The benefits of automation in the legal sector
Legal firms have to deal with a large volume of repetitive, routine tasks. They must complete them due to the requirements of due diligence even though the time this requires could be better spent on engaging new clients. Automation and digital transformation have the potential to solve this problem. But should you entrust software robots with sensitive information?
The benefits of deploying RPA at a legal firm
According to data from 2020, more than 63% of tasks handled by legal teams are repetitive, rules-based, and don’t require interpretation or judgement. They are just waiting to be automated. Some estimate that legal firms could reclaim as much as 30-40% of their time thanks to Robotic Process Automation. This technology allows a legal team to focus on the difficult problems and human contact with clients, which improves their capacity and the quality of their service.
RPA involves the creation of software robots which complete simple tasks in the same way employees would, only much faster. Bots can receive and send emails, collect data from forms or scanned documents, log into applications, prepare reports, and much, much more. They are the perfect solution for organizations in which employees waste time on boring work.
In the case of the legal sector, RPA can help in processing data from various documents. For example, a bot can read a scanned contract and extract the parties’ data. With the use of machine learning (ML) and OCR, they could handle larger fragments of text. Forbes supplies another interesting example: the creation of a table of contents listing all documents connected to a particular case or client, capable of instantly bringing up the correct PDF. It could be expanded with sorting based on date of creation, types of files, and tags. RPA truly has incredible potential when it comes to sorting, finding or processing data.
Example use cases for RPA in the legal sector
- Standardization of risk assessment,
- Legislative changes monitoring,
- Searching for precedent,
- Classification of data extracted from documents,
- Searching a file catalog by a search phrase,
- Client onboarding,
- Employee onboarding,
- Information flow between the company and a client; case updates,
- Compliance verification (e.g. for GDPR),
- Precise and error free data in electronic systems (e.g. case numbers),
- Answering simple client questions,
- Making employee tasks easier, which results in higher satisfaction.
Is RPA a safe solution?
Data processing and administration is a complex topic, especially when affected by regulations such as GDPR. Additionally, legal professionals are bound by professional secrecy. As such, is it acceptable to give digital robots access to client data?
Yes. A well-constructed RPA solution allows you to use encryption and other technological solutions that ensure security. In most cases, bots don’t store sensitive data. Additionally, because each bot leaves an obvious trail of its activity in the system logs, it’s easy to check what steps it took and locate potential problems. Finally, RPA offers the option of real time process monitoring and sends notifications the moment it detects danger.
It’s worth noting that most data leaks don't happen because of a lack of security solutions. It happens due to human error. An employee may lose their access card, leave their computer in a cafe, use a simplistic password, or trust the wrong person. Robotic Process Automation is 100% resistant to human error and to bad decisions - because it doesn’t make any. Robots do what they’ve been programmed to do, no more and no less.
Many legal firms already use RPA. According to the LexisNexis Insights report from 2018, 57% of respondents from the legal sector said that investing in new technologies improved their productivity. However, it is important to choose trusted providers who guarantee the security of their services.
Robots will not replace lawyers
The software robots that make up RPA solutions work on the basis of strict rules. They need human input in many situations:
- When procedures change,
- When dealing with an exception from the rule,
- When real, human contact is required.
RPA is a tool. It can be immensely helpful when it’s used correctly, but it won’t be able to take on every task, and it won’t get far without regular input from skilled team members.
Paraphrasing an article by Exigent Group Limited, people will not spot a trend in hundreds of pages of legal documents, and robots won’t understand the consequences of these trends. This is why the competences of legal professionals and software robots complement each other so well.
AnyLawyer - a modern tool for NDA verification
Because we believe in the potential of automation in the legal sector, we’ve joined forces with DSK Legal to create a tool for instant NDA verification, powered by machine learning. AnyLawyer will help legal professionals, businesses and individuals to quickly and effectively make sure that a given non-disclosure agreement doesn’t include any worrying passages.
According to the Harvard Business Review, more than ⅓ of all workers in the USA are bound by an NDA. The text of this type of agreement is changing to include more strict stipulations. This may mean preventing victims of abuse from taking legal action. NDAs may also protect unfair practices or misconduct at the higher levels of an organization’s hierarchy.
For companies that provide their services to other businesses, NDAs introduce a different kind of challenge. They take up precious time, or require that the company engage the services of a legal advisor, which may be expensive. But it has to be done, because paying no attention to NDAs may meen steep contractual fees.
This is why AnyLawyer is such a helpful tool. It uses AI and machine learning and learns from a sample of NDAs that have been carefully analyzed and marked by DSK’s legal team. Because AnyLawyer operates based on the knowledge and skill of experienced lawyers, it’s a highly effective solution. It also ensures the confidentiality and security of data. As a project created by a legal firm, it benefits from their professional secrecy. And because AnyRobot applies the newest and most effective security solutions, AnyLawyer is safe to use.
AnyLawyer is still under development. The beta launch will happen soon. If you’d like to know more about it, take a look at the AnyLawyer website and sign up for the closed beta.