The rate at which today’s technology grows and shifts can feel a little overwhelming, and many small and solo law firms are hesitant to invest in new tech—even though they stand to benefit the most.
But there are two main areas where AI-driven tools can help firms operate more efficiently and effectively: analytics and automation. For both, AI tools get “smarter” the more you use them.
Analytics tools can vastly enhance the speed of legal research in some areas.
For instance, using modern tools, a lawyer can upload a brief and find other cases relevant to the subject. AI tools can allow small firms to do a directed and relevant search of legal precedent, too.
Such tools draw small firms closer to the competitive advantage seen in large firms because they allow for searches that would otherwise take extensive hours of trained work—hours that are particularly valuable at small firms.
AI can help your firm keep better track of billable hours, too. Short emails and communications with clients add up, and AI can help you track these small but billable tasks that accumulate.
Similarly, today’s tech can help with documents—not simply automated intake forms, but also drafting documents based on selected criteria. While they’ll still need to be reviewed by a qualified human, automation of these tasks can go a long way toward creating more space for billable hours in your team’s workflows.
Preserving valuable time
Ultimately, although small firms and solos may be hesitant to risk the time and money on AI tools, these tools can have a huge impact.
Analytics tools shorten time needed for legal research—and turn up results that might not have been found otherwise. Likewise, automated tasks help firms by reducing the amount of staff time that goes to specific but repetitive tasks. Both forms of AI save hours that can go to billable tasks instead.