Artificial Intelligence (AI) create a new technology that enormous potential for lawyers and law firms in Nigeria to improve ways in which legal services operates in terms of imploring and promoting efficiency of certain types of legal task, appear in court, negotiate deals and reducing costs for clients.
It has the capability to take away the monotonous process of reviewing and managing “boilerplate”within legal contracts, which is huge part of the work that lawyers and law firms do on benefit of their clients.
John McCarthy was the first who used the term “Artificial Intelligence” to denote machines that could think autonomously. He described the threshold as “getting a computer to do things which, when done by people, are said to involve intelligence”. The development and use of machines to execute tasks which usually required human intelligence.
According to Wikipedia defines Artificial intelligence as a machine intelligence and intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrail to the natural intelligence displayed by human and animal.
Technopedia.com defines Artificial Intelligence as an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligence machines that work and react live human. Andreas Kaplan & Michael Haenlein defines artificial intelligence as a system’s ability to correctly interpret external data, to learn from such data, and to use those learnings to achieve specific goals and tasks through flexible adaptation.
An ideal (perfect) intelligence machine is a flexible agent which perceives its environment and takes actions to maximize its chance of success at some goal or objective.
Investopedia Dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence (AI) to refer to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed and mimic their actions. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits trait associated with other human mind such as learning and problem solving can be done by computers, though not in the same way as we do.
According to Britannica Dictionary defines Artificial Intelligence as a digital computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to projects of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes and characteristics of human, such as ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize or learn from past experience.
Traditionally and historically, only lawyers can legally engage in practice of law in Nigeria. But things are beginning to change in the landmark case of LOLA V. SKADDEN (2015). The court held that “tasks that otherwise be performed entirely by a machine cannot be said to engage in the practice of law”, meaning that once some task can be entirely performed by a machine, that task can no longer be considered to be practice of law.
According to Deloitte, over 100,000 thousand legal jobs will be eliminated by automation by 2025 and firms that fail to adopt artificial intelligence are fated to be left behind. Thus, the benefit of Artificial Intelligence on the legal profession cannot be disregarded. The write seeks to explain the reasons why lawyers should be delighted by the introduction of artificial intelligence into law practice in Nigeria.
Many believe that the time has come and “2020s will be the decade of disruption” as law firms are gradually increasingly investing in technology to automate tasks and decision making. Lawyers of this decade are under tremendous pressure to deliver legal services efficiently at a cheaper price to attract new clients.
So to be smarter and efficient, adopting technological solutions have become obligatory for the legal sectors. Artificial Intelligence often assist lawyers in various aspects from managing a wide range of document-intensive tasks that are crucial to negotiate a transaction, conduct an internal, advise clients, detecting errors or determine the evidence significant to the litigation or protection of a claim.
The legal sector was not among the fast to adopt it, but no doubt, it has a lot to offer to lawyers and law firms. There are already law firms that adopted artificial intelligence and working more productively and efficiently, saving a lot of time and costs on monotonous tasks, a good example are Law Pavilion Electronic Law Report (LPELR), Digital Law Firm, Eva Super Max, Olaniwon Ajayi LP, Duale, Ovia & Alex-Adedipe LP, Infusion firm and so on are embraced use of Artificial Intelligence.
Interestingly, the law is not static.it change over time with the development of courts doctrine and new legislation process. Similarly, market standards for negotiated transactional terms vary from one year to another.
Consequently, basing artificial intelligence driven insights on outdated law and trends may yield inaccurate results and recommendations.
Methods of tempering the impact of outdated law would be for Artificial Intelligence systems to lend more weight to more recent decisions and trends, to have subject-matter experts regularly monitor the artificial intelligence algorithms and results for accuracy, and to eventually have the AI system update itself based on new jurisprudence and market standards.
The ability to identify bad law already exists to a limited extent, in legal research features that identify case law that has been implicitly undermined due to its reliance on overruled or otherwise invalidated cases. Lawyers and the legal profession should not be left out in this new wave that bears many benefits.
Recently, in developed countries of the world artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to transform the legal profession in many ways as lawyers and law firms are already using the Artificial Intelligence to do things like reviewing documents (commercial and corporate transactions, banking corporate, employment, real estate etc.), ensuring compliance (which is a very front burner issue for multinationals and transactional), analyzing contracts to determine whether they meet pre-determined criteria, performing legal research and predicting case outcome.
In light of the above, some of the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in the legal sectors and legal market are as follows:
DOCUMENTS REVIEW: Artificial Intelligence widely used for the documents review process in legal sectors. Once a lawyer indicates or selects a document relevant to their case, artificial intelligence AI algorithms can find all related documents available. This reduces lawyers’ workload, stress and frustration.
Together, these dramatically improve lawyer work satisfaction. Similarly, Artificial intelligence can also review legal contracts, eliminating errors that human eyes usually fail to catch. Some of the other advantages of AI are consistency in preparing contracts and setting alerts for contract dates.
DUE DELIGENCE AND CONTRACT REVIEW: Artificial intelligence involves a due diligence and contract review for a corporate and commercial transactions, reviewing company documents, intellectual property, contract agreements, corporate governance and other virtual corporate information clearly shows speed efficiency, effectiveness and reduce human errors. There are now tools that can automate this process by using Artificial intelligence AI, including finding specific legal concepts and generating written reports about was found.
LITIGATION ANALYSIS:There is an amazing amount of data in the developed countries like USA, UK, Canada, Ireland etc. court system’s public record, opinion and order of courts, jury verdict and other valuable information is generally available. Virtual court proceedings (E-court system) are highly recommended for cases to save client cost, time, guarantee efficiency and reduce congestion in court list and case filed in court.
