In the future inhouse legal department, when legal resourcing is strategized and deployed, artificial intelligence (AI) will be taken into account as a significant factor. AI is not only technological advances which can streamline the efficiency of a legal department, it could also take part of a legal counsels daily work, even more efficient and more reliable. It is not a threat. Rather, its about evolving the practice of inhouse legal and improving the entire productivity of a legal department by adopting AI in a wide way.
AI can be tremendously helpful in the areas of legal research, conducting anonymous phone inquiries with populated standard questions with sufficient background information to enable the AI Robert can adjust the questions slightly based on the respond of the ones who are answering the phones and get the phone inquiries duly recorded.
AI can also work efficiently and 7x24 hours non-stop to answer any questions from the internal clients based on the general contracts related questions, such as which entity should be the signing entity, who should be authorized persons to sign a particular contract. These kinds of works requiring knowledge on the company related standard operational policies (SOP) and time commitment. If there are multiple legal entities involved for a multinational company and different time zone involved, this 24x7 hours non-stop service center will be largely strength the efficiency and accessibility of legal services. Although this kind of services can be provided via online questions and answers, with some online system for automatic answers, people are more fond of having someone to answer their individual questions in a way quoting a particular name in their case, instead of copying the relevant sections in the SOP for them.
Many legal departments have dedicated counsels or contracts analysist to review standardized agreements. Reviewing templates agreements, or non-substantial amendment on the templates agreements may be allocated to an AI inhouse counsel in the future. Also, preparing a first draft of a particular agreement, a new template can be also assigned to an AI inhouse counsel. General speaking, an AI house can replace the role of a junior legal counsel, provided this AI house has been feed with a solid comprehensive knowledge on all the applicable laws and regulations in particular territory, and be trained by the company specific business context and previous agreements.
This is possible as AI has continuous learning function which is known as machine learning. This may potential have another advantage, which is, an AI counsel may acquire sufficient knowledge in several territories, instead of one or two. As it is difficult for a human lawyer to be educated in different legal systems and become a qualified lawyer in many different jurisdictions because of the time commitment for acquiring sufficient legal education in a particular jurisdiction is huge, as an AI counsel, it may be feed with legal knowledge in many jurisdictions which may not be prevented from the time commitment hurdle as a human law student may have. Thus, an AI counsel can sit at one portal to serve all in a multinational company which can largely enhance the productivity and reduce the costs to employ several junior counsels in different jurisdictions and enhance the standardization of templates contracts and contracts process implementation. This AI counsel should also be very stable and can continuously improve and serve at the same position with no risk for discontinuity or leakage of trade secrets.
AI can also provide general consultation works, including to provide predictive data analytics based on requesting clients to populate information based on questionnaire in a particular areas, including advertisement, marketing materials review, labor dispute cases, data protection related matters and etc.
It is not a magic, but a senior counsel may be expecting to partner with an AI counsel in a same legal department to collaborate as a team.