Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing how global entities operate. Repetitive work tasks are being automated with AI solutions, creating more efficient ways for businesses to complete work in pursuit of growth. At the same time, there’s growing concern about how AI may push hard-working people out of their jobs due to a misguided sense of redundancy.
In the legal industry, these growing fears are not unwarranted. As outlined in an economic research report, co-authored by four leading analysts at Goldman Sachs, the legal industry will be heavily impacted by AI advancements. Tasks that are completed by paralegal professionals will become more automated as solutions like ChatGPT become more mainstream, placing paralegal job security at tremendous risk.
How will AI impact paralegal productivity?
According to the Goldman Sachs report, 44% of current work tasks in the US legal industry could be automated and supplemented by AI technology. Only office and administrative support jobs, at 46%, have greater exposure to AI automation. However, at many law firms, paralegals also serve as office managers, significantly increasing their potential exposure to the AI effect.
Data analysis of the European market suggests a similar pattern. According to the numbers, 45% of clerical support workers will be exposed to AI automation across Europe.
What common legal tasks will AI help automate?
The report provides a synopsis of how AI will be used to automate tasks in various industries. In regards to the legal community, the paralegal task at most risk of AI automation is the evaluation of minute book data to maintain compliance with regulatory standards.
Paralegals are often tasked with filing, sorting, reviewing, and administering minute book records for legal clients. The purpose behind the review and administration of those records is to ensure any actions undertaken by corporate clients are in compliance with legal, regulatory, and corporate standards.
The working theory put forward by Goldman Sachs is that AI will automate much of the work to maintain compliance. AI solutions will accelerate:
The review of minute book data for accuracy
Evaluate complex legal claims to maintain compliance
Assist with the creation of legal motions to submit to officers of the court
What are the limitations of AI automation?
As much as there are proponents for AI automation, there are just as many people who challenge its effectiveness. The biggest criticism towards AI is the fact that the technology is incapable of being creative.
Anu Madgavkar, a partner with McKinsey Global Institute, says AI should never be considered as a full replacement for human intelligence. She encourages business entities, in the legal community or otherwise, to treat AI as a tool to improve human productivity. AI can automate data entry and summarization, but a human mind is still necessary to correctly interpret what the data is articulating.
“[Minute book] data is actually quite structured, very language-oriented, and therefore quite amenable to generative AI,” says Madgavkar. “It’s almost like a bit of a productivity boost that some of these occupations might get, because you can use tools that actually do this better.”
How entity management software rivals AI automation
The data suggests that the AI revolution is happening, and there are understandable concerns about the impact of this technology on job security. So what can paralegals do to ease their own concerns and stabilize their employment prospects?
One effective solution is to join a firm that embraces a different form of legal automation technology. Entity management software is designed to automate clerical and administrative tasks to help firms and their clients maintain compliance with the laws.
Similar to Madgavkar’s assessment of AI as a productivity tool, entity management software helps paralegals reduce the time they spend on clerical or administrative work. At most law firms, legal professionals spend only 2.5 hours in an 8 hour workday servicing clients. This is primarily because the amount of clerical work to accurately process client case files takes up such an abundance of valuable time.
Using entity management software, inputting and organizing minute book data can be completed in only a few minutes of time. Suddenly, several hours in each workday are open to billable time that’s used to serve clients and help grow the interests of the firm.
Entity management software helps paralegals grow revenue
By minimizing time spent on clerical and administrative tasks, paralegals can directly contribute to increasing billable hours invoiced by the firm. Their hourly rates will be less than trained legal professionals, but it’s still contributing a new stream of revenue to grow the firm.
As paralegals navigate through the AI impact on the legal industry, they would be wise to hitch their professional wagons to firms that embrace different forms of legal automation technology. By using those solutions to the best of their abilities, paralegals can prove their employment is an asset to the firm by directly contributing to Legal Recurring Revenue.