What Is an AI Legal Discovery Process?

 In Practice Pointers

What Is an AI Legal Discovery Process?

What is the longest part of the litigation process? Ask any lawyer, and they will tell you that it’s definitely discovery.

It’s no surprise, either. Lawyers often have to sift through hundreds of relevant documents, spend days on research, and create legal documents on top of it all. However, that was all before artificial intelligence entered the picture.

From technology-assisted review to early case assessment, AI has and continues to change how lawyers work. Let’s take a look at how AI’s transformative power affects the discovery process in today’s law firms.

What Are the Biggest Challenges in Manual Discovery?

Manual discovery often involves combing through vast amounts of data to find information relevant to a case. While essential, this process typically comes with significant challenges that can affect the efficiency, accuracy, and overall cost of legal proceedings.

More specifically, the manual discovery phase is:

  • Too Time-Consuming: Legal professionals must sift through thousands, sometimes millions, of documents, emails, and other data forms to collect relevant information. This process can take weeks or months, which can delay case timelines and consume valuable resources.
  • Excessively Costly: Given its labor-intensive nature, manual discovery can be incredibly expensive. The more time legal teams spend on discovery, the higher the billable hours, which increases clients’ legal fees.
  • Prone to Human Error: Even the most diligent legal professionals are susceptible to fatigue and oversight. Errors can occur while reviewing countless documents, including overlooking crucial information or misinterpreting data.
  • Lacking Standardization: Manual discovery processes can vary significantly from one firm to another. Variations can lead to inconsistencies in how data is collected, reviewed, and presented.
  • Physically and Mentally Taxing: The sheer volume of work involved in manual discovery can lead to burnout among legal teams. The stress of meeting tight deadlines and the monotonous nature of the work can have a huge impact on their well-being and, in turn, job performance.

a lawyer having a coffee and writing down notes

How Can AI and Machine Learning Improve Legal Discovery?

The main goal of AI-powered legal discovery is to take over the most tedious tasks and reduce (if not eliminate) the challenges mentioned above. But what does this mean exactly?

Here are the best ways law firms can apply artificial intelligence (AI) in legal discovery work:

Automated Document Review

Automated Document Review uses the power of AI algorithms to transform how lawyers and paralegals review relevant documents. Automation leads to faster analysis of large datasets, pinpointing patterns, keywords, and important information at speeds that far exceed human capabilities.

The precision of AI speeds up the document review process tenfold. Plus, it significantly decreases the chances of overlooking important documents due to human error.

Discovery Document Generation

Creating discovery documents – like discovery requests and, even more so, discovery responses – can take hours when done manually, which can negatively affect a legal team’s productivity. Legal AI tools help minimize this hurdle by using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to draft documents in seconds instead of hours.

Document generation tools like automatically generate discovery documents based on standard templates. Afterward, you can easily customize these documents based on the specifics of the case and put the finishing touches on Word. It’s easy, intuitive, and takes up much less time than manual document creation.

Faster Legal Research

AI tools can upgrade legal research by quickly parsing through legal databases, statutes, case laws, and precedents to find relevant information.

Unlike tedious manual research methods, AI systems can instantly provide lawyers with the information they need. This kind of tool helps make sure they don’t miss any important information and that their case strategy is backed by comprehensive legal research.

Regulatory Compliance

Keeping up with the constant change of regulations and compliance requirements is a daunting task for most legal professionals. AI and ML models can monitor regulatory updates in real-time and ensure that law firms remain compliant with current laws and regulations.

This is particularly beneficial for firms dealing with cross-border cases or operating in multiple jurisdictions, where regulatory compliance is complex and always evolving.

What Does an AI-Powered Discovery Process Mean for Law Firms?

Integrating AI into the legal profession clears the way for many advantages. From better productivity to maximizing your bottom line, here are some of the ways AI can take the discovery phase to the next level:

Better Efficiency and Time Management

AI and machine learning algorithms automate the most time-consuming parts of discovery, such as sifting through massive volumes of documents, identifying relevant data, and drafting discovery documents.

Less time spent on these tedious tasks allows lawyers to focus on more strategic aspects of their cases, such as formulating arguments and engaging with clients. In other words, AI gives attorneys more time to work on higher-value tasks that are more important for the outcome of the case.

Additionally, efficient legal workflows go hand in hand with improved work-life balance for legal teams. This is an important aspect that many gloss over, but when people have a better relationship with work, they tend to be more productive, consistent, and satisfied with their jobs.

