LLMs in Document Processing and Legal Automation


Jan 05, 2024

Recent years have seen the legal industry undergo technological transfor,mations to streamline and automate cumbersome and repetitive tasks. Legal professionals now rarely need to manually sift through mountains of paperwork and spend hours drowning in other manual processes. Legal tech is continuing to evolve exponentially. We are both experiencing and expecting to experience a new AI and automation era that will completely reinvent the creation, processing, and management tasks associated with legal documents. Large Language Models (LLMs) have been the buzz lately in many fields, including the legal sector. LLMs are already transforming document generation, contract review tasks, compliance tracking, and decision-making analytics among others to boost efficiency. These models are gradually taking over mundane repetitive tasks to allow legal professionals to focus on the core of their objectives - offering legal services to clients. 

What are LLMs?

Large Language Models (LLMs) are artificial intelligence (AI) models designed to understand and generate human-like language. Common examples are ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing. 

Document processing with LLMs involves multiple tasks where the models help handle written content such as articles, contracts, and even message documents. Key legal document processing tasks being transformed by LLMs include creating and editing documents, contract summarization, extracting crucial information, specialized legal query responses, and analysis and insights generation among others. 

Legal automation involves using smart technology to make legal work faster and more precise. This often includes performing repetitive tasks and drawing insights to help with decision-making.

How is the Legal Industry Currently Using LLMs

Some legal firms are already using LLMs to generate documents, review and analyze contracts, track and manage compliance, and analyze documents and make decisions. 

Document Drafting And Clause Extraction

Legal professionals often need to draft clauses, contracts, policies, and petitions, and create initial versions of many other legal documents. LLMs are like fast assistants that can create templates for documents and put together contracts and legal documents instantly and accurately. 

Crucial clauses like arbitration and non-compete clauses are often found in legal documents, but hidden deep within lengthy texts. With LLMs, they can be extracted in seconds when needed. 

Legal Research And Analysis

Professionals in the legal space spend a chunk of their time exploring a vast range of legal documents such as statutes and regulations, case law, journals and publications in the sector, and court procedures to build strong cases. LLMs can sift through heaps of information to extract relevant data in a fraction of the time it would take a human. These models are also really good at contextual comprehension and are capable of analyzing cases, statutes, and precedents relating to a particular type of case. This provides legal professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape. It’s almost like having a research companion who not only finds answers but also understands the "why" behind them. 

LLMs are also excelling in performing legal analysis to create winning legal strategies. Legal strategies require lawyers to think several steps ahead and come up with the best arguments and counterarguments. This is where analytics-driven insights come in handy. Specialized GPTs can analyse case documents and pinpoint the best arguments from both parties in litigation or negotiation. Most of these models even go as far as generating likely counterarguments to help with the preparation. 

In addition, LLMs keep up with the ever-evolving legal sector and help make decisions by considering recent rulings, amendments, and other legal developments. 

Contract Review and Analysis

Legal firms generate, process, and review numerous lengthy contracts. Contracts can also be confusing for business owners without legal backgrounds. The legal jargon, the fine print - it's almost like trying to read a map without street names for most. Contract creation and review for legal professionals may also be marked with revisions, risks, and potential pitfalls that one may not see until it's too late. LLMs can help. They can read and analyze contracts to extract and explain key information, such as terms and conditions, obligations, and key clauses. Legal GPTs can be used to summarize these contracts. They also suggest and make contract amendments when needed.

Potential legal pitfalls and other risks can be difficult to detect for untrained personnel. LLMs are trained on numerous data, including contracts, and the specialized ones can detect risk before you put pen to paper.

Compliance Tracking and Management

Most people would agree that compliance is like following a rulebook that keeps changing. Keeping up with regulations in most sectors requires enterprises to consistently review large amounts of regulatory and legal information. Compliance GPTs are here to help. They can undergo training on collections of legal texts and learn to retrieve key compliance information and updates in seconds. LLMs can also be configured to run continuously and monitor information from relevant regulatory bodies in near real-time.

Workflow and Routine Task Automation

Intelligent automation algorithms can work with LLMs to streamline workflows and handle routine tasks, such as auto-populating documents and analyzing mountains of evidence. This is especially helpful for small and developing law firms with few employees. 

Query Responses

Legal clients commonly need answers to specific legal questions, ranging from the interpretation of specific laws to clarifications on complex legal terminology. More and more legal firms are relying on automatic systems powered by LLMs and Natural Language Processing to deliver prompt and precise responses. These systems enhance the overall client experience and alleviate the workload on legal professionals, allowing them to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their work.

What is the Future of LLMs in Legal Tech?

Even at the speed at which they are growing, LLMs and other AI models are unlikely to completely replace human lawyers anytime soon. Human lawyers will remain essential for oversight, ethical consideration, and strategic guidance. However, it’s expected that these models will become more tailored to focus on specific legal domains in the near future, providing deeper expertise and understanding of specialized regulations. LLMs working alongside other AI tools and traditional legal methods is also likely to become a key trend, forming sophisticated ecosystems for legal problem-solving.

Yana Irkabaeva

Innovation Director

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