When it comes to legal services, customer experience is a whole different ball game. Customers don’t just want information. They want it translated into a comprehensible lexicon and need step-by-step guidance throughout the process. They require assistance at every step - be it filling out a form, understanding the terms and conditions, contesting an appeal, or any other legal activity. The legal sector is therefore flooded with heaps of paperwork, frequent yet similar queries, and other redundant activities like recording and summarizing time entries, updating client trust ledgers, preparing and sending client invoices, etc.
As a result, law firms today are shifting their focus towards ways to eliminate routine administrative tasks and other marketing or business development related work. Such tasks take up a significant time of lawyers, even with the presence of non-lawyer staff, impacting the overall productivity. Building a client base also takes up significant time for both the lawyers and non-lawyers. This sooner or later reflects in the average utilization rate, meaning lawyers effectively bill only a small percentage of their daily work.
Finding ways to streamline and automate non-billable administrative tasks can help make every member of a firm more productive. Knowing more about what clients are looking for can help lawyers attract more clients while also assisting them in extracting maximum value out of their services.
These factors have cumulatively influenced the adoption of chatbots in the legal sector – called the ‘lawyer bot’. A lawyer bot is a software designed to perform automated tasks usually carried out by lawyers. They can be used to speed up workflows and provide a better customer experience by providing clients with quick answers and compiling an extensive customer database for a better understanding.
Deriving the best out of a lawyer bot
When adopting a lawyer bot, the first question that pops into the mind is what exclusive benefits will it draw? Integrating a new system into an otherwise traditional framework is a critical investment with considerable risk factors involved. However, the clear advantages that a lawyer bot can add to any model of a law firm, are not easy to ignore. Chatbots, be it scripted or AI-powered, are the preferred mode of communication for a variety of reasons. They not only release time at the lawyer/non-lawyer end but also add value to the operations.
Source:Legal Trends Report 2018
Lawyer bots can be instrumental in a variety of ways.
1. Setup attorney-client meetings
A major component of administrative work at law firms involves mapping the right attorneys to the right needs. Lawyer bots can easily take this workload off human operators and assign clients to the required attorney. Clients visiting the company’s website, app, or any other touch base can effortlessly register their requirements and get directed to a relevant attorney based on the information.
2. Generate legal documents
By having a mere chat with the potential client, lawyer bots can generate documents, reports, and legal briefs within minutes. Additionally, they can provide legal help and answer basic questions that the client might have during this process.
3. Review and analyse legal documents
Law firms can also extract considerable value out of chatbots by streamlining the process of analysing and reviewing documents, contracts, wills, and agreements that need to be signed. Lawyer bots can be trained to check the documents thoroughly and quickly thus saving time and releasing time from the lawyer’s task list.
4. Generate leads
Lead generation for legal aid can get positively influenced using chatbots. Using natural language to converse with people and solve minor legal violations, chatbots nudge users to become potential customers. A simple conversation leads to conversion. Chatbots can also qualify the leads by gathering information and providing clarification to customers at any stage of the conversation.
5. Perform due diligence
Due diligence is the investigation or review before a potential investment/agreement to confirm all the facts and records. It is one of the most time consuming and monotonous tasks that lawyers perform. Chatbots automate and speed up this process with effortless ease. They carry out a broad investigation that includes reviewing endless documents and asking questions to uncover background information and create a full report. It is especially helpful when undertaking a purchase agreement and you need to audit assets and liabilities to evaluate true commercial potential.
6. Access legal information
Information forms a big part of any paralegal or lawyer’s education and daily workload. They deal with constantly amending legal rules and policies and need to have all the updates on their fingertips. Lawyer bots can rapidly scan huge volumes of data to find the most accurate and useful answer. They can skim through regulations, policies, legal use cases, and identify the relevant code or legal act concerned with the case at hand. Combining them with existing CRM platforms, attorneys can search through their database to find a related lawsuit in seconds.
7. Dispense legal information
Lawyer chatbots also tackle the often-overlooked aspect of sensitive legal hurdles. Clients tend to feel uncomfortable when revealing personal data when apprehending negative legal consequences. They evade connecting personally with legal aid or even via phone call or email. Lawyer bots serve as a viable alternative to provide legal advice in such a scenario. Typing a query about their legal rights into a chat window allows them to be discreet, and get the information they need without being forced to reveal their identity.
DoNotPay became highly popular by helping people with a very common law issue – dealing with parking tickets. At one point, the engagement reached thousands as it guided the users to find solutions to small yet specific legal violations. The chatbot personalizes every interaction – sorting queries like “fighting corporations”, “beating bureaucracy”, automatically canceling free trials, finding hidden money, appealing or contesting parking tickets in any city, and suing anyone at the press of a button.
Aliria is designed to generate Australian legal documents for business or personal use. It is positioned as a cheap and fast alternative to visiting a lawyer. All the client has to do is answer a few questions pertaining to a specific document, and Ailira quickly adds the necessary details and generates the document. This legal chatbot can offer legal information and schedule a meeting with a human lawyer and notify you for the same – in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner.
A two-way AI bot, LISA (Legal Intelligence Support Assistant) is programmed to adhere to confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) eliminating the need to use lawyers during the negotiation process. It forms a middle ground between both the parties. Therefore, legally binding agreements can be created with another party, together in a quick and cost-effective manner. Its machine impartiality means both the counter-parties can save time and money. The document is created, reviewed, and signed thereof. Furthermore, it can also be used for property tools, such as drafting commercial, business, and residential leases.
4. Immigration Virtual Assistant (IVA)
EXEO, a Montreal-based law firm launched IVA to facilitate immigration into Canada. It answers FAQs and provides all the necessary information covering the visiting process as a tourist, student, worker or an immigrant. It also asks the user questions regarding his/her chances of moving to settle in Canada. By eliminating this part of the legal consultation, it allows lawyers to maximize their time and focus on more important issues. Additionally, it provides a quote about Medical or Judicial issues to help prepare for the stay.
This chatbot/expert system handles the debt law in Utah where you need to respond to a lawsuit within 21 days, or the judge will accept everything in the complaint as true. Aiming to solve this major issue without having to hire a lawyer, it asks for relevant information needed for the appropriate legal document. Based on the answers, it then prepares a response and instructs you on how to file.
Chatbots are comparatively new to the legal sector but their requirement there is no less than that in the medical or eCommerce domain. Today, lawyers face the problem of routine and unbilled tasks. Their workdays consist of not only legal but administrative, financial, and advertising tasks as well. However, they still have clients that need a consultation, legal help and/or creation of legal documents. Lawyer bots are the solution to all these issues.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence, lawyer bots can not only answer static policy-related queries but also streamline fundamental processes like filing a plea. They can learn over time and refine the conversations, acting as the right arm of performing attorneys. The instant benefit is in the increased efficiency of these attorneys when they no longer must deal with administrative, non-lawyer workloads. They also help firms become available 24*7 to provide legal information and accelerate the process of document verification/generation/skimming. Lawyer bots offer a totally different experience for people who do not want to hire lawyers thus tapping into the otherwise unchartered territory of the legal sector!