Seyfarth Shaw is a global law firm with over 900 lawyers and 14 offices. Because of its case workload, the company is looking to software robots for help. Seyfarth announced a licensing deal with Blue Prism, an artificial intelligence company that specializes in automating computer tasks on Tuesday. The companies claim this is the first use of such technology inside a major law firm.
But Seyfarth’s chairman emeritus Stephen is making it clear that the use of software robots is to help make the firm more efficient, not eliminate human jobs. “As a growing firm that added more than 70 lawyers last year, the goal of RPA is not to replace people. We are busier than ever, and RPA allows us to automate and improve processes in both our core operations and client service delivery,” commented Poor.
The company has already seen significant time savings from the Blue Prism software. One process within Seyfarth’s client onboarding system was reduced from 35 minutes to 4 using software automation. The robot software will also help the firm’s lawyers extract the client data they need and analyze contracts and contract flows. “We believe it will help our people operate more efficiently and effectively in doing the things that attorneys want to do, and it will take a lot of the process and moving of data off their plate,” Poor said. “It’s not like robot lawyers sitting at their desks.” This use of artificial intelligence confirms what many thought leaders have been saying about the future of the industry: it’s not about replacing humans, it’s about improving human job performance.