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How Chatbots And Legal AI Are Revolutionizing the Legal Practice

Written by Erika Winston

5 min read

In this age of technology, your software choices can make a huge difference in the success of your solo law firm. The wrong options can leave you under-resourced and overly frustrated, which translates into lost productivity and diminished profits for your law practice. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the landscape of the business community, and savvy lawyers have found that these tech advancements can create a viable customer service channel for their law firms. If you aren’t familiar with chatbots, they are computer programs designed to deliver an interactive customer experience without actual human interaction. Law firms often use chatbots on their websites to answer visitors’ questions and advance their communications with the firm.

Powered by AI, chatbots simulate a human conversation – and done correctly – potential clients and website visitors have no clue that they are speaking with a chatbot instead of a human being. These chat interfaces use content, keywords, and context to answer questions and meet requests.  

The main goal of a chatbot is to keep potential clients on the website as long as possible and ultimately get them to leave their contact information. Think about it from a marketing perspective. If a person visits your site and leaves without providing any contact information, your firm loses an opportunity to follow up. The potential client is gone and there is nothing you can do about it.

A chatbot solicits conversation with the user. It gets them chatting until they leave their contact information. Then, when they leave, you have the data you need to follow up with their website visit. You have their contact information and you may even be able to gather information about the details of their case. Your follow up is detailed and tailored to their specific needs, increasing the likelihood of securing a new client.

The following are three ways that legal AI chatbots are revolutionizing the practice of law:

1. Chatbots are easy to use and always accessible

A chatbot doesn’t require constant human supervision in order to do its job. It works 24/7, offering the opportunity for client interactions regardless of the time of day or night. They don’t leave work at 5 pm or take vacations in the summer like human staff members. With chatbots, potential clients are able to solicit help from your firm wherever and whenever they need it.

Consumers can be impatient and want answers to their questions immediately. They don’t like to wait, and they are quick to visit another law firm’s website if they aren’t finding what they need on yours. So, it looks good when your site has a chatbot constantly available to answer questions. Whether they are simply looking for directions to your office, reviews about your attorneys, or to schedule a free consultation, the chatbot offers an easy and available solution without burdening your staff members.

Lawyers can also train chatbots just as they would a live staff member. They can be programmed to answer various common questions. With AI capabilities, chatbots can even learn from the collected answers, automatically adding to the number of questions their database is able to answer.

2. Chatbots collect valuable data

The chatbot design usually includes a tool for gathering, analyzing, and optimizing data. Each conversation is recorded, with a transcript made available for the law firm. Attorneys can review this information to identify the user’s engagement process. The data can then be used to analyze users’ behavior and identify potential leads.

Law firms can learn how often their chatbots are being utilized. They can also identify the most common search queries and what motivates potential client’s continual involvement. Chatbots offer valuable information to the firm, so lawyers can gain a new perspective and enhance their marketing practices

3. Chatbots can be valuable for lead generation

Legal chatbots can also be used to educate a client, increased lead generation. Used correctly, they help attorneys demonstrate their expertise with valuable and informative content that clients find useful.

Chatbots can be programmed with various scripts, including a customer service option or a lead generation options. The lead generation script engages with the website user with the main goal of getting them to leave their contact info.  

People are busy and some would rather engage online than to call your office or even fill out a contact form. They like the timely response they get from having their questions and concerns addressed instantly. So, the availability of a chatbot may result in a potential client providing their contact details and even describing their legal issue.


Tips for setting up your law firm chatbot

If your firm is new to the chatbot phenomenon, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your practice gets the most out of this innovative technology.

  • Use a chatbot system tailored to the legal industry. Not every option will understand legal technologies or topics of communication. By using a chatbot specific to the legal industry, you can better ensure that potential clients are getting interactions that adequately meet their needs.
  • Make it easy-to-find, but non-intrusive. Have you ever visited a website where the chatbot constantly pops up in the middle of the screen, keeping you from accessing any of the site’s other functions? It’s irritating and may even be enough to drive potential clients away. Instead, make your chatbot non-intrusive, so it’s easy to find and access, but not interrupting the user’s experience.
  • Keep your chatbot language short, simple and conversational. Avoid a lot of complicated legal language that clients may not understand. Keep your answers easy to read and easy to understand.

AI-powered legal chatbots provide a benefit for the client as well as your law firm. They improve customer service engagement for the client while providing attorneys with a valuable tool for lead generation and data collection.  

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