With the effects of globalization and the introduction of several technological innovations, the legal industry is witnessing several changes in the overall working approach. The prime focus is of course on enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Law firms deal with a huge amount of paperwork and many of these firms have filing cabinets filled with documents generated by various cases. Virtual and traditional filing cabinets – jam-packed with contracts, affidavits, court transcripts, vendor agreements, on-boarding materials, and other case-related medical documents – are still hindering productivity. In fact, reports suggest that 46 percent of workers waste time every day on paper-intensive workflows, that workers spend more than 11 hours per week dealing with document management issues, and that six of those hours are considered to be wasted time. All paper documents need to be scanned and digitized so that they can be easily located and shared. Document management issues present a real challenge in terms of organization and customer service. In law firms, outsourcing legal document scanning has become an increasingly popular option. Outsourced legal document scanning services can help improve productivity and efficiency.
How the Concept of AI Is Revolutionizing Legal Document Management
In recent times, artificial intelligence and the law industry have joined hands to create innovative AI solutions and applications to automate mundane legal processes such as reviewing documents or identifying critical clauses. A law firm knows that they have a specific legal document, but may be unable to locate it. An insurance company might struggle to connect the dots between the paperwork on hand and related documents on file – particularly when account, contact, or candidate history is lacking. Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their document management system (DMS) can help speed up or accomplish legal tasks at a much faster pace and simplify complicated things.
AI is becoming a force multiplier in the area of document management. The technology has the unique ability to make every step of the workflow better, smarter and faster – right from the step of processing documents to their storage to the extraction of the information they contain. Assisted by Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI technology helps legal practitioners simplify the legalese, get through contracts quickly and detect specific loopholes in legal agreements. Here discussed are some of the top areas where AI is revolutionizing management, creation, and usage to expand the benefits of document management –
- Automating Classification and Processing – Document analysis is considered a major part of the legal discovery process. AI solutions have the unique ability to recognize and make the right decisions for those time-consuming processes, making them more efficient by automating document review. Marking out the important documents or even the relevant parts of the documents ensures that no human effort or time goes to waste in discovering facts for any given legal case. In the world of document management, this ability is being applied to optical character recognition (OCR) technology that enables a Document Management System (DMS) to read the contents of a document and automatically classify and process it, without human intervention. The more number of documents AI reads, the more it can observe how people interact with the documents, and the smarter it is at identifying and processing information. For instance, Smart Contract Risk Identification (SCRI) Software is an AI-driven legal document analyzer that helps lawyers with contract review automation. The software automatically classifies the complete document into clause-based categories and assists lawyers in assessing risks and quickly visualizing the severity of the clause. With more documents passing through the AI assistants, algorithms get smarter in recognizing patterns and important facts. Once a document is marked as relevant in the system, AI algorithms can then sort through other documents and identify similarities. It provides a fact-based case background to help lawyers defend and present a case in the most appropriate manner.
- Data Extraction – An AI-powered DMS can quickly extract the correct information hidden in individual documents. For instance, Google’s Document Understanding AI enables enterprises to consume data from forms, documents, and contracts and extract key-value pairs and entities. In addition, businesses can add their own schema where Google provides knowledge capabilities through a new alpha capability called knowledge service.
- Cluster Document Analysis – Performing cluster analysis on a specific body of documents using certain programming has been behind search results of web documents for quite some time. The application of AI provides a far higher level of precision. An AI-powered DMS can more accurately assign a business’ vast library of documents to different topics, understand relationships between documents, form inferences and discover similarities between documents. The result is easier categorization, organization, and search of company documents when a deep dive is required. The concept of cluster document analysis is particularly critical for law offices and other business services that rely on their endless document stores. By understanding and organizing data and information, it identifies data and clusters based on similarities and relevance.
- Content and Document Development – AI-powered DMS has the unique potential to streamline the content and document development workflow. For instance, applications like “Grammarly” demonstrate how AI can be applied to “pre-edit” documents without extra human intervention. For instance, consider a group of stakeholders participating in the drafting of a legal document. Even with current digital tools, reviewer feedback tends to arrive unstructured, forcing one single person to push everyone to comment, gather, and collate their comments, and then negotiate with the group on what changes should be made. Adobe’s own PDF share and review tools in Acrobat are great examples of new ways to digitally collaborate, as are recent offerings from Microsoft. In fact, this is the specific point wherein an AI-powered DMS’ ability to read, understand, and bring structure to unstructured comments becomes evident.
- Data/Document Security – When it comes to dealing with sensitive legal documents, security is an important aspect. An AI-powered DMS is specifically positioned to provide document security at scale. For instance, AI has the power to identify sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII) in documents and then flag those documents for special handling. Automatic classification and processing can ensure that no documents are left in unsecured locations. Anomaly detection can also be utilized to identify and flag potentially fraudulent documents.
- Bringing Order to Unstructured Data – Reports suggest that for all the structured data that is gathered by the modern enterprise, 80 percent of enterprise data is unstructured and 70 percent is free-form text. Legal companies are utilizing AI-powered document management system to bring order to unstructured data. For example, the partnership between Dropbox and GrayMeta AI, allows enterprises to automatically analyze files, extract technical metadata, and then tag files with relevant information (including objects, logos, landmarks, speech-to-text conversion, and more). On the other hand, certain other companies are using AI and machine learning to search emails, texts, and other client communications.
The potential for AI-powered DMS is immense at this point. The usage possibilities of these AI-powered DMS tools are endless in document-heavy industries, like the legal sector. Constantly growing volumes of legal documents and files often increases the risk of data security. Companies in the legal sector are constantly striving to improve customer service and productivity, with reduced cost and ensuring data security. Documents containing key evidence should be kept safe for the purposes of auditing, discovery demands and enquiries. Scanned documents can be digitally stored to ensure simplified search for a professional work atmosphere. A law firm could delegate to AI much of the arduous task of data discovery that requires sifting through a mountain of documents. A reliable, professional document scanning company can provide great support in this regard. A reputable firm with a long and impressive track record in the industry will have trained and skilled employees who can convert or digitize huge volumes of data quickly. They use the latest advanced technology that guarantees excellent image quality and ensures complete confidentiality of client data.