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Democratic Revolution: Levelling the Access to Justice Field Using AI

Law as stated: 16 February 2024 What is this? This episode was published and is accurate as at this date.
Entrepreneur and CEO of Lawpath, Dominic Woolrych, joins David to talk about the democratising power of AI on access to justice. Touching on access to justice as a small business issue, using AI to scale legal services, and finding the right business model.
Practice Management and Business Skills Practice Management and Business Skills
Professional Skills Professional Skills
Dominic Woolrych
1 hour = 1 CPD point
How does it work?
What area(s) of law does this episode consider?The democratising power of AI in law
Why is this topic relevant?We’ve spoken on the podcast quite a bit this season about the potential of AI to transform the law and legal services. We’ve looked at the regulation of AI with Raymond Sun, some practical use cases for lawyers with Fiona McLay, as well as the impact of the technology on the teaching of law with Jason Harkess.

Today we’re looking at AI in legal services from a broader perspective: the power of AI to democratise law. That is both the provision of legal services, and access to information.

What are the main points?
  • AI with appropriate guardrails is a force multiplier for both lawyers and clients, and may assist covering the estimated 85% of unmet legal need.
  • Lawpath’s model aims to provide affordable legal services using software to enable small businesses to handle simple legal tasks themselves, analogously to MYOB or Xero in the accounting space.
  • Lawpath AI tools offer features like translation, simplification, and definition of legal terms, aimed at enabling self-service for small businesses. But the platform also enables users to interact with in-house lawyers where the question is risky or complex.
  • AI is used to draft and review documents, providing suggestions and summarising key document terms for users, helping them make informed decisions.
  • The development of the company’s AI offering was gradual, with initial internal testing with legal practitioners, guided by feedback before full public deployment.
  • The acceptance of AI tools among users and legal professionals has seen fantastic growth once the efficiencies and benefits were realised.
  • AI’s application is not just limited to legal work but extends to business operations like quoting and creating proposals.
What are the practical takeaways?
  • The shift from time-based billing to value-based billing in legal practices encourages the use of efficient tools and aligns with democratising legal services.
  • Addressing the significant percentage of unmet legal service demand could involve lawyers serving more clients affordably using AI and software.
  • Leveraging AI in legal practice can lead to a more extensive and diverse client base, ultimately benefiting the legal industry.