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How can artificial intelligence technology benefit your legal practice

8 October 2020 | Luminance

At a recent panel discussion hosted by the UK Legal Technology Association, Tom Jackson, Senior Corporate Associate at Eversheds Sutherland, spoke about his experience in adopting AI-powered legal tools.

A tool for the modern legal team

For Tom and his colleagues at Eversheds, the initial appeal of Luminance was its ability to help lawyers handle large-scale document reviews. Luminance uses a unique blend of cutting-edge supervised and unsupervised machine learning which can read and form an understanding of all documents within a dataset, allowing lawyers to cut through large data volumes to rapidly identify key documents pertinent to the matter at hand. Tom also noted that Eversheds “needed something adaptable, suited to our very broad practice” and found that Luminance’s versatility is perfectly suited to be deployed practice-wide, whether it be for M&A due diligence, real estate work, repapering or eDiscovery, amongst other use cases.

Once Eversheds had adopted Luminance, a key additional benefit was the insight Luminance gave them into a data set on day one of the review. As Tom put it, “we now have a much better understanding of what we’re working with before we start the work”. Luminance gives lawyers immediate insight into a data set that would normally have taken days or weeks to acquire, displaying key information contained within such as contract type, governing law and currencies. Luminance also flags anomalies to the lawyer so that they can prioritise potential risks at the beginning of the review.

Enhancing lawyers’ reviews

Tom and the other panellists all recognised that within the legal sector there was initial concern from some lawyers about the growth of AI technology for fear of automation replacing roles. However, following his experience actually using this technology, Tom felt these objections were misplaced: rather than a replacement for lawyers, Tom has found that it enhances their ability to better understand the documents and provide reasoned analysis to the clients: as he says, “Luminance provides the technology, but the expertise is still the lawyers”. Indeed, AI offers lawyers the chance to get back to the high value work they trained for. Tom explained how, when speaking to hesitant lawyers, he often posed the question - “Why did you go to law school: was it to read 1,000s of pages of text or to give key advice to clients?”

Luminance enables lawyers to focus their time on higher-level tasks – this means that for a law firm or in-house legal team using AI, “we can now spend our time focusing on that commercial and strategic advice rather than spending the majority of our time just going through documents to find the information to then begin analysis”. AI can also give lawyers a better work-life balance, a key result for businesses looking to attract and retain top lawyers. After all, lawyers “don’t want to be working late into the night on tasks that can be automated”. With Luminance, lawyers are empowered to make the most of their talents, delivering clear advice to clients that is informed by fast, thorough reviews.