AI & Its Future In Legal Practice

A lecture delivered on February 8, 2024, as the guest speaker during the Continuing Legal Education Session of the February 2024 Meeting of the Young Lawyers Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, held at the NBA Ikeja Secretariat.  

I am excited to share insights on a topic that is shaping the future of legal practice: artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is disrupting almost every industry and profession, some faster and more profoundly than others. Unlike the industrial revolution, which automated physical labour and replaced muscles with hydraulic pistons and diesel engines, the AI-powered revolution is automating mental tasks. AI has become a transformative force across various industries, and the legal profession is no exception. Today, we’ll briefly discuss some of these AI tools and software while exploring the opportunities and challenges that AI presents to the legal landscape.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, particularly computer systems. In the legal domain, AI encompasses a range of technologies and applications aimed at automating and augmenting various tasks traditionally performed by lawyers and legal professionals.AI has been around for a much longer time, dating from the days of computing and robotics. But it has now taken on a more frontal role since lawyers discovered that technology will aid in dispensing justice and revolutionise how legal work is done. AI is significantly impacting the practice of law, with its influence reaching various aspects of legal work. While AI is more inclined to assist rather than replace attorneys in the short term, it is already proving its worth in tasks such as contract review, document retrieval during discovery, arbitration, case management, and legal research. Moreover, AI has recently expanded its role to aid in contract drafting and even predicting legal outcomes.
The potential advantages of integrating AI into legal practice are substantial. It has the capacity to enhance a lawyer’s efficiency and mitigate the risk of costly errors. Additionally, in certain instances, it can expedite the legal process, facilitating quicker research and decision-making.
1. Prime GPT and Primsol GPT: These tools were developed and incorporated into the Lawpavillion software to aid legal research and drafting, especially for Nigerian lawyers, by leveraging the huge database of Lawpavillionin assisting with legal research and drafting through these generative AI systems.
2. Everlaw: This is an eDiscovery tool. It offers a powerful AI assistant that receives regular updates to remain at the forefront of technology. This AI assistant, like many others, improves over time with use, offering significant benefits, particularly in categorising eDiscovery PDFs. Its functionalities include summarising findings and documents, adding citations for key evidence, and even answering open-ended questions. While Everlaw’s AI assistant is currently in beta, it is accessible to new users and integrates seamlessly with popular tech tools for lawyers, including Zoom, Outlook, Slack, and Gmail.
3. ROSS Intelligence: It is an AI-powered legal research tool utilising advanced Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology. Unlike traditional methods requiring Boolean phrases or keywords, ROSS enables users to interact naturally, responding to inquiries in plain language. Besides providing comprehensive legal judgements, ROSS also highlights if a decision has been overturned, superseded, or challenged. It offers a unique feature, “Find Similar Language,” facilitating the discovery of relevant authority and supporting evidence by searching for decisions with similar facts, issues, and judicial interpretation when specific portions of a judgement are highlighted. It was developed in 2014 at the University of Toronto.  

Felix Chukwuma Ashimole, Esq., co-publisher Kubwaexpress is consulting to serve NBA as Publicity Secretary 2024-2026.

4. FaXiaotao and Xiao Fa: FaXiaotao, developed by Wu Song Network Technology Co. in 2016, is China’s pioneering AI-powered robotic research tool. Its primary function is to analyse cases, determine their type, and suggest optimal dispute resolution methods. Additionally, it assists individuals in selecting the most suitable attorneys for their court representation, drawing from a database of over 300,000 registered attorneys nationwide. On the other hand, Xiao Fa, another AI robot, serves in Beijing’s courts to aid judges, litigants, and court staff in legal matters. Standing at 1.46 metres tall, Xiao Fa communicates in a childlike manner, simplifying complex legal concepts for users. With information on 7,000 statutes and over 5 million cases, Xiao Fa addresses over 40,000 litigation inquiries and 30,000 legal issues.
5. ChatGPT: Developed by OpenAI, stands out as one of the most widely recognised AI chatbots available today, known for its versatility across various domains, including law. While not specifically tailored for the legal market, ChatGPT offers numerous applications that lawyers find invaluable.
One notable use case for lawyers is document analysis. By simply uploading a PDF and posing targeted questions,
ChatGPT swiftly provides insightful responses, aiding in document summaries and uncovering overlooked insights. ChatGPT assists with tasks such as contract and case file reviews, initiating legal research, crafting email responses, and generating ideas. Moreover, it proves beneficial for generating initial drafts of various documents, ranging from blog posts to legal papers.
However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and verify the tool’s output. While ChatGPT can unearth relevant legal information, it’s essential for lawyers to refine the output into actionable legal advice. Consider it a valuable tool for jumpstarting document drafting (building the skeleton of your legal work) rather than a substitute for professional expertise.
Other AI tools for lawyers include:
1. Casetext
2. Lex Machina
3. Relativity
4. Lawgeex
5. Latch
7. HarveyAI
8. Gemini AI

