Legal Workflow: What could a chatbot do for your legal firm?

Ask a lawyer about their specialist area of law and they’ll be happy to talk all day. Ask them about the technology that supports their legal practice and they’ll mostly clam up. Why? Because the technology industry seems to have a secret language all of its own that normal business people – and I include lawyers in here – struggle to understand.

What is a chatbot, and where would it be used in a legal firm?

A chatbot is quite simply a computer programme or an Artificial Intelligence which conducts a conversation via “auditory” or “textual” methods online. It may simply be scanning for words it recognises in the question you type into your browser or phone. These pop up on websites asking if they can help you. The simplest versions will help you find something on the website, so you tell it in your own words what you’re looking for and it will present you with a selection to choose from. Or it may simply collect contact information and a summary of your question which it then presents to a lawyer as a prospective client.

Or it may be much more complex, being programmed to ask for more information until it has enough to enable it to answer a more complex question intelligently. Such as “do I need to engage a lawyer in this matter” or “what sort of fine can I expect for having committed this offence”.

So why should lawyers care about chatbots?

Chatbots can help reduce overheads such as time spent answering a prospective client’s questions before they decide whether or not to hire you. Or like in the example above to gather contact information on your website which gets submitted to you and you decide who will make contact with them.

It may be that you use a more complex chatbot programme on your website to inform a client when they need a lawyer to support them in court.

We can show you examples of these and other types of chatbots. Take a look at the blog post here: To keep up to date with what we’re doing, why not sign up to our technology bulletin, Legal Workflow Decoded, here. Alternatively, we would be delighted to talk to you directly, just email us.

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