How AI and ML are transforming the legal profession

  • Ekta Kashyap
  • Published 18/03/2021
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How AI and ML are transforming the legal profession

The field of law, when coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), will bring explosive advancements in the industry. An LLM degree with a specialisation in AI and ML can equip students to master the law-tech sector

In February 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in the US charged a citizen Eric Loomis to six years of prison for his role in a drive-by shooting case. The judiciary while preparing for sentencing the offender included the risk assessment of COMPAS, an AI algorithm, in the Pre-Sentence Investigation. The COMPAS assessment estimated the possibility of Loomis committing more crimes based on an interview with him and his past criminal record.

Shanghai’s Intermediate People’s Court in China, in 2019, used an AI-assistive system for the first time in a criminal trial. The technology was able to distinguish between people. It helped in authenticating evidence and transcribing courtroom discussions.

In recent years, legal systems across the world have adopted AI and ML to operate more efficiently by automating increasingly complex tasks. A report titled ‘Shaping the Future of Judicial Knowledge’ by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) states that AI and ML are being used to help judges in analysing facts, processing courtroom discussions, assisting lawyers in legal research, as well as document review and drafting.

The use of AI and ML in document analysis, especially, can significantly cut down the time and cost involved in the process as well as reduce biases such as false positives.

The Pyrrho Investments Limited versus MWB Property Limited dispute, a British case, involved around 3 million documents. The cost of the manual review was projected to be millions of pounds. The High Court, hence, agreed to permit ‘predictive coding’ or technology-assisted review. The lawyers fed the relevant documents pool to the machine learning platform, which categorised the documents based on relevance.

AI and ML can also be used in clearing the backlog of cases. In India, around 4 crore cases are pending in the Supreme Court, High Courts, and District Courts of the country (as of September 2020), according to a written reply submitted by the Ministry of Law and Justice in the Parliament. An artificially intelligent platform can perform case research involving heavy data within seconds, speeding up the judicial process. This will also reduce the expenditure and improve the profit-making ability and proficiency of law firms.

Courthouses, consultancies, law firms and international organisations will, therefore, require professionals who are adaptable, dynamic, and well-versed with technology. Law schools need to equip students with new patterns of practice and innovative tools of management. Such law students will become the future of legal services.

Why you should choose UPES School of Law

UPES School of Law is one of the few higher education institutions offering LLM with a specialisation in AI and ML. This course will enrich students’ understanding and skill set in this area, with the support of experienced practitioners who can demonstrate real-life examples to contextualise what one learns.

Legal systems are undergoing a massive transformation with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning penetrating different aspects of the law. AI assistance will help in making the law fairer and more transparent when it is designed and implemented properly. Human oversight, however, will always remain crucial. The courts will always be the ultimate authority for making decisions. Hence, it is imperative that we prepare our students to become skilled in technology, in addition to mastering their core subjects.

UPES has several industry experts and former judges on its advisory board. It is the first Indian university to partner with UK-based The University of Law for legal studies. Given its industry-oriented programs and emphasis on holistic development, UPES graduates are a preferred choice for recruiters, ensuring a track record of 90% + placements over the last few years.


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UNICRI Report: Shaping the Future of Judicial Knowledge

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Ekta Kashyap

The writer is a part of the UPES editorial team

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Criminal Cases
  • Machine Learning Law LLM Masters in Law
  • UPES
  • upes school of law

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