Efficiency and cost reduction; AI offers tremendous potential to enhance efficiency and reduce costs in legal practice. For instance, AI-powered tools can automate routine tasks such as document review, contract analysis, and due diligence, significantly reducing the time and resources required for these processes. AI will lead to greater profitability for law firms.
By leveraging AI, law firms can optimise their workflows, improve productivity, and deliver services to clients more efficiently, ultimately leading to cost savings and competitive advantage.
Improved accuracy and decision-making.
One of the key advantages of AI is its ability to analyse vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. In the legal context, AI algorithms can assist lawyers in conducting comprehensive legal research, analysing case law, and identifying relevant precedents.
By harnessing the power of AI, legal professionals can make more informed decisions, mitigate risks, and achieve better outcomes for their clients. Additionally, AI can help reduce human error and bias in legal analysis, enhancing the quality and reliability of legal advice.
Enhanced Client Services.
AI-driven technologies, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, are revolutionising the way law firms interact with clients. These tools enable real-time communication, providing clients with immediate responses to their inquiries and enhancing overall client satisfaction.
Furthermore, AI-powered analytics can help anticipate client needs, identify trends, and provide proactive legal advice, thereby strengthening client relationships and fostering loyalty.
Legal Innovation and New Business Models
The rise of AI is spurring innovation in the legal industry, giving rise to new business models and service offerings. From online legal platforms to AI-driven contract management systems, startups and established firms alike are exploring innovative ways to deliver legal services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
By embracing AI, law firms can differentiate themselves in the market, attract new clients, and create new revenue streams. However, it’s essential to carefully navigate the regulatory and ethical considerations associated with these emerging technologies.
Ethical and Regulatory Concerns.
Despite its potential benefits, AI raises significant ethical and regulatory concerns in the legal domain. Issues such as data privacy, confidentiality, and algorithmic bias must be carefully addressed to ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards. AI is trained by programmers, and sometimes these programmers include their own biases in these tools. If not carefully checked, these AI tools will learn and churn out biased decisions based on the way they have been trained, which may lead to an unfair and discriminatory outcome. We need effective laws to properly regulate the use of AI.
Lack of Understanding and Trust.
Many legal professionals remain skeptical or apprehensive about AI technologies, citing concerns about job displacement, loss of professional autonomy, lack of human input in decision-making, and the reliability of AI-generated outcomes. Addressing these concerns requires ongoing education, training, and dialogue within the legal community.
By fostering a culture of understanding and trust, we can harness the full potential of AI to augment, rather than replace, the expertise and judgement of legal practitioners.
Job Displacement and Workforce Implications.
The widespread adoption of AI in legal practice inevitably raises questions about the future of the legal workforce. While AI has the potential to automate certain tasks, it also creates new opportunities for legal professionals to focus on higher-value work that requires human judgement and creativity.
To adapt to these changes, legal professionals must embrace lifelong learning, upskilling, and reskilling to remain competitive in the AI-driven legal landscape. Moreover, policymakers and industry stakeholders must collaborate to develop strategies for managing the transition and ensuring equitable access to opportunities.
Query: Will AI replace lawyers?
Looking Ahead
In conclusion, the future of artificial intelligence in legal practice holds immense promise for improving efficiency, enhancing decision-making, and expanding access to justice. However, realising this potential requires us to address the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by AI with foresight, diligence, and collaboration.
Lawyers and firms that have already embraced AI assistance will outpace the late adopters. There’s a learning curve to using AI, so those using it right now have an experiential advantage. The sooner you learn to embrace AI, the faster you’ll catch up and outpace others.
As we navigate the evolving landscape of AI and law, let us remain committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards, ensuring that AI serves the interests of justice and the rule of law.
I also propose going forward that we stop discussing AI as the future; AI is here and now.   Q&A Session.
I would now like to open the floor to questions and discussion. Please feel free to share your thoughts, insights, and concerns about the future of AI in legal practice.

Abheri Roy & Saptarshee Misra, ‘Impact of Artificial intelligence on the legal system’,

William Lye OAM KC, FRI, The Future of Law: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Integrating Artificial Intelligence in Legal Practice

Kelechukwu Uzoka, ‘Staying Ahead Of The Curve: Leveraging Technology For Competitive Advantage In The Nigerian Legal Market’

Chris Dreyer, Legal AI Tools: The 9 Best Options for Lawyers

Kelechukwu Uzoka is the Lead Partner of K&C Partners, a technology driven boutique law firm located in Lagos, Nigeria.He is also an Executive Director in a legal tech company known as
You can reach him via:,,

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