The Atlanta Lawyer August/September 2019 - Page 17

TECHNOLOGY None of these methodologies include the analysis of the legal merits of cases - yet. Computer programs cannot read as lawyers can. They lack background knowledge; including general knowledge about the world, human psychology, and regulated domains. Computers also cannot read statutes and extract legal rules in logical form or “implicit” information. And while they can compare contracts to identify similarities and differences, they cannot explain them. This makes it rather obvious that Legal Analytics is a tool that does not replace but rather complements traditional methods of practice. Attorneys shift from executory to supervisory rules: Instead of researching and reading the cases themselves, they will now use their time to interpret the analytical findings and draw inferences from the extracted information. Chapman calls this “supervised machine learning," adding that, “80 to 90 percent is data clean-up and getting the data ready to be analyzed." Unfortunately, the legal industry is slow, if not adverse, to change. According to a survey by RELX Group polling 1,000 U.S. senior executives across the health care, insurance, legal, science, banking industries, and government regarding the use of big data in some form, law finished last among industries and just ahead of government. Many lawyers suffer from severe “technophobia,." Only 44 percent of the law firm leaders surveyed by RELX Group said they offer employee training on big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Law also lagged in its use of AI machine learning and automation adoption. Who needs Legal Analytics? Simply put, everyone needs Legal Analytics. Despite functional and practical barriers, there is no way around Legal Analytics. Law firms have to adopt an interdisciplinary approach because their clients embrace change and innovation. “Data is critical to rapid, informed decision making,” states Mark A. Cohen, business consultant and Distinguished Fellow at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. “It is also essential to streamlining internal operations, identifying and mitigating risks, gauging performance and reward, and fashioning individual and collective benchmarks from which to measure and catalyze constant improvement.” Using commercial Legal Analytics products such as the new Context® by Lexis, might not be enough. “Commercial products are a black box,” says Chapman. “The issue is: How much do you trust it?” Experts call analytics a “critical competency” of any future lawyer. “If lawyers don’t have the capacity to critically evaluate insights provided by data or the platforms crunching and producing the data, lawyers are ceding control over a major part of their jobs and obligations to clients,” warns Anne Tucker, Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law. “At the core of the work of being a lawyer is problem-solving. Computational thinking and critical analysis are problem-solving tools that we think tomorrow’s lawyers will need.” Tucker and her colleagues are building the curriculum, courses, and events of their Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative on their vision of “data fluency.” Law students learn basic computer coding, text mining, natural language processing, and machine learning, and apply their newly acquired skills in interdisciplinary labs. “Thinking like a coder, i.e., breaking problems down and using appropriate tools, gives you a competitive advantage,” says Chapman. “You can make your partner smart - and yourself indispensable.” For further reading into legal analtyics, here are some suggestions: Richard Susskind, Tomorrow's Lawyers - An Introduction To Your Future OUP Oxford, Second Edition (2017) Kevin D. Ashley, Artificial Intelligence and Legal Analytics: New Tools for Law Practice in the Digital Age Cambridge University Press (July 10, 2017) Find and Rent the Ideal LawSpace for Your Practice connects lawyers with offices and offices with lawyers. Exclusively for lawyers. Created by lawyers who share space. Search for offices in existing law firms in 40,000 zip codes for free. Find empty law of- fices for rent in law firms. THE ATLANTA LAWYER 17