The Importance Of Identifying Usecases In Legal Technology: A Guide For Innovation In The Age of AI


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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a growing focus in the legal profession as it grapples with digital transformation. These tools promise to redefine legal practice from automating routine task to providing predictive insights. A fundamental principle still remains in the midst of all this technological fervor: identifying and clearly delineating use cases. This principle is both a compass as well as a keystone for successfully integrating technology in the legal sector.

Why Use Cases Matter

Use cases aren’t just theoretical constructs. Instead, they connect technological potential with practical utility. They explain how technology can be used to solve specific problems, streamline business processes, and improve decision-making. Clarity and relevance of use-cases are even more important in the legal domain where justice, rights and responsibilities are at stake.

Understanding the Legal Landscape

The legal industry is unique in its complexity, and is governed both by the letter and spirit of the law. This complexity demands that the legal tech solutions are innovative, intuitively aligned, and in line with legal workflows. Use cases are crucial in guiding the implementation of technology to enhance and respect the nuances of the legal practice.

Legal Tech Use Cases: A Guide to Effective Use

To fully harness the potential of AI and Legal Technology, stakeholders must engage a deliberate process to craft use cases that resonates with the realities of the legal work. This process involves three key steps.

  1. Deep Dive on Legal Workflows

Understanding the intricacies in legal workflows can help identify areas where technology could have a positive impact. This requires a granular assessment of daily tasks, client interaction, and case management processes, looking for bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

  1. Engagement with Legal Professionals

Technology should serve its users. Engaging legal professionals to gather feedback, insights, and aspirations will ensure that use cases are grounded on real-world challenges and needs. This collaboration fosters a feeling of ownership and receptivity within the legal community, which is crucial for successful adoption of new technologies.

  1. Prioritize solutions that are client-centric

Clients are at the core of legal practice. Use cases should therefore prioritize solutions that improve client satisfaction, accessibility, or outcomes. This includes everything from reducing the complexity of legal processes for clients, to providing more transparent communication channels.

  1. Validation and refinement iteratively

Use cases are not fixed in stone. They evolve. A continuous process of refinement, validation, and feedback loops, incorporating pilots, performance metrics, and feedback loops, ensures use cases remain effective and relevant in addressing the changing needs of legal practice.

The Strategic Value Of Use Cases

Use case identification is more than just a technical exercise. It’s also a strategic undertaking that can determine whether legal tech initiatives are successful or not. Well-defined uses cases:

  • Drive Focused Innov: Use cases highlight specific needs and challenges to ensure that technology development is targeted and purposeful.
  • Facilitate stakeholder buy-in Clear, compelling use-cases can demystify the technology for legal professionals and foster an environment of enthusiasm, support, and encouragement for digital initiatives.
  • Improve Client Service Use cases that focus on improving client service ensure that technology is contributing to the core mission in legal practice.

Look forward: The role of use cases in shaping legal tech

Use cases are a guide for the legal profession as it navigates the waters of digitalization. Use cases are the litmus tests for the practical value and effectiveness of technology. They ensure that innovations do not only impress with their potential, but also deliver tangible results. Use cases are crucial in the quest to integrate AI technology and legal technology into law practice.

The future of the legal tech industry is not technology for its own sake. It’s about thoughtful and purpose-driven innovations that improve the practice of law, enhance client outcomes, uphold the principles of justice, etc. Use cases are a roadmap for the future. They chart a course that is meaningful, impactful and aligned to the noble pursuit of the law.

Olga MackOlga V. Mack Olga is a Fellow with CodeX and The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. She also works as a Generative AI Editorial Assistant at law.MIT. Olga embraces innovation in law and has dedicated her professional career to improving and shaping future of the law. She is convinced the legal profession will become stronger, more resilient and more inclusive by embracing technology. Olga is a general counsel, startup advisor, adjunct professor, public speaker and award-winning general. She has authored several books. Earning a seat on a corporate boardSmart Contract Security: Basics,  Blockchain Value: Transforming Businesses, Communities, and Societies. She is currently working on three novels: Visual IQ for Lawyers (ABA 2024), The Rise of Product Lawyers: An Analytical Framework to Systematically Advise Your Clients Throughout the Product Lifecycle (Globe Law and Business 2024), and Legal Operations in the Age of AI and Data (Globe Law and Business 2024). You can follow Olga via You can find us on LinkedIn. Twitter @olgavmack

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