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Artificial Intelligence

Legal AI tools and assistants essential for legal teams

· 6 minute read

· 6 minute read

Showcase of legal-focused generative AI tools that assist law firms and legal departments for essential tasks

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming an essential tool for many professionals across various industry sectors, and the legal profession is no different.

By automating numerous repetitive, mundane tasks and replacing outdated ways of working, legal teams can experience the power of generative AI tools that feel like reliable AI assistants.


AI-Assisted Research GIF showing legal question field with references
Legal question — Is a recorded phone call between a person in Texas and a person in California admissible in a civil case when both parties didn’t consent to the recording?


Jump to:

bulb icon   How is AI used in the legal profession?

icon   AI for faster synthesis and analysis

  Efficient legal research and drafting

icon   Streamlined M&A due diligence

icon-orange agenda book   Improved knowledge management

  Enhanced onboarding and learning

icon-orange abcs   Plain-language prompting to navigate complexity

  Trustworthy security and privacy


AI is a simulation of human intelligence by a machine, and this opens up a whole world of possibilities. Generative AI can assist with document processing and classification for a wide range of matters, including due diligence, document and contract review, compliance, contract management, knowledge management and deal analysis.

By automating these tasks using intelligent technology, significant workflow benefits can be achieved, particularly with improved efficiency and productivity as well as greater accuracy.

The use of AI at law firms has transitioned from a mere desire to an essential requirement. It is changing the way we do business, much the same way as email did in the 1990s. As digital transformation continues to advance, AI will become ubiquitous and an indispensable assistant to practically every attorney and legal professional, freeing up time for tasks that add greater value such as thinking and advising.

Legal generative AI is supposed to augment what a lawyer does. It’s not going to do legal reasoning, not going to door case strategy. What it’s supposed to do is do repeatable rote tasks much more quickly and efficiently.

– Zach Warren, Manager, Technology and Innovation, Thomson Reuters Institute



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Generative AI for legal profesionals: What to know and what to do right now

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AI for faster data synthesis and analysis

Creating, reviewing and sending various documents forms a large part of an attorney’s daily tasks. While important, these are repetitive and manual processes and are typically prone to human error, which can introduce an unnecessary element of risk. AI tools backed by expert human oversight give you a competitive edge by improving accuracy and thus reducing risk.



With the power of AI in your legal tech tools, you can sort files rapidly and seamlessly without needing to manually examine them. The range of assistance offered by legal-focused generative AI improves the legal firm’s or department’s output by facilitating the legal professional’s ability to apply their higher-level expertise to the work at hand.


Consider the value of AI-enhanced legal research technology.

Generative AI provides a jumpstart on legal research by reducing the time legal professionals must spend shifting through and summarizing content. These tools can produce in moments an informative version of research that would have previously taken hours or days.


Learn more about AI-Assisted Research on Westlaw Precision


Lawyers can then apply their expertise to refining the results to ensure that the research output is high quality, thorough, and accurate.



For any of the tasks that lawyers do on a regular basis or that administrative professionals supporting the legal industry do on a regular basis, this technology allows them to do those things faster and to create a starting point much earlier in the process.

—Zena Applebaum, Global VP, Product Marketing for Research Products for Thomson Reuters


Streamlined M&A due diligence

M&A due diligence is a tedious task that limits your time and ability to innovate and creatively problem-solve.

Using AI tools for analysis and review of documents saves time and allows you to focus on more valuable pursuits, which facilitates enhanced creativity and allows you to focus exclusively on the tasks that only a person can handle – the job you were trained to do and the job you are passionate about.


Improved knowledge management

Generative AI can help legal teams stay organized and share information via cross-functional tools. Better and faster methods of saving, indexing, identifying, and disseminating lawyers’ prior work and collective expertise helps legal firms and departments solve legal and business problems more effectively.


Enhanced onboarding and learning

Legal-focused generative AI tools help users get up to speed quickly without extensive training, whether they are new to a firm or gaining knowledge about an unfamiliar area of law.

These tools also help users learn new skills in a hands-on way as they work, reducing the need for as many formalized skill-development interventions, saving time and money.


Plain-language prompting to navigate complexity

Those unfamiliar with a given area of law may struggle to know where to start or which language is most applicable in searching for resources.

Generative AI tools that can be prompted using plain-language queries allow users to access faster answers to complicated legal questions, and rapidly organize information and precedent that can help them develop successful arguments.



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Trustworthy security and privacy

A professional tool licensed to a particular institution or firm provides a far more secure work ecosystem than a public-facing tool with few or no data controls. While legal professionals must always use caution regarding what data they use with AI tools, they can input a range of proprietary data with far less risk in a professional, licensed tool.

Additionally, since legal-specific generative AI tools are trained on high-quality legal content, legal organizations can be confident that their output will be more trustworthy and accurate than other large language models.

Originally published August 30, 2023.


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