5 Ways AI-Powered Contract Review Tech Will Shift the Skill Expectations of In-House Roles

In-house roles have, for a long time, had held rather different expectations than other legal practises. When providing council to a single company, time pressures are distinct and there’s a wide range of distinct job roles that you’ll fulfil.

As compliance burdens are becoming more pressing and workloads are growing ever larger, in-house legal teams are consistently facing scrutiny. AI-powered contract review software has had a distinct impact on the legal world through the last few years, proving AI's efficiency when lightening workloads and accelerating processes.

Many lawyers still consider AI a threat, worrying that robots will eventually replace them. In reality, AI is no threat; it is a tool to be used in the endlessly evolving world of corporate law, improving methodology in a wide variety of use-cases. We've gathered 5 ways that AI tech will begin to shift skill expectations of in-house law teams.

1. How Can In-House Law Teams use e-Discovery?

Electronic discovery centres around the digital process of identifying, gathering and creating electronically stored information. This is done when responding to requests in a lawsuit or an investigation. Electronically stored information can be gathered from emails, databases, documents, presentations, social media, video files and more. Ordinarily, these files would need to be trawled manually by in-house teams. eDiscovery allows for this process to be expedited, with AI tech conducting the bulk of this process.

AI contract review utilises principles of eDiscovery to crawl through documentation and identify key items for the in-house team to prioritise; with a significantly smaller number of documents to review, it takes far less time for a team to complete their process. Less hours means less costs (and less stress on teams).

2. In-House M&A Due Diligence

Ensuring due diligence when holding M&A projects is another time-consuming process. M&A due diligence offers teams the challenge of determining patent life cycles. In-house lawyers are often expected to comb through huge portfolios containing hundreds, if not thousands of documents to determine ownership - an important task!

Employing a smart review process will allow in-house lawyers to navigate directly to the information they require. Using keywords or key phrases, AI can identify and determine specific aspects of documents. This allows teams to efficiently ensure due diligence throughout the mergers & acquisitions process through targeted evaluation.

3. Increased Accuracy of Contract Review

Mistakes can be made when holding manual review. Research shows that only between 50% and 85% of what is being looked for is found. AI contract review, on the other hand, can perform the same process instantly, with 100% accuracy, on a large scale. This is achieved using complex algorithms. AI uses formulae to make predictions from data sets that it analyses. By using algorithms, you can ensure that you get the same results every time.

Working by query, contract review AI works through natural language processing - it interprets questions that are asked of it and turns up matching results. AI will accurately identify clauses and potential red flags for an in-house legal team to follow up on.

4. Enhancing Contract Flexibility

Implementing AI contract review software allows for improved contract flexibility. AI can automate extraction of key data as and when it's needed. AI can also automate data population through the use of summary templates, using data from more than 50 data points.

As a result of this, contracts can remain flexible and edits can be made with only a few clicks. This is a godsend for in-house lawyers when using form agreements. AI tools can make contracts using your standardised parameters, and can facilitate a quick review process; a quality-of-life feature that allows lawyers to crack on with other, more pressing jobs.

5. Streamlined Contract Management Systems

We've talked about how AI can help when creating and searching for contracts, but there's another useful facet of AI contract review tech that often goes overlooked - contract management.

Creating and maintaining an efficient contract management system is the bane of every in-house lawyer's existence. Historically, huge areas of physical space were required to store and file individual contracts based on a variety of factors (termination date, renewal date, price changes, et cetera). Nowadays, lots of this information is managed digitally, but still requires a great amount of time to manage. Creating spreadsheets and manually entering data is not only time-consuming, but mind-numbing, too.

Once again, AI is our saviour. With a small amount of human input for setup and fine-tuning, AI systems can enter key information like terms & dates instantly. In addition to this, AI can review an entire database and reorganise it in seconds; a process that might take a legal team months to complete.

Is AI Powered Contract Review Tech a Good Investment for In-House Law Teams?

Technological advancements are inevitable, and AI contract review technology provides a great value proposition for any company. Lawyers are freed up from hours of monotonous contract review, allowing more time to provide council & other intellectual benefits.

Human error is mitigated using AI algorithms, too. Many in-house teams are implementing AI into their daily routine and saving money in the long run.

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