SINGAPORE: Last year, a man-to-machine exhibited in the United States. Twenty-three top-level lawyer lawyers across the country were extinguished against an artificial intelligence (AI) software developed by LawGeex's legal engineering firm, where they reviewed and approved everyday contracts for a period of two months.
The results were amazing. AI recorded a 94 percent accuracy, compared to the 85 percent of human lawyers. For one of the tasks – to examine five non-disclosure agreements – the five human lawyers took more than 90 minutes.
The longest time that an individual lawyer took the longest was 156 minutes and the shortest 51 minutes. In contrast, AI only took 26 seconds.
While AI is unlikely to replace human lawyers at any time, if the outcome reflects how this groundbreaking technology can play a major role in the bar.
In fact, other forms of technology have already demonstrated their presence in Singapore's legal sector.
Over the last decade, the local company VanillaLaw's law firm has called all parts of the island its workplace.
Advertisement  VanillaLaw's founder and CEO Mark Goh resembled the company's office at Tai Seng to a "taxi center" where his current group of six lawyers clock in the morning, then leads out to meet their customers and work at a distance.
"The technology and tools are there so why not?", Says Goh, referring to the company's move to digitize their business and create their own smart document assembly and management software that has resulted in time and c cheese savings.
As technology continues its relentless March ahead, law firms large and small here are not rescued from its impact – and the disturbance it causes. Those who are reluctant to embrace new technologies risk not only being outperformed by their more technically savvy competitors, but also losing customers who want more money for the money.
READ: Lawyers need to grab big data soon, a comment
Speaking at the opening of the legal year on January 7, Judge Sundaresh Menon repeated that technology has changed how the legal sector works.
It is already changing how and where disputes are resolved – and who will solve them. It has also made available credible and cheaper options for legal clients requiring general information, such as document review or project management, he pointed out.
"Along with this, a culture of" self-purchase "is likely to take care of members of the public," says CJ Menon, adding that such trends will "impact on stock and legal services demand".
It was not the first time that judges talked about the technical wave that swept legal brotherhood, but the urgency of the message has increased.
Colonel Sundaresh Menon spoke at a criminal conference on Tuesday, October 26.
In his address at the opening of the Legal Year 2016, Chief Justice Menon said that Singapore was one of the foremost companies in incorporating technology in the judiciary. He added that effective implementation of newer technological advances means that future courts will be very different from their current iterations.
One year later, the Chief Justice Menon addressed the issue of disruption caused by the technology. He then warned that the legal practice has not experienced the same extent of disturbances as other industries and professions. "The day of calculation can no longer be interrupted, because the dramatic development will force us to reconsider the entire areas".  Last year he took up the subject and pointed out that "it is with great urgency that we must begin to imagine what (technically disturbing) will mean for law practice".
SECOND FOLLOWS FROM ]
Around the world, legal and legal systems include technological changes.
For example, US courts have already used AI to "assess the risk of recidivism in criminal cases," the judge said in his address earlier
Meanwhile, Chinese courts govern an AI-assisted system capable of performing judicial abnormalities by comparing drafts to judgments with previous precedent.
He also noted that the United States and Canada have already seen the emergence of "legal techniques" that, though not legally trained, can provide services for less complex legal tasks using technology.
A new article in Forbes highlighted how AI and machine learning transform the US legal sector, such as conducting research and reviewing contracts.
The article also quoted how AI can help automate divorce proceedings, for example through Wevorce, an online solution that empowers couples for the separation of self-managed modules. 19659002] Couples can define their "optimal results" and the software is powered by AI – guides them through a series of modules before reaching the result.
In the UK, "tech innovation spaces" and legal tech start-ups
Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems prepares his laptop during a Reuters interview at a cafe in Vienna, Austria, May 22, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS / Heinz-Peter Bader)
SINGAPORE PLAYING FISHING ]
Here in Singapore things have gone slower compared to several observers and practitioners.
In response to questions, LawTech.Asia saw that while interest in technology among Singapore law firms is healthy, "this interest has also been relatively slower in translation for adoption or implementation."
The electronic publication – which examines the role of Southeast Asia technology, legislation, and politics – said that some Asian and Pacific countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have seen increasing interest translating into the adoption of new technologies.
Still noted it:
Because the technical priorities of each country's economy and lawyers can be different
Stefanie Lim, Deputy Head of Law Productivity and Innovation at the Law Society of the Law Society, says that technical initiatives are "much important for radar "of law firms here.
