Artificial intelligence software specifically designed for the legal industry has hit the market this week, helping lawyers to be more effective and efficient.
The technological breakthrough, ‘Kim’, was developed by UK firm Riverview Law. Chief executive Karl Chapman said while the tool manages data to distribute work and save lawyers time, the next step will be to roll out a tool that can actually perform legal work.
“These ‘Process Assistants’ focus on managing instructions coming into a legal function and capturing the data that helps legal functions ensure that the right work is done in the right place by the right people at the right price,” Chapman told NZ Lawyer.
“The Advisory and Smart Assistants we launch later this year will do lower level legal work and provide suggestions for what advice should be given.”
His prediction for the rapidly changing legal market is that offshoring will become increasingly less competitive as technology continues to develop.
“Computers and Assistants like these work 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
“As a result they provide customers, in-house teams and law firms with more choice as to how they organise themselves. They provide customers with different ways of accessing legal advice.
“Virtual Assistants will increasingly become a part of the overall service delivery solution.”
Available in all English speaking countries, the firm has seen interest from both law firms and in-house legal teams in Australia, Canada, US, NZ, Spain and the UK. A Spanish version will be rolled out later this year.
As for the declining job prospects for lawyers, Chapman said students shouldn’t be too worried just yet, but he did warn that just being technically proficient would not be enough as technology evolves.
“Law students shouldn’t be worried but they should think about what skill-sets they will need going forward,” he said.
“They will need better communication and inter-personal skills, they will need to be technology literate and they will need to understand data and how to interpret it.”