The field of Artificial Intelligence is one that cuts across different areas of life, with the law being no exception. Jurisprudence itself is defined to mean the “study of law” or “legal theory”. The Field of jurisprudence refers to the study of law, the analysis of the law, and the determination of the sources of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, known as jurists, make it a point of their profession to determine why the law is what it is and what exactly makes up the laws of society.
Different theories of law including Natural Law, Sociological School of Law, the Pure Theory of Law amongst others, have been stated to be different ways by which society determines the rules guiding its members.
How artificial intelligence fits into the field of jurisprudence can be viewed in different ways. First, the question may arise as to how Artificial Intelligence can enhance the field of jurisprudence, that is, the study of the theories of law. Secondly, it may also be necessary to determine how Artificial Intelligence can fit into the various aspects of legal study and practice.
This article attempts at addressing both issues simultaneously, giving reasonable insights into how Artificial Intelligence can affect legal jurisprudence in today’s day and age. Thus, three major areas of legal jurisprudence will be explored and addressed in view of how they are affected by Artificial Intelligence.
Legal reasoning refers to the methods of applying existing laws to facts in order to answer legal problems. Legal problems simply refer to real-life issues that require the application of the law in solving them. They could arise during litigation cases, academic endeavors, or corporate transactions. Resolving them with legal reasoning refers to the process of applying existing laws to the relevant facts in order to solve them. Navigating these processes is where the input of Artificial Intelligence sometimes becomes relevant.
In litigation, lawyers need to analyze existing facts of the case, as well as different legal theories that apply to the facts and support the position of a party. In this analysis, the doctrine of stare decisis (judicial precedents) is often utilized. In most jurisdictions, judicial precedents are used by showing the court previous cases where court decisions have aligned with a party’s position, in order to convince the judge of the current case to do the same. Certain AI functions come into play when lawyers try to sieve through decades of judicial precedents in finding the appropriate cases that support their current case. Through many automated processes, lawyers can find relevant cases faster by going through indexes of cases. The methods of indexing can be divided by subject, the court that handled the case, the year the case was decided, or the judge who presided over such cases. Lawyers are further aided by these programs via proffering related suggestions as they conduct their search. This aids the process of legal reasoning in Litigation, as lawyers find the most appropriate cases to support their clients’ case, achieving this within a reasonable time.
In corporate transactions, AI has enhanced the work of lawyers to a very laudable extent. Programs equipped with functions like AI Legal Contract Review have facilitated the completion of legal transactions like never before. Legal reasoning in corporate transactions includes complying with the relevant regulations in drafting contracts and deeds, as well as ensuring that no parts of the contracts or agreements are detrimental to the needs of your client. The benefits of AI in these areas cannot be overstated.
While there are different kinds of contracts and transactions in law, many templates exist on different legal writing software applications, which give lawyers proper head starts to be modified. In addition, drafting contracts have been made easier through document automation software programs that suggest the appropriate words while writing, and correct spelling and grammatical errors. AI functions that review documents after completion are also beneficial to lawyers in ensuring that the terms of contracts are fair to their clients.
Academically, legal teachers and professors have one major duty, which is to teach the law. The recipients of these teachings are not limited to law students alone, they include legal practitioners and even people outside the scope of the profession. The legal reasoning implemented by academics includes expatiating legal principles through interpreting the provisions contained in legal statutes and cases. These interpretations also encompass certain legal terminologies that may originally pose ambiguities. AI functions that aid such processes include automated online dictionaries, document review software, and document automation software.
Legal research may be one of the areas of the law where AI has had the most impact. This is because everyone with any relevance to the legal profession requires research to properly execute given tasks. In terms of sourcing for legal materials, AI functions that come in handy include the suggestion of possibly relevant statutes and cases during a search. In addition to this, the suggestion of similar legal resources to the ones utilized during your research. These suggestions mostly appear in forms that say “since you used…” or “since you searched”, and “you may also like….” to the researcher’s attention.
All the AI functions relevant to legal research and legal reasoning are very much present in legal practice because in practicing the law, lawyers apply a great deal of legal reasoning and legal research.
Specifically, the functions that apply to legal practice include search suggestions and predictions, (as used by lawyers and paralegals during research), error correction and word suggestions during document drafting, and document review after preparation. Document review specifically does a great deal in perfecting legal documents. The software platforms responsible for the function perform many functions, including correcting grammatical errors, commenting on the document’s level of engagement, readability, and the level of plagiarism. These platforms also suggest appropriate ways to fix these defects, saving lawyers a considerable amount of time, while helping them achieve excellent results.
Jurisprudence generally encompasses the entire legal profession. It refers to the essence of the law. Therefore, addressing the contributions of Artificial Intelligence to the field of jurisprudence will encompass its contribution to different areas that make up the law, as this article has done. Many Artificial Intelligence functions, whether or not they were made specifically for the law, have been extremely beneficial to the profession. However, the challenge going forward will be producing AI models specific to legal reasoning and research, while remaining faithful to the characteristics of the law.