AI investment for legal
LegalApril 20, 2021

5 factors every legal department should consider before investing in AI

AI might be attractive to any legal professional if the tool promises to save time for high value tasks. While there are many solutions on the market, it is important to know what to consider before investing.

Let’s discuss the most important criteria you should keep in mind when making your decision. Here are the top 5 key factors.

1. Onboarding

The most important thing to remember is that your AI tech investment should save you time and not the other way round. Watch out for solutions that demand hours of training from your team. You need to ask yourself, how does this tool save me time? Will I be able to read contracts faster with it or is it only designed to teach a machine to extract data? How long will it take to get set up on the platform? Is the dashboard intuitive and user-friendly? Does it come with checklist templates which I can use immediately or customise to suit my needs? Bearing all these questions in mind will help ensure a smooth onboarding process.

2. Training

The next important factor to consider is the amount of training your AI tool requires. You should not have to second guess how your AI works, it should be intuitive enough to interpret what you are asking of it.

3. Versatility

If you are in a business that operates in more than one country, it is important that your tools can be adapted. Here is where you need to ask “Can the system be used on different kinds of projects?” Many legal technologies available today have trained their AI in English by leveraging publicly available contracts. This method allows users to ask basic questions and generate some decent results, but only in English. While the pre-trained model is likely to save you time getting started, it is unlikely to serve your overall purpose of investing in an AI tool. This is because pre-trained models cannot deliver the same quality of results in different languages. This means that if users deal with documentation in multiple languages, they would have to train the AI in their mother tongue from scratch, which is not only time consuming but also too expensive to even get started.

The technology you invest in should allow you to transfer not only knowledge across different questions and contract types but also between languages. It should be able to deliver a higher level of accuracy than anticipated in multiple languages. This means it is more affordable when it is required to adapt and achieve the best results, quickly.

4. Reporting

Can your AI tool do more than simply extracting and analysing? The AI solution you choose might speed up your contract review process. However, if you then have to spend time extracting the data out of the system and editing it make it presentable to your clients, you might not save as much time as you thought you would. The AI tool you choose should not only extract the information for you, but also help you by checking the results of the AI analysis as well as editing the comments and answers into a client-ready format. You should be able to find answers and visualise the data in previously unimaginable ways that significantly impact the everyday decisions you make.

5. Compatibility and integration

The AI tool you choose should fit within your current processes and systems. For instance, simple features like the ability to assign matter and client numbers to your various projects can help your AI tool integrate with your invoice tool to ensure a smooth billing and invoice generation process.

Download our latest whitepaper “A pragmatic approach to AI in the legal department” and see how AI fits in your company’s legal technology roadmap and how you can adopt AI technology into your legal department’s processes to save time, boost productivity and reduce costs.