The last few years have been difficult for legal departments and corporate law firms. The average lawyer clocks 50+ hours a week, with 75% of lawyers working outside normal business hours to gain traction. A third of law firms say they’ve lost business to inefficiency. More than half of lawyers (54%) are exhausted by their workloads. And according to Ernst & Young, 25% of general counsels expect increased workloads over the next three years, yet 88% anticipate budget cuts. Consequently, lawyers must find innovative ways to work smarter, not harder.
Greater use of legal tech can help reduce costs and pressure. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have entered the mainstream after decades of research, and now early adopters are seeing the transformative effects. While there are many possible applications, teams can discover immediate ROI by automating the most tedious, time-consuming tasks. Utilizing AI in law and legal practice, time-consuming review and negotiation work can now be automated to save time and legal department resources.
Current Uses for AI in Law and Legal Practice
Companies can work smarter, not harder, by focusing on AI contract review to:
Automate review and revision processes to save time.
"The concept is really good. Simple automatic revisions and provision pick-ups are at practical levels of use. It can significantly help avoid careless mistakes for even experienced members."
- Senior Legal Specialist, Panasonic
Conducting due diligence constitutes a tremendous amount of time for legal professionals—especially at scale. AI can help associates expedite document review without missing a single error, clause deviation, or omission. Instead of becoming bogged down in details, reviewers can concentrate on analyzing results, crafting competitive strategies, and maintaining favorable business relationships.
Institutionalize collective knowledge to reduce waste and improve training.
“LexCheck eliminated an entire step of the process, reducing what used to take hours to a matter of minutes while also increasing the quality and consistency of the work.”
- Connie Brenton, VP of Law, Technology and Operations, NetApp
Training a new employee on the corporate legal playbook represents another time sink. Moreover, all that time and money is wasted when an employee moves on to work for someone else. However, when you train AI on your corporate legal playbook, information is applied and retained in perpetuity. New employees can use AI to familiarize themselves with the legal playbook and make edits in line with company policy. As your needs change, the latest guidance can be added to implement updates.
Determine risk, route work, and prioritize escalations.
With hundreds or thousands of documents awaiting review, it can be difficult to know where to begin or how to prioritize the workload. Legal departments with static manual processes often approach each document the same way: a junior associate takes the first pass, followed by final approvals from senior counsel. After the counterparty reviews the document, the agreement often goes through the same two-level process. But what if AI took the first pass at risk analysis and color-coded the risky passages in green (low risk), yellow (moderate risk), or red (high risk) to determine whether a junior associate could handle it? Low-risk contracts could be handled fully by less experienced staff, reducing escalations and freeing senior legal counsel to engage in more high-value work.
Provide context to reduce back-and-forth negotiations.
“We can breathe now. We have more time to focus on negotiations, which also reduces the back-and-forth between us and the clients. The new turnaround time is just unbelievably amazing.”
- Amanda Richards, General Counsel, Cudd Energy Systems
Often, negotiations between parties run long due to uncertainties about intention or rationale. Why was a change proposed? What was the precedent? What if the person making the recommendation is out of the office and can’t be reached? How much time do contracts spend just lingering in various inboxes?
An AI-powered contract review and negotiations solution enables corporate legal departments to enforce digital playbook standards that ensure compliance and minimize risk. As a result, legal teams not only receive fully redlined and annotated versions of a contract in minutes, but they also effectively reduce back-and-forth negotiations altogether.
Save Time With LexCheck AI-Based Contract Review
While contract lifecycle management platforms may seem like a logical starting point, these platforms are also very complex, requiring a learning curve, a period of data aggregation, and deep corporate knowledge to reap the benefits. In other words, the return on investment can take some time.
LexCheck offers a simpler and more focused tool aimed at the most time-consuming part of the contract lifecycle: the review and negotiation processes. Instead of spending days combing through a draft for errors, weaknesses, inconsistencies, and omissions, LexCheck’s AI requires just five minutes to perform a thorough first-level review that cross-references past drafts, templates, best practices, and legal playbooks. Teams receive detailed guidance with contextual notes that can expedite negotiations and reduce back-and-forths.
Gary Sangha | Founder & CEO
Gary Sangha is the Founder and CEO LexCheck. He's a serial entrepreneur and an academic. Gary previously founded Intelligize, a legal technology company that was acquired by LexisNexis. He's affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University and started his career as an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and White & Case.