The legal technology survey 2018, commissioned by LawSoc, found that 72 percent of the decision makers here indicated that they saw the need to increase the adoption of legal technology.
But Ms Lim noted that in comparison to the global legal sector, Singapore law firms are "still in the early stages of responding to this disruptive force".
A check with several law firms in Singapore showed varying degrees of technical assumption.
Larger law firms said they have started investing in technical initiatives such as automation, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
For example, Denton Rodyk has assembled an AI tool with a technology
WongPartnership created a document automation software in 2017 and has recently adopted document management techniques.
Meanwhile, Rajah & Tann created a legal tech subsidiary, called Rajah & Tann Technologies, which brings together lawyers and IT professionals to work in areas such as forensic medicine and cyber security, and provides technically possible legal solutions.
But at the same time as technical introduction carries a big promise for the larger companies, it is a different story for their smaller counterparts, where some have difficulty investing in new technology, which can be expensive at the beginning.
A worker walks past Raffles Place MRT.
Still there have been some Exceptions: VanillaLaw, for example, launched its own smart document editing and management program, called VanillaLaw Docs, in 2016. Mr Goh described it as "just a simple algorithm" that helps his clients – usually small and medium businesses – draft contracts for their businesses.
Mr Goh believes that the fear of merging with others, as well as established thoughts, holds back smaller law firms from embracing technology.
"The conversation is now (like) putting the cart in front of the horse. You are talking about technical tools, but you are not talking about how these tools will interact with your partner," says Goh.
He noted that the cost of networking has gone so low that there is no excuse for smaller law firms not to cooperate with each other.
The only reason they did not cooperate is not the cost, it is fear and thinking.
Goh, who started his law firm as sole proprietor in 1994 that technology is "intended for the smaller (companies) to cooperate", but smaller companies are "too scared" to exploit their benefits.
"(Instead), the major law firms are those who invest. Once they have created the investment, they control who has access to it and they own the technology that would free the smaller law firms. This is the trend I'm worried about now, he says.
He added that smaller companies may find it difficult to adopt new technologies because it may be more difficult for them to "visualize how it can help them".  The traditional thinking of many lawyers, such as their preference for a precedent approach, and inertia on the corporate side also prevents Singapore's legal sector from taking bold advances in the technical arena, observers and practitioners said.  "There is always a mental obstacle to the (ta) study," says Amolat Singh from Amolat & Partners.
LawTech.Asia said the lawyers are often considered "with a relatively more abusive, based approach" to adopting technology.
This may be due to the inherent nature of working in a precedent-based legal system.
Apart from a general reluctance to do the technical support, other factors include costs and deficiencies in the particular LawSoc Ms Lim.
LawTech.Asia also cited the industry's highly regulated nature as a factor that may cause some practitioners to wonder "the regulatory implications of adopting new and untested technologies".
(Photo: Unsplash / Marten Bjork)
But Genesis Shen, head of Templars Law, pointed out that his company would not adopt new technology for his own sake.
"There is currently a lot of hype in the market for these good looking technologies and untested startups, but we're not going to jump on the wagon," he said.
He considered that the tactics of technical introduction in Singapore's legal sector are "just right". Costs and "sufficient real results" have to be factors that law firms need to look at before adopting new technologies, he emphasized.
Likewise, Denton asked Rodok's Innovation and Knowledge Management Solution Rocio Perez law firms to "avoid" magic thinking "about technology, or implement technology projects as they may be of interest. "
Unless a problem or opportunity – as a connection with technical assumption – is" high enough priority "the organization will rarely endure the" growing pains of change ", said he
READ: New habits, strategies and skills needed as the global economy's sand shift, a come takes
While law firms here should exploit the technology in the best possible way, LawTech.Asia noted that those who are not at risk of being fought by their international competitors, many of whom already have
Since Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable about technology, they will be more sensitive to law firms that use technology to provide better services at lower cost, "LawTech.Asia says. 19659002] Potentially, industry laggards can be disadvantaged and see their bottom lines suffer, it added.
In its 2019, lawyer Menon warned that competition for providing legal services will intensify in the near future, when technological trends begin
Online dispute resolution systems, adopted by e-commerce platforms, help resolve simple and low consumer disputes , he pointed out.
