“Artificial intelligence [will] be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that [will] understand everything on the web. It [will] understand exactly what you want, and it [will] give you the right thing ” —Larry Page

On September 25th, LegalRnD will be hosting Brian Kuhn, Global Leader and Co-Creator of IBM Watson Legal, who will be speaking about Artificial Intelligence. If you are anything like me you might be wondering what artificial Intelligence (AI) is and why as a lawyer or potential lawyer, should I care? Some lawyers, like my coworker this summer, believe that AI will replace lawyers in the coming years and therefore, oppose the implementation of it within the legal industry. Others like Dan Linna Jr., Director of LegalRnD at Michigan State University College of Law, and Andrew Arruda, CEO of Ross Intelligence, have written articles, where both have agreed that use of AI will result in attorneys being more effective and efficient. 1,2.

Why should the legal industry concern themselves with AI?
In several recent studies, it has been reported that attorneys with 0 to 4 years of experience spend a third to three-fourths of their week conducting legal research. Startup companies such as Ross Intelligence have decided to use AI to address this waste. 4,5.

Ross Intelligence, an AI start-up company, helps lawyers find relevant cases using natural language search. The application allows you to ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and ROSS then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed. The application is not designed to replace lawyers, but rather help them with knowledge management: keeping up with all the latest legislation. 6.

There are other types of startups, like Law Pocket, that are using AI to help consumers structure their legal questions and then connects them to the best-equipped attorney to handle the issue. Law Pocket is developing an app that would help bridge the gap for access to justice by placing justice in the palm of consumers’ hands. 8.

In the United States, there is no right to counsel in civil disputes. Each year as many as 80% of low-income people who face civil legal problems that can threaten home, family stability and livelihood are unable to obtain assistance in resolving their problems. Meaning a majority of low to moderate-income Americans are left to face their legal problems alone. 7.

Mr. Kuhn mentioned during an interview with Legal Talk Network, that America is ranked last when it comes to access to justice. Fortunately, AI technologies that are being developed by companies like Ross Intelligence and Law Pocket have the potential to be used by attorneys to assist clients, in need of legal help, in a more effectively and efficiently.

Also in the interview with Legal Talk Network, Mr. Kuhn stated that lawyers should care about the usefulness of AI for three reasons: 1) there is a lot of data that exist from cases and negotiations that lawyers have conducted, 2) this data can be used for to the advantage of lawyers for improving service to the client, and 3) clients are beginning to require it from law firms. Interestingly, he stated that Watson legal can be used to analyze court cases to provide data for likely outcomes, which would be of interest for litigators and their clients. He also pointed to the fact that Watson legal could also reveal own biases in court decisions.

What was AI?

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that deals with the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. This process includes acquiring information and rules for using the information, using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions, and self-correction. For a more in-depth understanding of AI and how it is being utilized by Watson Legal, you should register below to attend Brian Kuhn’s discussion on Watson Legal on September 25th!


1. http://www.legaltechlever.com/category/artificial-intelligence/
2. https://www.iltanet.org/viewdocument/beyond-the-hype-artificial-intelli?ssopc=1
3. http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/AI
4. http://www.aallnet.org/sections/all/storage/committees/practicetf/final-report-07102013.pdf
5. https://www.law.gonzaga.edu/files/Rebooting-Legal-Research-in-a-Digital-Age.pdf
6. https://medium.com/cognitivebusiness/how-watson-helps-lawyers-find-answers-in-legal-research-672ea028dfb8
7. https://blog.rossintelligence.com/how-to-leverage-legal-technology-and-bridge-the-justice-gap-3d63f096b32a
8. Law Pocket Startup: Jordan Gaither, CEO Founder & Mark Harris, CTO.