Skip to content
Thomson Reuters

Legal AI: a beginner’s guide

Richard Tromans

20 Feb 2017

Although several legal AI companies launched as early as 2010, the technology and how to make use of it has since 2016 become a headline issue for many law firms and large corporates.

Click here to download our report, Legal AI: a beginner’s guide

This is not because the technology radically has changed between 2010 and now,
but rather that the traditionally risk-averse and often conservative legal market
is now finally ready to adopt software solutions making use of natural language
processing and machine learning.

This move toward AI adoption in part has been driven by increasing client pressure
on law firms to be more efficient and a growing unwillingness to pay for what they
regard as process level work. As clients demand fixed fees for large projects law
firms have little choice but to make use of technology to improve efficiency and
protect margins. Clients are also increasingly asking law firms to show them proof
that they are innovating and embracing the latest wave of legal tech to provide a
better service and value proposition.

No firm wants to allow a rival to get so far ahead in terms of using new technology that they begin to have too great a competitive advantage

And, it is probably fair to say, that as more lawyers see rival firms adopting AI
systems and clients welcoming such moves, then more firms will seek to
embrace the same technology tools. No firm wants to allow a rival to get so
far ahead in terms of using new technology that they begin to have too great a
competitive advantage.

This report describes the current shape of legal AI and suggests some uses of AI,
as well as some that may emerge. It should be seen as an initial starting place for
those interested to learn more.

Click here to download the report – Legal AI: a beginner’s guide.

Visit for the latest news on process and task automation, smart/intelligent contracts, the use of blockchain in a legal context, and insight on the founders, investors and funds that help create or support legal tech start-ups. 

How a rounded approach to people, processes and technology is helping GCs transform legal departments The cardiovascular system of the legal platform—APIs Biggest legaltech conference of the year presses onward—International Legal Technology Association New US report: Legal Department Operations Index—Dedicated legal operations comes home The rise of legal platforms and why they matter Cloud computing and the use of legal technology in the cloud The future of legal technology and digital transformation—The Uncertain Decade Stay ahead with the intelligent use of technology How workflow automation can enable efficiency in your legal department The key to technology adoption is in your law firm’s culture