Last December, OCBC Bank also rolled out a free online service for Singapore's citizens and residents 21 years and older to prepare their wills within 10 minutes on their computers, laptops, or mobile devices.
"We shouldn't b I am surprised if the public is increasingly trying to solve at least some legal problems using technology, just as many individuals today seek themselves with the help of medical information via the Internet," Judge says.  With the constantly evolving technology of staying there is help to give Singapore companies that want to embrace it.
There are a number of financial systems and contributions to companies to cover the cost of technological adoption, LawSoc said.
I March 2017, LawSoc and the bad spring Singapore Law Department launched a $ 2.8 million Tech Start for Law support program and the SmartLaw Assist system to help cover small business costs.
An image of the Ministry of Justice. (Photo: Legal Ministry)
Jonathan Yuen, a partner in Rajah & Tann, said that more than grants and funding systems, d. One that is more critical is "a change of thinking about how technology can be utilized and made a natural part of the lawyers' workflow".
He added: "Ultimately, a mindset change must come from within – legal practitioners themselves must be convinced that partnerships with, rather than resist, technology and other types of structural change will be beneficial in the long run."
The Templar Battle Mr Shen believes the market forces will sort themselves out. A new technology will eventually become widely available and adopted, and companies that take the lead in embracing cutting edge technology will have "both high risk and high reward for being the first mover," he said.
CAN TECH RELEASE RUNNING WOES?
The role of technology will play a role in helping to change – or improve – work processes, law firms and observers.
But the jury is still out on the technology can help solve some pressing issues that plague Singapore's legal industry, such as some of the law candidates and long hours of work leading to burnout among young lawyers.
Chief Justice Menon said in his speech earlier this month that while competition will intensify, the technology will "significantly reduce the hours required for certain types of legal work".
"The emergence is that law firms can expect to feel the pressure to work at a lower level and they should begin to reconsider their traditional billing and cost structures as technology eliminates certain forms of legal work and in many other ways changes the inclusion of case law. "
Lawyers and law firm interviewed agreed that new technology could help improve productivity in the sector.
READ: Core to growth, but productivity has lost its brilliance, a comment
LawSocs Ms Lim noted that technologies like AI can help reduce lawyers' workload for routine tasks "so that they can be released to deliver higher levels and customized legal services to their clients. "
VDH Law Corporation, Managing Director Wilbur Lim predicted that new technology would take over the work traditionally performed by junior associates at a law firm.
"But lawyers should not see such technology as an obstacle. Rather, the above technologies can enable junior associates to take on more material legal work at the beginning, which will greatly contribute to their growth as a professional", he said.
Meanwhile, Allen & Gledhill said that the adoption of technology will "inevitably reduce the number of traditional legal roles," but may give rise to new roles – and more varied opportunities – for lawyers.
A junior lawyer with two years of work experience, who refused to be named, considered that the technology would go something to change their workflow. But she was worried that "it might stop replacing the need to hire a junior lawyer completely".
In fact, some lawyers noted the risk of the technology exacerbating the supply pipe.
"When processes are streamlined, it would be less necessary for the large companies to hire several junior lawyers to go through the documents manually. The law collection is more likely to be solved naturally by the market forces," said Shen from Templars Law.
While technology can taking over some of the information that lawyers do now was the concept of law firm manned only by robots would probably remain a fantasy.
As technology advances, law firms will become "very flattering." But "high quality legal minds will continue to lead top dollars, "said TSMP Law Corporation joint management partner Stefanie Yuen Thio. She pointed out:
We are developing very close customer relationships and dealing with difficult cases, which are skills that would be difficult for the technology to replace.
Mr Goh from VanillaLaw Drew Parallel with autonomous vehicles: When such vehicles came out on the market, it was o that it would completely replace drivers, but the reality is that there is still a need for human assessment.
Likewise, the "explicit knowledge" of the law – which can be expressed in words and numbers – can be an area that can be automated or replaced by technology. But the "silent knowledge" – which comes from personal experience – will still require a human, he said.
LawSocs Ms Lim noted that it is a "valid concern" that machines can take over low tasks performed by lawyers. However, the practice of professional judgment still requires people, she said.
"The ability of the machines to take over these domains is still uncertain and in any case far from," she added.  Instead of a "machine-to-human" perspective, lawyers should look at a "lawyer plus machine" proposition, (as) how machines can increase lawyers to deliver better legal services to their customers.