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AI for lawyers in 2024: Maximising the power of eDiscovery

| Written by Altlaw

For lawyers, AI is becoming a necessity. Whether legal professionals learn to use the latest tools themselves or adopt the expertise of managed services, AI can provide several benefits if used effectively.

Throughout this blog post, we'll explore the current landscape of AI for lawyers and how to get the most out of the latest tools.


The evolution of AI in the legal sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed how lawyers approach their day-to-day tasks, revolutionising modern law practice. Over the years, AI has evolved into a powerful tool that can analyse vast amounts of data, find relevant information and provide insights to lawyers in a fraction of the time of manual methods.

In its early stages, AI for lawyers was primarily focused on automating repetitive tasks like document review and contract analysis. However, advancements in machine learning, language processing, data analytics and more have paved the way for a complete shift in the legal landscape.

AI-powered eDiscovery tools have become integral to legal workflows, and not using these applications could see your firm left behind.

Firms that adopt these tools can sift through mountains of electronically stored information (ESI), such as emails, social media posts and documents, to identify relevant information for their cases. Leveraging AI can lead to significant time and resource savings, facilitating growth.

The evolution of AI for lawyers has been nothing short of remarkable, with its potential continuously expanding. AI is expected to play an even more significant role in legal practice as technology advances, enabling lawyers to deliver even more efficient and effective legal services.


Exploring the latest eDiscovery tools

AI has revolutionised how lawyers handle electronic data. Manually reviewing documents is extremely time-consuming in comparison and often prone to human error. Therefore, AI-powered eDiscovery tools can be a game-changer for firms that still need to adopt them in their processes.

Let's explore some of the latest AI tools legal professionals use.


Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis is a tool that allows legal professionals to understand the documents they're reviewing by analysing the language used.

The AI-powered tool uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to determine the sentiment, opinion or emotion expressed in text or speech. The process involves analysing words or phrases used in communication and the context in which they're used.

Sentiment analysis can be used to analyse a wide range of communications like social media posts, articles and legal documents. By doing so, legal professionals can quickly understand the sentiment of a topic or individual.


Email threading

Email threading collates all connected documents — emails and attachments — from an email chain, allowing reviewers to locate other emails within a thread coded as relevant quickly.

If your cases involve a lot of email data, this is a great tool to significantly cut your review time and understand the context behind email threads quickly.


Language identification

Language tools like Relativity Translate help in cases with large volumes of documents in varying languages. The traditional approach to a multi-language review sees reviewers export foreign language documents from a system, send them to a third-party translator and import them back into the system for review.

With the Relativity Translate tool, this review can be reduced from days to minutes. Translations can be completed in just a few clicks and reviewers can continue to review documents as they would for non-foreign documents.

Looking to learn more about the latest analytics tools available to legal professionals? Our guide to analytics tools covers many of the best tools on the market today.



The best AI strategies for lawyers

To maximise the benefits of AI, it's a good idea to put strategies and processes in place. Integrating AI into your day-to-day work can be done by considering the following methods.

Identifying the right use cases

Identify the specific areas of your legal practice where AI could add value. Whether you spot efficiencies in automating contract reviews, analysing legal documents or predicting case outcomes, understanding your potential use cases will help you make informed decisions about where to implement AI.

Training and education

AI technologies are always evolving, so staying updated with the latest advancements is crucial. Investing in training and education will help equip you and your team with the necessary skills to use AI tools effectively and extract the maximum value from them.

Collaborate with experts

Leaning on the advice of managed services and industry experts can greatly enhance the implementation of AI across your firm. These services can provide valuable guidance and ensure you're using AI to its full effect.


The benefits of a managed service

Using AI in law firms can be complex and challenging, and you'll often require specialised expertise. Because of this, many firms are turning to managed services.

Managed services within eDiscovery maintain a range of processes to ensure firms are getting the most out of AI.


Access to expertise

Managed service providers have extensive experience in implementing AI solutions in the legal sector. They can offer advice on AI for lawyers, as well as guidance and support to ensure the successful utilisation of AI tools.

Cost savings

Outsourcing AI practices to a managed service provider helps firms avoid the costs associated with hiring and training AI teams. These services provide a cost-effective solution so firms can leverage AI capabilities without major investment.

Scalability and flexibility

Managed services offer scalability to firms, as AI capabilities can be adjusted based on evolving needs. Whether scaling up during busy periods or adjusting resources when less work is coming in, managed services offer the flexibility over AI use that a full-time hire can't.

Security and compliance

These service providers are data security and compliance experts, ensuring your AI practices adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. Case material can be highly sensitive, so working with an expert provider will help you maintain client confidentiality and protect sensitive information.


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