Dennis C. Garcia is an assistant general counsel for Microsoft based in Chicago. The February 3, 2017 edition of Chicago Lawyer published an article by Dennis Garcia addressing the impact and progress of artificial intelligence (AI) in both the business world, and specifically in the legal profession. While he acknowledges that there are several definitions for AI, he focuses on how robots, bots, chatbots, and digital assistants built on AI, may impact the legal workforce. He goes as far as to state that AI has the potential to “disrupt the legal profession—especially in connection with routine and repetitive legal tasks that can be automated.”
Focusing on areas such as administrative legal support, legal research, document preparation and review, due diligence, cybersecurity, and compliance, Dennis Garcia provides a good insight into the areas that may be impacted by AI.
In the area of administrative legal support, AI can help with such things as booking travel, setting up meetings, managing expenses, etc. Legal research, document preparation and review, and conducting due diligence may all be impacted as AI makes its way into law firms. This may look to many as though AI has the potential of replacing lawyers, however he believes that “AI will result in a redeployment of legal resources and allow lawyers to practice law at a ‘higher’ value-added level.”
In the area of legal documentation preparation and review, Microsystems offers products that employ AI to aid the lawyer and assistants in both authoring legal documents, and proofreading those documents. Our products analyze the contents of legal documents and provide feedback highlighting items within the document that need further review or are inconsistent, so they can be addressed before sending the document to a client or for finalizing and filing. In Microsystems products, AI is also used to renumber legal documents based on the existing or desired numbering schemes, create and vet cross references to ensure cross references are valid, and create automated Tables of Contents.
At Microsystems, we do not foresee robots taking over the legal world just yet, but we do aim to make all lawyers as efficient as robotically-possible with our products.