Over the past few years’ advancements in Artificial Intelligence have taken the world by storm, the impact of which has been compared to the advent of the internet or even the discovery of electricity. The ROSS Intelligence team has been part of this wave, having built the world’s first artificially intelligent legal system, created to enhance the capabilities of lawyers, thereby allowing them to do more than humanly possible. Notably, just last week CB Insights recognized ROSS as one of the world’s top 100 A.I. companies.
Alongside this rapid advancement and excitement about A.I. there has been a lack of evidence-based assessments of how new A.I. tools will impact business operations and, indeed, day-to-day life in a concrete way. This evidence deficit has had a particularly acute impact on the legal field, where lingering suspicion and cultural reluctance is paramount, specifically with respect to disruptive innovation and advancements in legal technology — hence this post’s title, “A.I. is hype! What can it really do in law?”
Given these realities, the ROSS Intelligence team decided to commission a third-party, evidence-based study of the impact the ROSS A.I. tool can have on the successful practice and business operations of legal organizations. We engaged Blue Hill Research, a leader in verifying technology-driven business success, whose reports are often cited by other legal technology companies due to their extensive experience analyzing the legal research industry. Blue Hill prepared a third-party report comparing the respective impact of traditional legal research tools created by Westlaw and LexisNexis, such as Boolean search and Natural Language search, with the ROSS A.I. tool.
I decided to write this blog post on the ROSS LegalTech Corner to help provide a quick overview of the Blue Hill assessment, highlighting key takeaways so that folks have a digestible preview of the full report, which is a must read and can be downloaded on the ROSS website.
I focused on the following three key takeaways:
Blue Hill’s research indicated “clear advantages resulting from the use of ROSS to supplement traditional electronic legal research practices”, ultimately concluding that the ROSS A.I. tool can “unlock new gains in the efficient and profitable operation of legal organizations, as well as create opportunities for new revenue gain.”
The investment impact of this A.I.-led stage of evolution is substantial and the ROSS A.I. tool represents “a clear response to the present market needs, delivering value through both cost of ownership and contributed value vectors.” Through this powerful combination, the tool is able to “demonstrate net business gains and ROI in use cases that enhance, rather than replace, traditional research strategies.”
Where exactly a law firm falls on the spectrum of conversion from unbillable to billable time will be very firm-specific, relying on a variety of factors from business-type to scope of use; however, in all cases, Blue Hill’s model “strongly suggests positive business gain is available from the investment in ROSS.”
Even those firms that continue to bill all their legal research hours will gain advantages through quicker turnaround time on client deliverables; more time spent engaging with the law, thereby speeding up the learning curve for junior associates; lower billable rates to clients for legal research, creating a competitive advantage in a market which continues to move from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market with the rise in fixed fee arrangements, RFPs and general push-back on time billed by clients.
For in-house legal teams and government agencies, adoption of the ROSS A.I. tool, with its demonstrated ease of use and efficiency advantages, allows for faster answers to legal research questions at lower cost. The main reason being that questions that used to be punted to outside counsel due to complexity can now be handled internally, taking skyrocketing law firm billables even further out of the equation.
At ROSS Intelligence we continue to push A.I. in law, and the Blue Hill benchmark report offers clear, a data-driven third-party proof point that the ROSS tool:
Well, as Blue Hill’s report indicates, A.I. is not hype and A.I. can do a lot in law.
The Blue Hill report is an important step forward in addressing the cycles of hype and anxiety that have colored the initial discourse surrounding A.I. tools. Moreover, this is just the beginning. The Blue Hill report focused only on ROSS’s core search capabilities and as the ROSS team continues to add more functionalities into ROSS each and every day, the benefits to lawyers and legal organizations of adopting the ROSS A.I. tool will become more and more obvious.
Tomas van der Heijden is the Head of Product and Legal @ROSSIntel. He practiced law for a few years before pursuing his passion to leverage technology to democratize the law and make legal services affordable for everyone.