What is artificial intelligence? Why should it matter in the legal community? I know you’re probably thinking that artificial intelligence has nothing to do with the law. I once thought this too, but believe it or not the legal landscape is changing. With the help of artificial intelligence, lawyers can deliver better legal services. So, it only makes sense that the legal community should embrace artificial intelligence.

Recently, LegalRnD held a lecture series featuring Brian Kuhn of IBM Watson Legal. Mr. Kuhn explained how legal firms, legal departments, and government agencies can utilize artificial intelligence. Here are two simple, but very important, ways artificial intelligence can improve the delivery of legal services:

1. Strategical Alignment

Instead of reinventing the wheel with each case, artificial intelligence can be used to collect tangible business results. With these business results, lawyers can cut out the “smoke” and provide their clients with real expectations for their case, in terms of cost and outcome.  

For example, you meet with a prospective client regarding a patent case. When the prospective client cautiously asks you questions like, “How much is this going to cost me?” or “How long will all this take?” you can give an informed answer using the business results. Being able to provide real expectations for your client is great way to build lasting business relationships and ensure your clients trust.

2. Efficiency

When enough data is accessible, artificial intelligence can analyze the data faster than any human. Artificial intelligence, specifically IBM Watson, can identify evidence that data researchers may have missed. By maximizing efficiency, there is the opportunity to generate new revenue.

During the presentation, Mr. Kuhn told a story about his work with a group of oncologists. The oncologists were doing research on proteins in connection with cancer. After training, IBM Watson was able to identify two additional proteins not yet identified by the oncologists and in less time.


Artificial intelligence is not a new concept, but there’s so much we still do not know. In fact, we actually know less than we think about it. As a legal community, we should be open-minded to the benefits of artificial intelligence and take full advantage of those benefit. To learn more about IBM Watson works, check out IBM Watson Knowledge Studio. Next Up: The Evolution of Corporate Legal Departments featuring Craig Glidden, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, General Motors on October 11, 2017 at 5:30pm.