Bots for Business

How Legal Chatbots Can Help You

A chatbot lawyer might seem a little scary, but legal chatbots will soon be an integral part of the legal profession.

By Adam Westin
March 19, 2020

Chatbot lawyers are becoming increasingly popular for many reasons, including their ability to provide legal access, help, and justice to large numbers of people. The potential uses for legal chatbots are limitless. In fact, we’ve already seen a significant expansion of bots in the field.

Legal chatbots can provide services for legal consumers and for legal professionals, which means that they have the potential to entirely transform legal operations. Plus, conversational artificial intelligence (AI) will only continue to grow, checking the boxes on low-level functions and freeing humans to perform more high-level tasks. When it comes to law, the role of conversational AI is rapidly growing. (For more information on conversational AI, check out our article on how machine learning powers chatbots.)

The Basics

A chatbot lawyer is, in the most basic terms, a software program powered by AI that automates tasks which are usually completed by human lawyers. Legal chatbots can speed up lawyers’ timelines and increase their bandwidth by reducing the amount of time spent on repetitive or lower value work.

Legal chatbots can do a great deal of good just by operating as customer service representatives on webpages. They can provide basic legal information to help direct a consumer in the right direction and then take care of associated administrative duties, like setting up an attorney-client meeting.

The information provided to a legal chatbot about any particular situation can easily be saved and forwarded to the attorney before the consultation, speeding up the usual briefing process. Additionally, these chatbots can give legal consumers the discretion that they need to feel comfortable while sharing personal information, which is definitely a bonus.

Current legal chatbot applications

As software has developed, legal chatbots are now more capable than ever. Chatbot lawyers have all kinds of useful functions, encompassing the full legal spectrum.

One of the first uses of a chatbot lawyer was to appeal and overturn parking tickets, which has since expanded to include other types of traffic tickets. Traffic bots are particularly helpful since they eliminate the need to hire a lawyer for such a minor offense (not to mention that the success rates of these bots are pretty impressive).

On a more serious note, legal chatbots have also evolved to help people seeking asylum. Whether it’s getting a green card, applying for an extension, or changing an employment visa, bots can help people navigate the difficult waters of immigration law. Legal chatbots are equipped with the tools necessary to file paperwork, along with the ability to determine the need for a lawyer and even to assist in finding the right one—features that also extend beyond immigration services.

Debt law is another field where chatbot lawyers are particularly popular. The main function of these bots is to ask questions and fill out the proper paperwork accordingly, which is similar to the duties of divorce law bots.

Chatbot lawyers can also have supercomputing abilities that enable them to rapidly comb through massive amounts of data. This is especially helpful for locating cases in legal databases that set precedent, providing relevant and helpful information to a current case.

Other functions of legal chatbots include creating privacy policies and nondisclosure agreements, predicting outcomes based on prior cases, and quickly and accurately answering questions about data breaches and privacy law. Ultimately, chatbot lawyers’ main function is to provide intelligent legal support to make the lives of human lawyers significantly easier.

The future of legal chatbots

There is no consensus about where the development of chatbot lawyers will lead in the next few years, except that they will be everywhere. It is likely that most law firms will have some kind of bot doing work for them in the future. We already see legal chatbots doing work for private lawyers, prosecutors, judges, notaries, paralegals, and more.

Although it is unlikely that legal chatbots will be able to replace legal professionals entirely, they will definitely take over a great deal of their responsibilities and can benefit lawyers and their clients alike.

*The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information and content is for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.