Guide to Legal AI Chatbots

February 22, 2024

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Industries across the board are using AI-powered chatbots in a variety of ways to change the way they work: healthcare, banking, software, and e-commerce are just some to name a few. Organizations are using these bots to engage with users and streamline their repetitive and manual tasks. Legal is no exception to this trend of adopting AI-powered chatbots. Lawyers have been chasing after the coveted dream of “doing more with less,” and legal AI chat bots are helping them achieve just that, eliminating manual and redundant work. Their ability to process vast amounts of data and perform tasks with consistency and accuracy makes them valuable tools for lawyers. People choose to use AI-powered chatbots over existing technology for these benefits, as well as the promise of increased efficiency and the ability to focus human resources on more complex legal matters. From legal research to contract analysis, the legal industry has been leveraging this innovative technology – such as legal AI chatbots – to change the way they work for the better.  

What is a Legal AI Chatbot?

A legal AI chat bot is an artificial intelligence-powered software application designed to interact with users in natural language and provide assistance, information and support in legal matters. These chatbots leverage natural language processing, machine learning and legal databases – provided by their organizations – to understand user queries so they can respond with legal information and guidance to resolve their questions. Checkbox’s AI Chatbot, or Legal Front Door, for example, is a type of chatbot that is driven by a language learning matter, driven by IF-THEN logic that uses “pattern matching” to drive responses.

Checkbox AI Chatbot Functionality

Legal AI chatbots are relatively new to the legal technology industry, using natural language understanding that allows them to understand and interpret human language, enabling them to communicate using conversational language. The integration of legal AI chatbots in the legal industry is aimed to enhance the efficiency, accessibility and accuracy of various legal tasks. It is important to note, however, that while these chatbots offer valuable assistance to legal teams, they are not a replacement for the expertise and critical judgement of human lawyers, especially when it comes to more complex legal matters that require in-depth strategic, action.  

How Legal AI Chatbots Will Change the Industry

With the introduction of this technology, there is no question that this marks a transformative shift with far-reaching implications for the legal industry. These chatbots, which are more like intelligent legal assistants, have the potential to redefine the role of lawyers as they enhance the role of lawyers. While the essence of legal practice – comprised of complex analysis, nuanced interpretation and strategic decision-making on legal matters remains firmly within the purview of human lawyers, AI chatbots have the power to redefine how legal professionals operate.  

In this new legal landscape, routine and monotonous tasks like legal research, contract review and document analysis will be streamlined through automation, liberating lawyers from these time-consuming duties to enable them to work on higher-value tasks that require expert human judgement. As a result, this shift will necessitate lawyers to evolve into the role of strategic advisors, leveraging AI’s support to offer deeper insights, innovative problem-solving and tailored legal strategies.  

An area of legal that will change with the adoption of AI is in legal service delivery. Legal departments can use an AI-powered legal chatbot as an assistant at the legal process's entrance. This chatbot aids in sorting and prioritizing requests, while also handling questions about policies, frequently asked questions, and general information. As a result, businesses can benefit from an instant, individualized and interactive approach to managing their inquiries.

However, with a transformation this large, lawyers must learn to adapt their skill sets to work seamlessly with their AI systems to understand their capabilities and limitations. The relationship between lawyers and AI needs to be one of symbiosis that will redefine the nature of legal work to elevate the value lawyers already bring to the table.

What are the Benefits of a Legal AI Chatbot?

Legal AI chatbots offer a multitude of benefits for both legal teams and the businesses they serve.  

  • Time Savings: AI chatbots are good for managing a substantial influx of legal inquiries, significantly reducing response times and expediting the resolution of legal matters. This streamlined process directly translates into considerable time savings for both the legal department and the greater business.
  • Enhanced Legal Services: Through instantaneous and human-like interaction, AI chatbots elevate the quality of legal services provided. By mimicking natural human conversations, these chatbots offer immediate assistance, ensuring that users receive accurate and relevant legal information promptly, as opposed to a more formal and delayed ticketing system.  
  • Convenience & Accessibility: The deployment of AI chatbots facilitates an omnichannel approach, catering to users on platforms they are already familiar with, such as email, Slack, or Teams. This accessibility ensures that users can engage with legal services effortlessly, increasing overall convenience and user satisfaction.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Legal AI chatbots can intelligently categorize and prioritize incoming inquiries, directing urgent matters to the appropriate legal professionals. This automated triage optimizes resource allocation, allowing legal teams to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their roles.

Incorporating an AI chatbot into legal operations not only streamlines processes and improves user experiences but also offers a plethora of benefits that enhance efficiency, accessibility and overall legal service quality.

What are the Use-Cases for Legal AI Chatbots?

These chatbots have a wide range of versatile use cases that significantly enhance legal processes. Some prominent use cases include:  

  • Automated Legal Advice: Provides preliminary legal guidance and advice based on users' inquiries.
  • AI-Powered Front Door: Serves as the initial point of contact for legal inquiries, guiding users through the appropriate channels.
  • AI-Powered Legal Policy/ FAQ Triage: Provides an immediate and personalized experience for users to access policies and FAQ.
  • AI-Powered Contract Analysis & Due Diligence: Collects information or connects with systems to automatically generate a contract ready for review & signing.
  • 24/7 Support: Operates around the clock, providing users with continuous support, answering queries and offering assistance regardless of the time or day.

Where Do Legal AI Chatbots Fit in the Wider Legal Tech Ecosystem?

These chatbots occupy a crucial role within the expansive legal tech ecosystem as it integrates and complements various technological components. This AI-powered assistant revolutionizes user interactions, promptly addressing queries and channeling them efficiently. Beyond its immediate functionalities, it can harmonize with other legal tech solutions. It seamlessly integrates with matter management systems, aiding in providing real-time status updates on legal matters and improving collaborative efforts between legal and the wider organization. In tandem with workflow automation software, an AI-powered chatbot streamlines routine tasks, freeing up legal professionals for more intricate responsibilities that require expertise and strategic thinking from lawyers.  

How Checkbox Can Help

Checkbox is the leading AI workflow automation platform that enables legal teams to power their workflows and request management using AI. With Checkbox, our AI-powered chatbot, or AI Assistant, can guide business users through contract requests, knowledge, policies, FAQs and more.  Using the power of ChatGPT and workflow automation, this product can provide answers using natural language questions based on a set of documents and workflows containing the body of knowledge on which the chatbot is trained.  

If you are interested in learning more about what having an AI-powered chatbot can look like in your organization, book a call with one of our technology consultants who can provide you with next steps.

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