While many Artificial Intelligence technologies are out of reach because they are too expensive or take time to implement, there are several affordable and free tools that legal practitioners can use to improve their litigation practice today. Below are some resources that can start saving you time and money.
1. Scheduling. A litigator’s calendar is rarely empty, and coordinating meetings that work for all parties can be time-consuming.
Next time you need to schedule a meeting, use x.ai. Starting at $8 a month, AI scheduling assistants Amy and Andrew will schedule your meetings, depositions, and respond to clients and contacts saving you valuable time. The service works across multiple calendars including Google, Outlook.com, and Office 365 calendars and Slack for unlimited meetings. Amy and Andrew will not share your availability and will only schedule meetings that you agree to. If you are still unsure about the quality of service that x.ai can provide, sign up for a 30-day trial.
If you are uncomfortable giving AI access to your calendars, try using Doodle. Doodle is a free online scheduling tool that allows you to coordinate the best possible time for that conference call or strategy meeting by conducting a poll. To begin scheduling, all you have to do is navigate to the Doodle website, input the various options for meeting days and times, select response options, and then send the poll to other stakeholders. Once the poll is closed, you can schedule your meeting. You can delete the poll and contacts used at any time. Upgrades are available starting at $39 a year.
2. Issue Monitoring. The time you spend trying to track down the latest news on a litigation issue is often more than the time you take to read or implement your findings.
Do you need the latest news on an issue? Your client? Your firm? Google Alerts will automatically keep you abreast with updates of the latest news and information emailed to your designated inbox saving you valuable time you would have wasted doing internet searches. You can control how often you get notifications, the types of sites you will see, the region from which the alert is from, and the quality of the results. Other uses for Google Alerts include keeping up to date with litigation trends, reputation/crisis management, and changing laws. Set it up in under 5 minutes to start getting alerts today.
For monitoring social media feeds, consider using a more comprehensive tool, such as mention, which starts at $29 a month.
3. Marketing. The easiest way to start marketing your litigation practice is to have a website.
If you are at a firm without a website, you should really consider investing in one to improve the marketing of your litigation firm. No budget for a website? No problem. Resources and time are not an issue with Firedrop. Firedrop is an AI web designer that will help personalize a landing page for you for free. Sacha, your AI web designer, takes into account your profession, personality, and preferences to create a professional looking landing page that you can launch in under ten minutes. You can customize your domain name for an annual fee.
4. Note taking. Big firms have secretaries and a plethora of associates to take their notes during meetings, but not every budget can accommodate these expenses. Most of us take our own notes, but at a trade-off: engage in the conversation and have poor notes, or have stellar notes without participation.
If you find yourself in this predicament, whether in a meeting or interview, consider using Otter. Otter is a free app that uses AI to transcribe speech in real time. Otter’s transcripts identify speakers, suggest keywords, and offers text search. The app, which can be used on Android and iOS devices, has been featured by ZDNET, CNET, and Business Wire. According to CNET, Otter is confidential and encrypted and the company is not building a targeted ad-based business. Otter was just recently launched, so do not expect perfection when using this app.
5. Research. For even the most experienced litigators, searching for and organizing your research is a time-consuming task, especially when you are researching multiple issues.
Zotero, a free user-friendly tool, promises to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research. With Zotero’s downloadable software you can organize and tag your research according to your preferences while instantly creating references (including bluebook citations!) and bibliographies for any text editor. Zotero will also automatically synchronize your data across your devices or you can access your research from any browser (if enabled). If you do enable web synchronization, storage is limited to 300 MB, but you can upgrade storage starting at $20 a year. Zotero is available for MAC, Windows, and Linux.
Although most of the advertised AI legaltech is out of reach for many firms, there are many affordable AI tools exist to make your life easier. The five above are only a sample of the hundreds of options out there. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.
About Trial by Tech
Trial by Tech is a blog brought to you by Baylor Law’s Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management—the first program in the nation designed exclusively for lawyers who aspire to direct effective litigation strategy, control electronic discovery, leverage technology, manage a team, and lead their company’s or firm’s efforts to manage a high-volume, high-stakes docket.
Here, you will find focused discussions on the #innovation of litigation and the intersection of #legaltech and #litigation. If you like what you are reading, many of the posts are authored by experts from the LL.M. program. To learn more, click here.
Attorneypreneur, writer, technologist. Nerdy for legaltech, politics, crypto, cybersecurity, innovation. Presently in-house at Williams & Brown. Former adviser at Baylor Law, and founder of two technology and legal consulting companies. @JoshuaWeaverEsq