The power of productivity – AI tools driving lawyer productivity, not replacing them

In the first two instalments of our productivity series, we looked at the challenges and opportunities that exist for law firms of all sizes to boost productivity in today’s competitive market. This involves accurately and reliably capturing and then processing the huge volume of content that law firms must deal with, particularly in a hybrid working environment.  

In this article, we will look at the options available to convert captured data into meaningful documentation. Whether it be a recording of interviews or the dictation of specific content by lawyers, getting the first draft of documents ready is the number one productivity bottleneck experienced by lawyers.

There can often be delays in the lawyer getting the data back to the office, then it must be allocated to a typist, where there is further delay waiting for that resource to become available to transcribe the content. In a profession where time is money these delays are costly for law firms.

In addition to the productivity delays, rising labour costs are putting pressure on the traditional methods of production of legal documents. Acquiring and retaining the resources to transcribe audio files can be costly and time-intensive.

Therefore, most organisations have outsourced this critical process to experienced, reliable, easy-to-manage vendors. However, even these vendors may experience similar constraints, if their main method of production is through traditional transcription.

With the significant tightening of the labour market in Australia and abroad, Artificial Intelligence is now providing opportunities to increase productivity and efficiency, while reducing costs.

In his article “Top 8 Legal AI Use Cases including Leading Vendors in 2022” first published on 6 August 2022 and updated on 24 March 2022, Cem Dilmegani of AI Multiple stated:

We observe increasing popularity in legal AI, according to Google Trends. While the level of interest was around 25% before 2016, we see that it has risen to 60% in the last two years… Considering the market growth of AI solutions for legal processes, we expect this increase to continue for a few more years.

Today, the most advanced recording and transcription systems use various forms of AI to create first drafts of data that has been captured in variety of manners and environments. The market leading systems then power that productivity and speed of production with an expert team of editors to create at least 99% accurate final transcripts.

Many systems can now quickly convert audio files to into text, which provides the author with access to interviews, testimonies, recorded calls and dictations in a timely and cost-effective manner. There are options for mobile, single and multi-speaker environments to enable the applications to be used in a wide variety of environments, whether it be in transit, out in the field, private offices, meeting rooms or the courthouse. Once those audio files are captured, they can be submitted directly via secure platforms to AI powered applications for their first draft in any manner of prescribed formats.

These first drafts are returned to the author within minutes, enabling them to continue with the matter with very little delay or disruption. Alternatively, documents can be reviewed and tailored even further before they are returned to the lawyer, either by the vendor’s inhouse expert editors or the law firms typing resources. Both approaches create a highly accurate document for environments where time and accuracy count.

The auto-creation of high quality, verbatim transcripts is a ground breaking technology that massively increases speed and accuracy of a lawyer’s production of work. Providers are now able to receive accurate, secure and timely first drafts created by AI powered software in near real time. 

According to a 2020 report by the Australian Legal Technology Association, document automation is the most common legal tech solution being adopted by firms. These new age technologies and innovative service providers are making amazing productivity improvements available for firms of all sizes. No longer is the use of AI powered software the domain of the big end of town. 

In the final instalment of this series, we will delve into transcription workflow management platforms and the dramatic improvements in productivity and significant cost savings that can be achieved by choosing the right solution.

This sponsored content article represents the views of the sponsor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Queensland Law Society

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