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7 AI Apps for Your Legal Toolbox

Katharine Uhrich

Written by

Katharine Uhrich

|

February 5, 2024

A smiling person wearing a collared shirt, tie, and glasses, works on a laptop at a coffee shop.

In a recent round table discussion, Smokeball users and lawyers broke down the artificial intelligence (AI) tools they’re using to make their practice more efficient.  

The following tools can be used by law firms of all sizes and practice areas; however, solo and small firms lacking support staff really stand to benefit, as do document heavy practice areas like family law. We highlight three AI tools that are industry-agnostic, followed by four that are specific to the practice of law.  

Here’s the rundown on 7 generative AI apps and how you can use them in your practice right now.  

ChatGPT

Jumpstart legal research, document drafting, case summaries, and more

Whether it’s assisting with quick legal research, drafting documents, generating case summaries, or offering legal insights, ChatGPT jumpstarts a lot of legal tasks. Because it efficiently analyzes complex legal language and aids in the preparation of arguments, it can be a tremendous time saver. Users can also take advantage of custom versions of ChatGPT created by others.  

Like any generative large language model (LLM), ChatGPT may generate responses that are speculative, inaccurate, or based on incomplete information. Be sure to independently verify all content created by a generative AI to ensure its accuracy.

Bard is a similar conversational generative AI chatbot developed by Google that’s also worth checking out.

Otter.ai

Record and summarize client consults or quickly scan large amount of text or video footage

Otter.ai records meetings then generates a full transcript that includes a summary and keywords. This AI assistant can join your meeting live, or you can upload a recording for quick transcription.  

This app is useful for recording client consultations, infusing client voice in pleadings, and reviewing dash cam and other footage. Link the Otter.ai recording to the matter in your legal practice management software so any staff can have easy access to the full client consult and summary. You can even chat to Otter.ai. Can’t remember the husband’s name? Ask Otter.ai, and save yourself searching the transcript.

During the AI Client Round Table, Matt Mishak shared examples of how he uses Otter.ai to summarize and query a transcript then quickly saves that information to the Smokeball matter.

Microsoft 365 CoPilot

Drafting email responses, write first drafts, analyze data, and more

CoPilot is an AI-powered productivity tool for Microsoft users. (Think Clippy on steroids across all your Microsoft programs.) Because CoPilot is integrated into Outlook, Word, Excel and more, you can use it to speed productivity, collaborate with colleagues, and save time. More specifically, legal professionals might use CoPilot to draft email responses to staff or clients; summarize text and write first drafts; and even analyze data.

CoCounsel (Casetext)

For document review, deposition preparation, contract analysis, and timeline creation

Users enter an issue with relevant information, and CoCounsel analyzes its database of case law to provide a summary answer and written legal memorandum. It can also analyze contracts, as well as review and summarize documents.

Unlike ChatGPT or Bard, CoCounsel has guard rails in place to assist with fidelity. It only references verified case law in its database and provides citations. Again, like every AI tool mentioned, a legal professional must review the output for quality and accuracy, but a tool like CoCounsel can cut hours of tedious work down to minutes.  

Screenshots from CaseText

Foundation AI

Automate document intake and process large amounts of files—newly integrated with Smokeball!

Foundation AI connects to your document input sources (scanner, email, attachments, and more) then processes and saves these documents to your case management system. It also automates document dependent workflows according to your rules.

Smokeball now integrates with Foundation AI, which means users’ documents will automatically route to the correct matter in Smokeball.  

Briefpoint

Draft discovery documents—newly integrated with Smokeball!

Briefpoint generates discovery response and requests. A user uploads a discovery request and adds in any objections and responses. The document is generated and ready to download and sign.  

Smokeball’s new integration with Briefpoint allows any generated documents to be automatically saved back to the Smokeball matter.

Legalyze.ai

Assist with legal case research and create document summaries—newly integrated with Smokeball!

Legalyze.ai provides rapid document summaries, timelines, and procedural documents quickly. It also answers questions about case documents.  

The new integration with Smokeball means Legalyze.ai will work directly from the data in the Smokeball matter file and can generate pleadings or even analyze police reports to extract the most pertinent information.  

Start exploring the world of AI

We hope this list of AI tools helps you envision how to leverage AI in your legal practice right now. Whether it’s a legal-specific platform like Foundation.ai or a free AI app, legal professional can increase their productivity dramatically with these tools. Couple that with case management software, like Smokeball, and you’ll be hard to beat.  

Four things to remember about using AI:

  • The output from any AI tool must be reviewed by an attorney. These apps are meant to assist not replace legal professionals. Treat them like an employee whose work you don’t yet trust.
  • Remember your professional ethical obligations. Ensure client information and data is protected.
  • Consider contract lengths with new AI products as this technology and landscape is quickly evolving.
  • Don’t be afraid to test out this cutting-edge technology. Legal professionals who experiment and adopt AI now will be vastly ahead of their peers as artificial intelligence develops.

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