Artificial Intelligence (AI) will free up solicitors from lower-level work to carry out more complex tasks, a new report concludes.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published a paper which looks at innovations in technology affecting the legal service sector. The report shows that rapid developments in AI will mostly be focused on back-office functions, addressing out the less complex work.
This will allow solicitors to focus on more complex parts of a case or increase their capacity to engage with clients and potential clients.
Using AI for legal services could also see firms reduce their costs as overheads for ‘virtual’ parts of a business are lower. And attitudes about using new technology will change as it becomes more commonplace.
The paper also outlines the quality of legal work carried out by computers. While it is not 100 percent accurate in various tests, it has never proven any less accurate than work carried out by humans. In some cases, it is more so. However, while in one test it took real-life lawyers 92 minutes to complete a task, AI finished the job in 26 seconds.
Paul Philip, SRA Chief Executive, said: “There is no doubt that new technology has already improved the way legal services work. Latest surveys show that 30 percent of legal work is now delivered online and the business use of emails has speeded up many tasks. “Our report highlights the potential for technology to add further value in the workplace and we are looking further at how AI can enable the provision of high-quality legal services through the government Pioneer Fund award. Many firms are already exploring the possibilities and I would urge all law firms to consider how technology can help you and your business.”
Various reports have been published elsewhere on the attitudes of the profession towards the use of technology, and other areas of innovation, and the progress that is being made.
The SRA have dedicated pages for those looking to find new ways of working, with the aim of increasing access to justice, competition and choice for clients. The paper on technology and the SRA Innovate pages can be found by visiting their website.