The art of practicing law is thoroughly human. It requires a huge amount of knowledge, reasoning, lateral thinking and negotiation skills. But when it comes to the busy work, like creating contracts and research, artificial intelligence (AI) is more than capable of taking charge.

Businesses find finding new uses for AI and machine learning every day – so how will using AI in law firms affect the way we practice law in the UK? This blog will explore the ways that AI is being used in UK law and what that could mean for Microsoft Partners.

Due diligence

Due diligence is a vital process that lawyers perform to understand their client’s situation and ascertain the best options on their behalf. However, crucial as it is, it can easily be derailed by human error. Underneath heavy workloads and long hours, lawyers and paralegals can become susceptible to missing crucial details or making the wrong decision. Manual tasks like reviewing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or searching databases are both time-consuming and tedious; eating up valuable time that could be spent strategizing.

AI tools like machine learning and natural language processing can be used to increase the accuracy of inputted data, accelerate research and scan documents for common errors. Lawyers can set parameters for the information they’re looking for, and an AI tool will retrieve the information from any data sources quicker and more accurately than a human could. In this way, AI in law firms can act as supplementary paralegals, performing rote tasks and helping legal staff use their time more effectively.

Document generation

Creating legal documents is a process that’s subject to many regulations and takes a lot of time and careful work. Whether an NDA or a contract, the drafting process is lengthy and requires careful attention. Lawyers must identify and flag relevant clauses or dates, or risk multiple redrafts, and ultimately poor quality contracts. Businesses that choose not to work with legal counsel are at even greater risk – if they choose to review their own legal documents without specialist legal knowledge, this presents a serious threat to their legal standing.

Document generation is a practice that’s becoming increasingly popular across many industries, and it can be especially useful in a legal context. Using an AI powered tool, lawyers can put together templates and libraries of clauses with which to build future contracts. Using templates frees up a lot of time for lawyers, while guaranteeing the correct language and clauses are used to protect users against risk.

Intellectual property

Protecting ideas and information is essential for those in creative industries. Intellectual property covers different areas including trademarks, patents and copyright. To help inventors and creators benefit from their work, lawyers must be able to quickly register intellectual property on their behalf. Not doing so can leave clients unprotected and vulnerable to replication. Applications can be lengthy and require hours of searching databases for existing patents or claims – time is of the essence.

When it comes to manual tasks like searching for patents and keyword classification, AI can save time on research and help lawyers focus on more important tasks. In particular, applying for patents can become more accessible to those without legal knowledge thanks to AI tools. If a small business wishes to patent an invention, they may not have the funds available to hire a law firm and may instead opt to file an application themselves. Using a tool powered by natural language processing and AI will allow them to create their own application correctly.

Technology law is behind AI in law firms

As a newer school of law, technology law can be intimidating. Ranging from communications to data regulations, it’s a broad church. It changes regularly, with new inventions and regulations popping up every day. Not all law firms have the experience that it takes to provide specialised advice for businesses in the tech space. Lawyers who specialise in technology law can be difficult to find, but they’re essential for business growth.

Law 365 is a modern law firm that specialises in providing insider-level knowledge of the Microsoft Partner Network. Using a combination of modern business technology and expert legal knowledge, Law 365 are disrupting the way that businesses in the tech space access legal services: they offer a range of industry-tailored templates suitable for businesses who are looking for simple, high-quality legal documents.

Law 365 are also developing their own AI-powered tool, which will be widely available for Microsoft partners in the near future. With a range of affordable fixed-price services as well as a subscription-based package, they’re the right law firm to work with to ensure your business grows safely and effectively.

To find out more about outsourcing your legal counsel to Law 365 for sustainable business growth, get in touch today.

“For all the legal work needed by technology businesses, whether it be contract, company or employment law, I would highly recommend using Law 365.”

– Matthew Reeve, CEO at Modern Networks Limited