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Investing in technology: Can AI give your law firm’s profits a lift? 

Value-minded business owners understand that core investments—facilities, personnel, technology—pay off over time. The question is, which investments are worth making and when?

As artificial intelligence (AI) transforms the business of law, many law firms are finding that AI-powered research solutions provide tangible and immediate benefits, including added efficiency, more strategic case preparation and improved client retention.

Tools such as Thomson Reuters Westlaw Edge™ are ushering the legal industry into the age of AI. Law firms that understand the new market know AI is an investment they can’t afford not to make.

Imagine a legal arena where opposing counsel gets its facts faster, more accurately and from a more comprehensive database. Firms that fail to invest in AI-powered technology are at an instant disadvantage against firms that have made the commitment to provide their attorneys with the tools they need to succeed.

Trial preparation is a good example of how AI can help law firms gain a competitive edge. The faster and more accurately attorneys can determine a judge’s tendencies, for instance, or examine relevant documents, the better prepared they are to protect their clients’ interests in court. Thomson Reuters Westlaw® Litigation Analytics provides these crucial insights at lightning speeds, enabling attorneys to build the strongest case strategy possible.

In-depth research tasks, such as compiling legislative history, take up valuable time and resources and cause law firm clients to scoff at resulting research bills.  AI can take much of the time and uncertainty out of this process. Thomson Reuters Westlaw® Statutes Compare allows users to look at and compare any two versions of a statute and view a red-line mock-up of how it has changed over time. By using Statutes Compare, users save time because they don’t have to consult session laws to ascertain how the statute has changed and under what authority.

It isn’t unusual for a lawyer to spend hours following a case only to find a key point of law has been overruled. There is a tool that can help reduce the risk of wasted research hours. KeyCite® Overruling Risk analyzes documents and warns users if a cited point of law relies upon an overruled or otherwise invalid prior decision. Overruling Risk not only allows practitioners to build stronger cases, it also saves users the time of manually reviewing each case, which means less research write-offs.

When some law firms harness such technology, and others do not, the playing field tilts. Law firm owners must decide if they want to be running uphill or downhill when the stakes are nothing less than trial success, client retention and profit.

An investment worth making has concrete benefits. Legal technologies are only useful to the extent that they help law firms thrive and grow. When law firms work faster and more efficiently, clients get more value for their legal fees. They are more likely to return for future business. And, they are more likely to refer their friends, family and business contacts.

A law firm that invests in AI technology sends a clear message to its clients: We are here to serve you today and will also be prepared to efficiently handle your future legal matters.

A law firm must draw fresh talent to remain competitive. The question facing many law firms is: How do we attract – and keep – top talent?

Technology investments play an undeniable role in talent acquisition. Young lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals understand the short and long-term career benefits of using state-of-the-art tools. All else being equal, tomorrow’s top attorneys will choose to work at a firm that has shown a true commitment to innovation and an investment in technology.

Law firms survive and grow by making the right investments at the right time. This is the time for your firm to harness the power of AI. Learn more about Westlaw Edge and how it is helping law firms thrive in today’s challenging legal market.

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