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Use of Artificial Intelligence in Legal Practice

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies has led to changes in the way we carry out personal and work activities. The legal profession is no exception to this transformation. The use of smart virtual assistants and other types of AI tools is raising questions that are reshaping the legal profession. 

This brief describes the different ways AI can be embedded in the legal practice to assist the work of lawyers and other legal professionals. It provides examples of current solutions used by lawyers, of scenarios where AI tools could perform tasks traditionally implemented by lawyers, and examples of questions and requests for a smart virtual assistant. As AI continues to be integrated into legal practice, this brief considers legal and ethical concerns related to the integrity of the legal system, the duties of lawyers, and protection of the rights of clients.

The research was commissioned by Law Notion, a legal technology company.

Over a three-month period (July to September 2023), BIICL conducted a combination of desk-based and primary research (in the form of semi-structured interviews) with lawyers (solicitors, barristers, and in-house counsel working across different areas of law) to determine how AI technologies are being used and could best serve their day-to-day work. We focused on the UK legal market but considered other jurisdictions as well, in particular, other European countries and the US. 

We addressed the main pain points in lawyer workflow that could be resolved by a smart virtual assistant, the needs of having a smart virtual assistant to help lawyers work, including examples of scenarios where such technology would be particularly useful, and questions that lawyers are interested in getting help from a smart virtual assistant for.

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