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The impact of AI on the delivery of legal services: Challenges for law firms  

Montserrat Viñals Prestol, DMK Lawyers  

According to Bill Gates, generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the way we work and live within five years. The Microsoft co-founder argues that the development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the Internet, which forever changed the way we communicate and interact with our customers.

In "The Year Ahead" Annual Letter, 2024 is predicted to be the year that will change the world in technology and healthcare, and AI will have much, if not almost everything to do with it.

2023 was a momentous year for AI. It will be an interesting transition to witness, as uncertain times are approaching regarding the limitations or restrictions that should be placed on AI so that things do not get out of control. In the absence of a legal system, AI can have a negative impact, generating damages to third parties due to improper use, even the loss of jobs, among others. For their part, companies that develop this type of models also see this as a cause for concern. Despite this, there are already many that use AI technology to provide services, providing their customers with a more agile and faster way of dealing with their queries.

In the Dominican Republic, specifically in the public sector, the famous ChatBoxes have been introduced where the user can consult different processes or information through a "Virtual Assistant". Recently, the Constitutional Court incorporated "Patria", an intelligent chatbot that facilitates the consultation of sentences issued by the High Court.

In turn, and within the initiatives of the current government, special emphasis has been given to turn the country into a Regional AI Hub, with the aim of leading innovations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Proof of this is the launch of the National AI Strategy, which was launched to promote these objectives.

In the legal field, AI is increasingly used by legal professionals to analyze contracts, identifying those key clauses in their contracts in an automated way. Some of the most widely used AI solutions are: natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (Machine Learning), and legal Virtual Assistants. These tools allow to analyze legal patterns, or predict the possible scenarios of a case. In addition, it allows the user to get quick answers to urgent queries through a Chatbox.

I am a standard bearer that generative AI should not replace the lawyer; we do not see it possible, at least not in the near future. The focus of its use should be the ability of AI to increase the efficiency of the professional, as the time invested in the analysis of a complex matter is shortened. This is the value added to the legal professional. Firms should assume the role of training the lawyer by placing him at the forefront of the new times, through training to human resources who have the greatest challenge of combining AI with their knowledge, thus achieving the necessary balance.

An example of a successful use of AI in the legal field is the international law firm DLA Piper. This firm partnered with Kira Systems in 2023 to implement AI for document review in due diligence processes for M&A transactions, a machine-learning software. This decision has allowed them to streamline these sometimes tedious processes, and to maintain contact with their clients more quickly in the absence of a human resource due to time zone differences.

Despite the positive uses of AI, we maintain that the lack of a legal regulation represents important obstacles that have not yet been overcome, in addition to the high costs for its implementation. It will be interesting to see how the National AI Strategy will provide support and, apply certain tax incentives for companies to ride the wave of digital transformation.

Finally, we posed the question to Chat GPT on their understanding of how AI can support lawyers in the delivery of their legal services, and this was their response:

"AI can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal services through automation of repetitive tasks, real-time processing, and providing insights or opinions on certain data or information that is provided to the AI tool. In a general sense, AI can help lawyers achieve high quality service while being cost and time efficient."


Publicación Gaceta Judicial Núm. 415, marzo 2023. Artículo escrito por Nicole Marie Suárez, titulado "Retos para el Derecho Administrativo derivados de la Utilización de la Inteligencia Artificial" (Versión digital)
Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económico. Uso estratégico y responsable de la inteligencia artificial en el sector público de América Latina y el Caribe (en línea) 2022. Disponible en línea https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/governance/uso-estrategico-y-responsable-de-la-inteligencia-artificial-en-el-sector-publico-de-america-latina-y-el-caribe_5b189cb4-es#page4
Inteligencia artificial legal y Administración de Justicia, 2022. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación en colaboración con la Fundación para la Inteligencia Artificial Legal de España. Disponible en línea https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/libro?codigo=870011
Bill Gates, The Year Ahead 2022. Artículo disponible en la web: https://www.gatesnotes.com/The-Year-Ahead-2022
Estrategia Nacional de Inteligencia Artificial de la República Dominicana, octubre 2023. Documento disponible en la web: https://ogtic.gob.do/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/ENIA-Estrategia-Nacional-de-Inteligencia-Artificial-de-la-Republica-Dominicana_compressed.pdf
Other online sites consulted:

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