Balancing protection and productivity for modern legal workflows



Identify firm needs


Legal entities will make better decisions about which tools to invest in when they’re certain the tools’ capabilities align with their own goals. Whether it’s document analysis, fact checking, workflow optimization, research, or a combination of multiple features — legal organizations should begin the selection process by identifying what capabilities they need. 



Prioritize ease of use


For professionals to get the most out of an AI solution, it’s important that the tool is easy to use. When AI tools are too difficult to work with, staff often look for work-arounds and develop their own methods of handling legal documents out of frustration. This can lead to inefficiencies and inconsistent workflows that ultimately impact quality and client satisfaction.  



Integration capabilities


For the best workflows and seamless collaboration, new tools should be able to work in tandem with existing ones. To help encourage adoption and ensure that staff continue to benefit from established workflows, it’s important to choose AI solutions that easily integrate with legacy systems. 



Vendor reputation and support


When onboarding new tools, unexpected questions for vendors often slow down the process of implementation. It’s important for legal organizations to check that vendors will provide support and quality customer service before, during, and after tool adoption.



Which AI tools can your legal team use?


The following AI tools can help legal teams to save time managing, creating, and reviewing legal documents. Before investing in a solution, legal entities should check that it meets the criteria above.




One of the best tools for managing workflows, this secure file sharing platform incorporates AI to scan content for personal identifiable information (PII) elements and whether users should apply more secure options. 




With its AI tool CoCounsel, Casetext can speed up legal research and help legal professionals review documents quickly, among other features. 



Lex Machina 

Owned by LexisNexis, this legal analytics company offers AI tools to review legal documents, provide analysis, and identify trends with the help of a large legal database.




While not specific to the legal market, ChatGPT can be valuable for efficiently analyzing and reviewing documents.



Transform legal document processes with new technology 


Using AI tools for legal documents may come with a few risks, but cautious applications of the technology can be extremely valuable for the legal industry. Organizations should understand how AI can increase efficiency, promote productivity, and bring other benefits that meaningfully enhance daily operations. By choosing tools and vendors wisely, firms can transform legal document processes to improve how cases are handled and thrive in a competitive industry