Thursday, December 7, 2023

Designing AI Based Knowledge Brain for Law Firms. – Part 1

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Since you are on this page, I assume you are working in a Law firm or a firm in legal industry. And I am sure you are keeping track of all the advancements happening in world of AI like ChatGPT, Generative AI etc. So what are we covering in this series of blog posts?

  • Describe the concept of AI based Knowledge Brain System for a Law Firm
  • Go through design considerations – AI, Data, Security, Privacy etc.
  • Create a high level design for this Knowledge Brain System

Knowledge Brain System – The Concept!

Think of it as an intelligent system that uses technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning, big data analytics etc to help law firms and legal professionals access, organize, and make sense of vast amounts of legal information and knowledge in a secure way.

Imagine having a central repository for all legal knowledge – documents, and information within a law firm, as well as external legal knowledge sources such as court decisions, regulations, and legal publications. Idea is to have a system that works by analyzing vast amounts of data from within and outside the firm, such as legal precedents, case law, and industry trends, and uses advanced AI algorithms to identify patterns and insights that can help lawyers & legal professionals make better decisions. This knowledge brain can then also be used to build innovative solutions both for internal audience and for clients.

A word about Privacy!

One of the main concerns with implementing an AI-based knowledge brain system in the legal industry is the potential for privacy breaches. The system would need to be designed with strong security measures and ethical walls to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive client information. In addition to privacy concerns, there are also regulatory requirements that need to be considered. The system would need to be compliant with relevant laws and regulations regarding data privacy, such as GDPR and PIPEDA, to ensure that client & personal information is handled appropriately. It is essential to address both privacy and regulatory concerns to ensure that the knowledge brain system is both effective and compliant. So we certainly need to think through security, privacy and regulatory requirements while designing such system.

Web of Ethical Walls: Ethical walls, or “information barriers,” are implemented to prevent conflicts of interest and maintain confidentiality within law firms. Building such intelligent system that respects boundaries of client and matters ethical walls not just while consuming the intelligence but also while the data is processed and trained on, will be really challenging. It’s important any client data that gets feed into such system is firstly properly categorized – public, confidential, sensitive etc. These categories should then dictate if and how specific data is processed, aggregated and protected in this Knowledge Brain System. The knowledge brain system must also be configured to identify and flag any potential conflicts of interest or breaches of ethical walls and alert appropriate personnel to take necessary actions.

With all these concerns why build such system?

Answer is simple – such system can be so powerful and can establish foundations for so many innovative and insights driven solutions. Below are some of the benefits:

Save time and increase efficiency: With access to a wealth of legal knowledge and information at your fingertips, your team can quickly find the information they need to do their job faster and more effectively. This can help you to complete work more quickly, reduce errors, and free up valuable time for other important tasks.

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Improve decision-making: By combining internal firm specific knowledge and external legal knowledge such as recent precedents and industry best practices, this knowledge brain can help your organization to make more informed decisions

Reduce risk: With access to the latest legal information and industry best practices, this knowledge brain system can help your organization to reduce risk and avoid costly legal mistakes.

Drive growth & enable competitive advantage: By staying on top of the latest trends and developments in the legal industry, this AI based knowledge brain can help your organization to identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition. Such system will also help law firms to stay ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and technology adoption, attracting new clients and retaining existing ones.

Solution examples that might get built on top of this Knowledge Brain:

a) “ChatGPT” style Legal ChatBot

b) Contract Review Tool

c) Litigation Outcome Prediction Tool

d) Holistic IP Search & Recommendation Engine

e) Predictive Analytics

f) Recommendation engine for time keeping and work allocation

Legal Ontologies

An ontology in simple terms is a formal description of knowledge that define concepts, categories, and relationships between them, creating a common understanding and shared vocabulary for a particular domain. Before we try to design such knowledge brain system for law firms, It is important to understand legal ontologies because the legal domain has its own unique concepts and terminologies that may not be fully captured by more general ontologies. Therefore, a legal ontology can help ensure that the system is tailored to the specific needs of the legal domain and can provide more accurate and relevant results.

Below are some examples & sources of Legal Ontologies:

  • LegalRuleML
  • Akoma Ntoso
  • Simple Legal XML
  • eJustice Ontology

I found a really good source for list of Legal Ontologies. Worth exploring this github repository if interested to learn more. – Github Repository – Liquid-Legal-Institute

These ontology models helps us understand different aspects of legal information. Below are some examples of type of information:

Legal Concepts: Entities like “person”, “organization”, “statute”, “regulation”, “contract”, “treaty”, as well as relationships between these entities.

Legal Procedures: Represents legal procedures, such as litigation, arbitration, mediation etc. Categorization can be such as – “lawsuit”, “hearing”, “trial”, “appeal” etc. Again will also include relationships between these entities/classes like “decides”, “sets precedent”.

Legal Events: Legal events, such as the contract signing, law passing, or court ruling.

Legal Domains or Practice Areas: Real Estate, Taxation, Employment etc.

Some more references:

https://blog.law.cornell.edu/voxpop/2014/03/19/building-a-legal-research-ontology/

http://ontology.buffalo.edu/FARBER/visser.html

https://www.mdpi.com/2571-5577/1/3/22

Okay then, for first post this is lot of information to go through. We went through the concept & vision of a Knowledge Brain System for Law Firms and then went through some of the background concepts that will be useful while we try to design this system. Hope you found this blog post useful!

In part-2 of the series, we will go through various design considerations for this system and try to shortlist specific assumptions, inputs & outputs for our design.

Don’t forget to share your feedback and visit us back for part-2 of this series.

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