Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2018

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 41 of 55

43 WWW.ILTANET.ORG AI Brings Technological Maturity to Email FEATURES PETER DARLING Peter has a J.D. from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, and extensive marketing, business development and sales experience in the legal market. He has been part of the founding team of two startups, both of which were successfully taken public, and is a well-known legal marketing speaker, writer and consultant. Learn more about intelligent email at Technology has delivered impressive changes in the past thirty years ago: the telephone has evolved so much it is almost unrecognizable, the voice-activated device Alexa is now part of 8 million homes, we have autonomous vehicles and even regular cars are essentially rolling data centers. But email? Not so much. Email systems used by aorneys today are in many ways exactly what they were in 1995. Or even 1985. Email is stuck in technological childhood: stored in an essentially flat file structure with lile or no search, organizing capability or intelligence. Email clients are generic and offer no special features or capabilities to aorneys. The advent of document management systems (DMS) has not been much help. In theory, aorneys file emails into the DMS as a routine part of their day-to- day work. In fact, compliance is oen spoy, leading to real exposure for the firm if there is a discovery issue, a subpoena or a file that needs to be moved. Missing or misfiled emails are every chief information officer's and risk manager's nightmare. The law of unintended consequences applies here with a vengeance. The boom line is that email needs to grow up - and AI is making it happen. AI is coming to email, especially mobile. Properly applied, email is an ideal environment for artificial intelligence. The greatest need aorneys have with email is geing this massive trove of unstructured information usefully organized, and technological maturity is delivering that. The benefits are substantial, and fall into three main buckets: productivity, time capture and filing and compliance. Productivity On average aorneys are billing 10% less time than 10 years ago, largely because they are drowning in documents, particularly email. AI can help. By using AI, inboxes can be transformed into prioritized, focused tools that help lawyers apply their email time where it will have the most impact. Important emails can be seen first, those requiring action identified and flagged, outbound emails checked to ensure recipients are appropriate. A burgeoning array of sorting options makes organizing and filing emails vastly easier and more efficient. Saved time means saved money, and AI is now helping aorneys get things done. Time capture A lot of otherwise billable work leaks out of lawyers who either do not or cannot bill for everything they do. That is changing. Particularly on mobile devices, AI can be used to automatically record client-related work and create a complete time statement, including a narrative. This is a game-changer. AI is ideally suited to watch over email activity, both tracking and classifying it. Fieen minutes a day of additional billable time is a major revenue boost and can now be done effortlessly. Filing and compliance AI can be used to automate the process of filing emails, either into a Windows folder structure or a DMS. As a technology, AI is especially good at transforming unstructured text into structured classifications. With email, the client, maer and subject of emails can be identified, emails with the same characteristics can be batched, and lawyers can accurately file emails en masse with the click of a mouse. Compliance, security and efficiency all get a big boost. Best of all, all this can take place within a firm's existing security perimeter. Much of the email traffic an aorney generates (reviewing aachments, composing documents, etc.) takes place on mobile devices. Historically, AI on mobile was a security challenge because the actual processing had to take place in the cloud, and moving confidential client information back and forth to the cloud is a security nightmare. With the advent of edge computing, processing can now take place on the device itself, thus eliminating security issues. If your phone is secure, so is your AI. Words are every aorney's stock in trade, and the vast majority of words a law firm deals with enter or exit through the email system. Intelligent, secure email brings order to this chaos and becomes a major force multiplier. It is a revenue source, a productivity engine, a source of intelligent digital assistance that identifies and manages what is important and effectively organizes everything along the way. And so the unruly child has become a hardworking, endlessly energetic adolescent. I can hardly wait to see what adulthood brings. P2P

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