AI is buzzing in the legal industry. It’s time to separate hype from reality.

I was recently invited to speak on artificial intelligence in law at the annual LMA conference along with an outstanding panel of industry experts (read my summary here). During my talk I offered a simplified view of the AI landscape of vendors and technologies in play and received great feedback and many requests for further detail.

This feedback is consistent with many conversations I’ve had regarding legal AI over the past few years: it’s hard to distinguish fact from reality, and practical examples of AI in this industry are hard to come by. Yet, we’re increasingly hearing grand claims and predictions of robot-lawyers and coin-operated legal advice dispensers at the local Walmart. And for those unfamiliar with the technical details, AI is complicated further by confusing terminology, technical jargon and a range of definitions that are sometimes applied too loosely, IMHO.

In an effort to simplify, I’ve reduced the growing list of vendors who proclaim AI super powers into a map organized by what their products actually do for the industry today:

The box sizes are not quite to scale, but do reflect how widely products in these categories are being used. And generally speaking, from bottom to top represent products that help us do existing work more efficiently to helping us make smarter and faster decisions in the work we do.

From the bottom:

Document work, such as drafting, searching, reviewing, analyzing or summarizing documents. And often times, lots of them. This is where the majority of AI applications are used in practice, primarily in e-discovery and increasingly in due diligence or large-scale contract review.

Research work, such as searching for and compiling information related to a particular argument, decision or outcome. Think beyond legal research here, as I include business-oriented research such as market or competitive intelligence gathering or client research as well.

Products in these first two categories make the work faster, better and cheaper. Literally. Less than 10 years ago, “predictive coding” and “technology assisted review” were relatively new buzzwords. But these tools and their usage is now the standard for discovery and early case assessment. There is no going back.

Looking forward, and upward, I then include predicting and automating [stuff]. OK, this is a bit vague. My point is that products in these categories often include broad capabilities that must be applied to narrow and well-defined problems and solutions. And the types of problems and solutions are growing by the day, although not all have been proven yet. So I broadened these categories for simplicity’s sake understanding that the devil is in the details.

By automating stuff I’m referring to what are often call intelligent automation or expert systems, which essentially take the knowledge of an expert in a specific area or on a specific process and capture it in software, giving the software the ability to ask and answer questions or to help with completion of tasks or projects.

And then we have predicting stuff, more often called predictive analytics or legal analytics, where given enough good data these products can identify relationships, patterns and trends and can statistically calculate a probable outcome, decision, risk or opportunity. And I emphasize good data, as this is usually the limiting factor in the success of these products.

Over the next few posts I’ll expand on these categories further, including real-world examples and my thoughts and opinions on the vendors and products in each.

Until then, please share your feedback on this model. Am I missing something, or are there other angles we should take to help us all understand the true potential of AI in the legal industry…good, or bad?


  1. Септик под ключ тольятти

    Большой уровень производства септиков
    Для вас мы предлагаем высококлассные сервис по монтажу автономной канализации под ключ, владеем исключительной методикой и частным подходом к работе.
    Максимальное внимание к клиенту
    Автономная канализация в частном помещении – лучший выбор от компанииСборка септика – изрядно непростой процесс, предполагающий не только лишь строительство, но и дополнительно выбор нужной системы.
    Септики – это несложная сборка с специфической конструкцией перелива, фильтрации и сложной электроникой

  2. Септик для дачи

    Для вас мы предлагаем высококлассные сервис по монтажу автономной канализации под ключ, владеем исключительной методикой и частным подходом к работе.
    Это в целом предоставляет вам гарантию того момента, что автономная канализация работает без перебоев в течение многих лет.
    Высококачественное сопровождение
    Максимальное внимание к клиенту
    Обеспечиваем лучший завершающий результат

  3. my friends and I have been dreaming about. The specifics on the web site is excellent and appreciated and will assist my wife and I in our studies significantly. It appears as if this network has a large amount of specifics regarding subjects on the site and other subjects and info like wise show it. I’m not usually browsing websites all day long however when I get a break im more often than not looking for this kind of knowledge and others similarly related to it. When someone gets a chance, take a look at my site. when will ssdi run out in Socorro

  4. No war! I am a freelance photographer from UKRAINE! There is a war, there is no work, but I want to help my country, my parents and my beloved cat Masya. I sell author’s photographs of blooming UKRAINE! Thanks in advance for any donation! Glory UKRAINE

  5. World’s first dimensionless bluetooth rings With our rings, you can forget about the feeling of discomfort or fear that you will not guess the right size! Also,our rings can be worn on the glove and as a clip on the ears without any problems. Gadgets for men, gadgets 2022

  6. Pingback: online pharmacies
  7. Pingback: canadadrugs
  8. Portal de Internet creado para los fans de la moderna cultura pop coreana. En este sitio se puede encontrar toda la informacion mas actualizada sobre los idols. Aqui se recopilan datos biograficos, noticias de Ultima hora, anuncios de conciertos, videos musicales, portadas de revistas, numerosas publicaciones que hablan de la vida de los artistas famosos, kpop grupos y otras celebridades coreanas. Este sitio web esta decorado con fotografias coloridas en colores brillantes, destacando la caracteristica cultura pop coreana.

    Lo que se puede encontrar en el sitio web:
    – las ultimas noticias sobre idols famosos;
    – discografias de artistas coreanos populares y grupos;
    – videos musicales y teasers de conciertos y artistas coreanos;
    – tendencias de moda coreana, salidas elegantes de los idols;
    – tests tematicos y entretenidos para los amantes de la cultura pop coreana;
    – datos biograficos y datos interesantes de la vida de las celebridades coreanas.

    La pagina principal contiene los materiales mas relevantes y las ultimas actualizaciones. Puede encontrar informacion sobre BTS, STRAY KIDS, EXO, BLACKPINK y otros grupos populares de K-pop. Utilice la busqueda en el sitio para encontrar materiales sobre el grupo que le interesa, ver sesiones de fotos, videos musicales de
    fama mundial, asi como descubrir la historia de los idols sobre como se convertieron en artistas. Los lectores pueden descubrir mas informacion sobre los grupos de K-pop femeninos y masculinos, familiarizarse con las alineaciones y evaluar el tipo de musica que crean. Ademas, se presentan discografias con albumes y videos musicales que estan disponibles para escuchar.

    La informacion en el sitio se actualiza regularmente. Aqui se publican las ultimas noticias con fotos y datos interesantes. Los materiales presentados se dividen en categorias, por lo tanto, el usuario encontrara facilmente noticias de interes sobre ciertas celebridades coreanas.

  9. Appreciating the dedication you put into your website and in depth information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.