A legal analyze and on the effectiveness of litigators before particular judges by extracting what it claims to be the biggest litigation data base in the world. Law Pavilion Electronic Law Report and Eva Super Max in Nigeria are the great artificial intelligence legal assistant designed to assist lawyers with legal research, legal opinion, speed litigation and legal drafting.
LEGAL RESEARCH: Artificial intelligence technology create more radically change in practice of law and lawyers’ work such as legal authorities, judicial precedent, legal expert opinion, databases, legal issues etc. Artificial Intelligence can read more than a million pages per second and find (in jurisprudence) the exact foundations on which lawyers would need to rely on winning a case.
With a machine conducting legal can save a lot of time and it could save clients a lot of money by eliminating investigation costs.
Lawyers can also use artificial intelligence for the case study, Artificial Intelligence accelerates the process of funding information and has the ability to recognize pattern, which could speed up legal procedures.
A good example of legal search engines like Google, Ask.com,Bing, DuckDuckGo, Bindu, Yandex and so on. Artificial intelligence will allow lawyers to ask legal question in plain language and get an answer back-can answer that includes researching regulations, case law, secondary sources and more.
STANDARDAZINE LEGAL WORK: Artificial intelligence has higher capability than humans to study large amount of data, it has a very high and accurate advantage for due diligence, which is before a legal action.
It promotes through developed software applications by creating legal documents and making it available online for attorneys’ use. Artificial intelligence also has tremendous benefits in some situation which can help judicial officers to review cases by researching criminal record of an offender evaluate the gravity and frequency of offences, and guide in respect of sentencing.
REDUCTION OF LITIGATION COSTS: One of the great circumstance where artificial intelligence can significantly reduce potential litigation cost is when it’s applied to electronic discovering during a major case.
The technology can deliver potential savings by lessening the member of billable hours to gather necessary facts based on document review as well as create a time-frame and fact pattern.
The legal team on the case than use its resources more strategically for analysis which in turn may reduce the cost of litigation. The amount of time lawyers and attorney spends proofing a document supposed to running the original through artificial intelligence software.
Artificial intelligence often saves hours of time in these situations, with accuracy, which then translates into monetary saving as less attorney time is involved in finding answers or fixing mistakes. This allow a lawyers to dive into the creative, intellectual analysis that they are trained to do.
CONTRACT MANAGEMENT: A true pain in the neck of every in-house lawyer is a contract storage and management system, the place where contracts can be stored and then managed based on the terms of the agreement.
Artificial intelligence has progressed to the point where the entry of the key information (terms, dates and other information) can be done through technology without the need for human intervention other than initial set up and fine turning, in task, contract management including DocuSign, signature process can be managed as part of the some tools that create the contracts meaning an automated process from start to signature to storage.
An additional problem with even considering a contract management tool is the work needed to review all of the existing contracts and inputting the data into the new database.
Artificial intelligence review the entire contract database and analyzes and organize those agreement in a manner that would take a team of people months and months to complete. Moreover, tools now exist can review your entire contract database and manage risk, while ensuring consistent oversight and consistency among your legal contracts.
PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS: Artificial intelligence can store large size of legal data and analyze it to predict the chances of winning a specific case. Experts believe that attorney will begin to capitalize on artificial intelligence on a large scale within a few years but the truth is that many already use it on a smaller scale and this has already generated great benefits.
Considering the concept of predictive coding further, it is now possible to utilize artificial intelligence to research company records (documents, emails and even unstructured data) to detect bad behavior before it can bubble to the surface.Artificial intelligence is being used to sniff out bribery, fraud, compliance issues, even potential litigation all based on the content of the company’s own documents and data.
This smart technology is more contrite today than it ever was in the past and the future of Artificial intelligence seems as bright as ever. However, even the client-fasting businesses need to learn, the winners of the future are those who can adapt to the changing needs of clients. This fact is now digging the legal sector, which has been a turtle in embracing changing technologies up until now.
These artificial intelligence tools are based on predictive analysis algorithms, which can extrapolate information about all known users in a given social network. Many social networking sites have acquired artificial intelligence businesses to move to the next level. Since, we probably have already experienced it on some level, and as with most new and shocking technologies, there will be time for us as preferred audience to adapt.
At the end, for marketers in legal sector, swimming on top of this wave in this amazing technology era and selecting the convenient tools for supporting our marketing strategies will be the keys to maintain a strong presence in our law practice.
Indeed, the future is now and benefits of artificial intelligence in a legal sectors are many. The truth is that Lawyers and attorney must accept and prepare for the emergence of artificial intelligence and explore the areas where the technology will greatly improve the legal services to their clients rather than the fear and threat of artificial intelligence taking their hitherto to protect legal services and business.
Artificial intelligence has arrived in terms of assisting lawyers and attorney to do things faster, better, cheaper and more effective ways for a digital lawyer.
The existing of technology may be limited for now, but the responsibilities are intriguing and the availability, quality and price will all soon come together in products that are just too useful and workable for many lawyers particularly in-house legal decision.
Due to the current global pandemic COVID-19 Nigeria courts has adopt virtual hearing proceedings this will ensure effectiveness and efficiency in justice dispensation using the AI and ICT “A Virtual Court Proceeding is a conceptual idea of a judicial forum that has no physical presence but still provides the same justice services that are available in courtrooms” artificial intelligence will more useful to both lawyers and adjudicators.
Artificial intelligence is currently touching many in-house workflows-legal research, contract development, filing of court processes and many others to come-forever disrupting the legal market.It is therefore impossible for artificial intelligence to replace with lawyers, it can only change the way legal business and legal sectors in the world at large and most importantly in Nigeria.
John S. Avoseh Esq. LL.B (Hons), B.L (Hons)