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Wolters Kluwer has a deep bench of artificial intelligence talent and expertise. At our 2022 ELM Amplify user conference, we were fortunate to host three of our leaders in AI for a conversation about how this technology can help legal departments improve performance and results. In the session “AI leadership: Welcome to the winner’s circle” we were joined by the following panelists from our award-winning AI-based product and service team:
During the discussion, our experts talked about some key benefits of using AI in the legal space and why these improvements are important. Here are some of the main takeaways.
AI is perfectly suited to execute a large number of rote tasks very quickly. These are the tasks that people often get bogged down in because they are not particularly interesting or engaging, and they take busy professionals away from the higher-value work they would rather concentrate on. An AI-driven solution can take on much of the repetitive manual work that gets in the way of their main job responsibilities. The right AI tools can alleviate that burden while still giving them oversight and control over the processes.
In addition, AI can complete many types of work much faster than any human worker could. An AI tool can look at the entire current and historical portfolio to identify patterns and flag an instance of something being out of pattern. Human beings don’t have the processing power to keep all potentially relevant data top-of-mind at all times, but AI does so with ease and, as a result, can complete certain tasks in an instant that would take a person several hours. So, the efficiency gains AI can provide come at both the individual staff member and departmental productivity levels.
If a person is faced with reviewing a set of invoices with a total of 10,000 line items, they won’t realistically have time to scrutinize every one equally. In order to complete the task, they will need to sort the line items so that they can spend their time on the most important ones. They might sort by line-item amount and focus on the largest items. Or they may sort by law firm so that they can check on firms they have had problems with before. These are reasonable approaches, but they may lead to unreviewed smaller items that add up to a large amount of mistakes by firms that are usually in compliance. An AI tool checks every line item and does it far more quickly.
Unlike people, the work output of a technology tool is also the same throughout the entire day. Technology doesn’t need a new cup of coffee to remain alert at three o’clock in the afternoon. It isn’t hindered by distracting external pressures and doesn’t try to wrap up early on Friday to get the weekend started. AI gives you complete confidence that its output is always equally reliable.
Legal departments generate a great deal of data in the course of their day-to-day business. Applying AI to some areas of that work can turn unused data into analytics that help professionals make critical business decisions. It can provide visibility into the overall outcomes of the work your team is doing and help you direct the department’s efforts to optimize performance.
It is important to note that AI’s value is not about replacing human decisions but making them better. In a busy context like a legal department, people need to make a large number of decisions constantly, from whether to adjust an invoice to which outside counsel firm should work on what matter. AI tools can help provide the insight needed to ensure those decisions are right.
AI technology can also analyze variance among the staff members who are making those decisions to help you understand where the variation comes from and whether it indicates a problem. This provides a data-assisted backstop in those areas where human decision-making is appropriate but could potentially be improved. In this way, it acts as a quality assurance tool for your legal operations.
When you have to be right
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About Wolters Kluwer