Improved Consistency and Accuracy Across Legal Documents

AI technologies can maintain a high level of consistency and accuracy across all legal documents generated during the discovery process.

Unlike humans, who may accidentally introduce errors or inconsistencies into their work, AI systems follow programmed rules to ensure that every document adheres to the same standards and formats.

Uniformity and accuracy are a must in legal proceedings. The quality and reliability of documentation can significantly impact case outcomes, and having problematic documents can waste even more time and money for both clients and legal teams.

a lawyer having a meeting with a client

Law Firm Profitability

What is the point of introducing AI tech to the legal profession? We already know that the direct benefits are better efficiency, consistency, and accuracy. However, it all boils down to increasing law firm profitability.

Automating repetitive and mundane tasks reduces the billable hours typically required. Cost savings for clients means better competitiveness for the law firm, which can lead to more referrals.

More importantly, efficient operations allow firms to handle a heavier caseload without the need to expand the team. This can lead to better profit margins, career development for current employees, and higher chances of business expansion in the future.

Tech-Informed Law Firms

With more and more law firms shifting to electronic discovery, staying up-to-date with legal software has become a necessity in recent years.

Today’s law firms may have a hard time keeping up with the competition if they don’t adapt to legal trends, and we can only expect these technologies to evolve even further down the line.

Best AI-Driven Discovery Tools of 2024

Now that we’ve established the advantages of AI and machine learning in the discovery process, it’s time to talk about the best tools that let you access these benefits. Here are some of the top AI-powered technologies that can help make discovery easier, faster, and more valuable:


Briefpoint is a powerful tool that uses generative AI to draft discovery response and request documents. Manually creating these documents can take hours if not days, which is a huge bottleneck that can increase litigation costs. With Briefpoint, however, you can generate content within minutes.

The documents Briefpoint can draft include but are not limited to:

Using this discovery tool is simple. You just have to upload your discovery request, add objections or responses, and finish up on Microsoft Word. Briefpoint takes care of the nitty gritty in between with data-driven accuracy and precision.

2. Logikcull

Logikcull simplifies the discovery process with its intuitive, cloud-based platform that automates data processing, document review, and case preparation.

Its artificial intelligence system speeds up the discovery process by automatically categorizing and reviewing electronically stored information. As a result, law firms can spend less time on manual document review and save money on data storage.

3. Luminance

Luminance uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to provide a detailed analysis of legal documents at speeds no human could match.

It is particularly effective in due diligence and contract analysis and can identify anomalies and patterns that might indicate risk or require further investigation. Luminance’s AI understands language and document structure in a way that mimics human cognitive processes but with the ability to process information on a much larger scale.

three lawyers having a meeting

Maximize Your Bottom Line With an Automated Discovery Process

Automating legal discovery starts a domino effect in your law firm. First, you upgrade your efficiency, which leads to better productivity and time management. In turn, you’ll have more positive case outcomes and get more referrals from satisfied clients. At the end of the chain is a more competitive law firm and a superior bottom line.

Get rid of the burden of creating discovery documents by hand. Start streamlining your discovery process with Briefpoint today.

Slash Hours From the Discovery Phase With Briefpoint

Discovery responses cost firms $23,240, per year, per attorney. $23,240 estimate assumes an associate attorney salary of $150,000 (including benefits – or $83 an hour), 20 cases per year/per associate, 4 discovery sets per case, 30 questions per set, 3.5 hours spent responding to each set, and 1800 hours of billable hours per year.

Under these assumptions, you save $20,477 using Briefpoint, per year, per attorney.

Test Briefpoint yourself by scheduling a demo here.

FAQs About the AI Legal Discovery Process

Is AI going to replace lawyers?

No, AI or e-discovery is intended to augment the capabilities of lawyers, not replace them. It handles the tedious aspects of legal work, allowing lawyers to focus on complex decision-making and continuous active learning.

How does AI ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information?

AI systems designed for legal work are built with stringent security measures and comply with privacy laws to protect sensitive information. Still, it’s important to read the terms and conditions to ensure the tools you are using are safe and secure.

Can small law firms afford AI-based discovery tools?

Yes, many AI tools are scalable and available as services, making them accessible to firms of all sizes. You can start with the basic packages, but you may need to expand to premium features or new tools as your law firm expands.

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