Evaluating AI Solutions for your Firm, 4 Steps

June 20, 2024

Evaluating AI Solutions for your Firm, 4 Steps

Today, legal AI technology tools are commonplace within law firms. With the influx of legal technology vendors, it can seem difficult to sift through the sea of legal AI technology options to find the solution that will provide measurable value for your firm. That’s why it’s important to know how to best evaluate available technology as it applies to your firm. This article covers four essential pillars firms need to consider when evaluating legal AI technology solutions – helping firms cut through the noise and find solutions that add value to attorney work.

Does it fit into your tech stack?

When evaluating AI technology, it’s important to make sure any solution you’re assessing fits into your firm’s existing technology infrastructure and strategy. Essential components of a legal tech stack should include tools that support compliance & risk management, case & matter management, legal research, and document storage. 

With the influx of generative AI tools on the market, firms should consider how to stay ahead as others adopt tools to support their strategy. Firms should consider solutions enhancing efficiency and quality in traditionally time-intensive processes such as document drafting, review, and negotiation – for example, software that automates the first markup process. For tools like this, ensuring the tool sits where your lawyers already work – building off of the capabilities and in Microsoft Word and Outlook – is critical.

Along with having a seamless fit, your stack should meet the necessary level of data security required by your firm’s technology teams. 

How does it improve your workflow?

When evaluating your tech stack, a great place to start is identifying and understanding where non-billable time is wasted at your firm. Attorneys may be spending hours on tasks that could be more effectively handled through AI solutions. Administrative-heavy tasks prevent lawyers from investing in higher-value work, like deepening client relationships.

Beyond understanding where technology can benefit your various tasks or workflows, understanding how to effectively implement technology is equally important. Firms need to consider how to best educate and introduce attorneys to new tools and familiarize them with the impact of AI in the legal industry. Firms should evaluate the implementation process for new technology offerings to see if hands on education opportunities like in-person training and a resource center are included in the enterprise package. 

Does it solve a specific pain point or use case?

Once you’ve evaluated the task gaps and opportunities at your firm, you can better understand if an AI solution has the ability to make a significant impact. Use cases can include workload management, gaining a competitive edge, regulatory complexity, and maintaining a work-life balance. Here are some ways that the right AI technology can solve for common pain points experienced by firms: 

  1. Resource Allocation: Firms with limited or constrained resources face potential challenges in effective allocation across different practice areas and departments. However, with the right AI solution, firms can do more with less by providing tools that address practice groups’ specific challenges. This results in increased accuracy and efficiency in attorney work across the firm.
  2. Client Acquisition: Acquiring and retaining clients in a crowded legal market can be a struggle. But the ideal AI tool can help attorneys locate and apply client preference and best practices to maximize results for existing clients and build a reputation in the field. 
  3. Managing Workload: Many sizable firms deal with a high volume of legal matters. They also must contend with competing priorities within their organization. The right AI technology can automate low value tasks and free up an attorney workload to focus on higher value tasks. 

Is it scalable? 

AI solutions should seamlessly fit into your firm’s technology ecosystem and support not just present, but future goals. This is what’s considered scalability. Firms should assess how well their tech solutions can accommodate increasing amounts of data and their compatibility with existing technologies. You should also evaluate your chosen technology solution’s ability to improve over time. 

Additionally, any drafting tool a lawyer uses needs to complement and build off of existing workflows. Applications like Microsoft Word and Outlook are commonly used by lawyers. There should be no reason for a lawyer to be pulled out of the tools they already work in. 

Finding the right AI tech solution can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. But with a strategic approach and the right education, firms can determine which AI solutions will best support their goals. 

Finding the Right AI Technology For Your Firm: How Vendors Can Help

From evaluation to implementation, firms can assess the success of AI technology trials to identify solutions that align with their goals. Read DraftWise’s pilot guide to learn how to effectively trial AI technology and find the best fit for your firm’s needs.

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