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Azure OpenAI Service: Transforming legal practices with generative AI solutions

Lawyer in his office standing at his desk working on a Surface Laptop Go 3 (Laptop Go 2) showing Word and PowerPoint plugged into an external monitor
The integration of Microsoft Azure AI Services is assisting legal professionals in managing data, conducting reviews, and offering services. The impact of AI technologies on the legal industry will grow, driving greater efficiencies and yielding better outcomes for all stakeholders.

In today’s fast-paced legal environment, the ability to efficiently manage and analyze vast amounts of data is crucial. And the field of law is no exception. In fact, a 2023 research paper claimed that of all the industries affected by new AI, the legal field was most exposed.1 AI is increasingly being leveraged to meet this need, enhancing the capabilities of legal professionals, and improving outcomes for clients. A recent Thomson Reuters survey reported that 82% of law firm lawyers said they believe that ChatGPT and generative AI could be readily applied to legal work.2 Another research report, by economists at Goldman Sachs, estimated that 44% of legal work could be automated.3

Over the past several years, the data landscape has exploded, presenting legal teams with the challenge of managing not only increasing volumes of data but also a variety of new data types. Traditional sources like emails and documents are now accompanied by more complex sources such as collaboration platforms, chat data, text messages, and video recordings. Given the potential relevance of all this information in legal matters, modern legal teams must be prepared to identify, collect, and analyze vast amounts of data—often under tight deadlines. A number of law firms and legal service providers are using AI to streamline processes, reduce risks, and increase efficiency. Notably, companies like Icertis, Relativity, and Clifford Chance are pioneering the integration of AI into their workflows, demonstrating the transformative power of Azure AI Services in the legal field.

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Azure OpenAI Service

Support better legal services

Key benefits and applications at work

The following AI applications can help teams throughout the legal field manage contracts more efficiently, reduce risk, ensure compliance, and drive better legal business:

  • Enhanced document review: Uses natural language processing to analyze documents, providing relevant insights for legal cases.
  • Accelerated e-discovery: Quickly identifies, collects, and analyzes large volumes of data from various sources.
  • Improved efficiency: Reduces the time and resources needed for document review. 
  • Identification of key information: Uncovers critical terms and conditions buried within documents.
  • Risk management: Assist legal users to consider problematic terms and ensure compliance.
  • Cognitive translation: Implements AI-driven translation to improve communication across languages.
  • Accessible contracts: Natural language processing capabilities help users navigate and understand complex legal language.
  • Enhanced decision-making: Provides insights for more informed strategic decisions.

Below we look at three companies who have adopted Azure OpenAI Service to support their legal practices, illustrating the profound impact and potential of these technologies in reshaping the industry.

  • Revolutionizing contract life cycle management with generative AI and Azure
    Contracts can be crucial in business, but managing them often remains disjointed across departments, and may lead to inefficiencies and risks. Icertis, used by 30% of Fortune 100 companies, has partnered with Microsoft to enhance contract management using AI. Their platform, Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI), now incorporates generative AI through ICI Copilots, which streamlines contract reviews and uncovers hidden terms, thereby reducing risks and increasing efficiency. Icertis natively interoperates with Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure AI to empower users to create, view, manage, and collaborate on contracts in the tools and applications they use every day. This collaboration helps customers achieve considerable time savings and better risk management. The partnership emphasizes continuous innovation and customer value, enhancing contract management capabilities and solidifying both companies’ market positions.
  • Relativity and Microsoft partner to deliver generative AI to litigators
    In the realm of e-discovery, efficiently organizing and analyzing vast amounts of unstructured data is critical. Relativity, partnering with Microsoft, provides AI-powered solutions to address this challenge. Relativity leverages Microsoft Azure and GPT-4 to enhance document review processes. They developed Relativity aiR for Review on top of Azure OpenAI Service to deliver a streamlined experience directly in RelativityOne. Relativity aiR for Review, uses natural language processing to analyze documents and assists with legal reviews and investigations. This partnership promotes security, interoperability, and global reach—enabling legal teams to manage growing data volumes and diverse data types effectively.

    The collaboration focuses on responsible AI, aiming to deliver innovative, secure, and efficient tools for legal professionals. Relativity and Microsoft’s joint efforts aim to continue advancing AI capabilities in e-discovery and offer tools to assist with complex data challenges.
  • Clifford Chance trailblazes Microsoft responsible AI to improve services for its legal clients
    Clifford Chance, a leading British multinational law firm, leveraged advanced technologies like Azure, Azure OpenAI Service, and Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 to enhance their legal services. Early implementations, such as cognitive translation, have quickly become some of their fastest-growing products, significantly improving their ability to handle sensitive, text-based information efficiently. Additionally, the firm benefits from intelligent recap and enhanced data security features through Microsoft Teams Premium, resulting in substantial cost savings and improved protection of client data. By integrating AI-powered solutions, Clifford Chance aims to free up their professionals’ time for strategic tasks and provide innovative, efficient services to their clients. The firm is excited about the potential of large language models (LLMs) and other AI tools to further transform their operations, making them more responsive and effective in a highly competitive and time-pressured environment.

Azure OpenAI Service: Impact

The integration of Azure AI Services is assisting legal professionals in managing data, conducting reviews, and offering services. Companies like Icertis, Relativity, and Clifford Chance are leveraging AI to boost operational efficiency and foster a more innovative and responsive legal system. As AI technologies continue to advance, their impact on the legal industry will grow, driving greater efficiencies and yielding better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Our commitment to responsible AI

Organizations across industries are leveraging Azure OpenAI Service and copilot services and capabilities to drive growth, increase productivity, and create value-added experiences. From advancing medical breakthroughs to streamlining manufacturing operations, our customers trust that their data is protected by robust privacy protections and data governance practices. As our customers continue to expand their use of our AI solutions, they can be confident that their valuable data is safeguarded by industry-leading data governance and privacy practices in the most trusted cloud on the market today.  

At Microsoft, we have a long-standing practice of protecting our customers’ information. Our approach to responsible AI is built on a foundation of privacy, and we remain dedicated to upholding core values of privacy, security, and safety in all our generative AI products and solutions.

Get started with Azure OpenAI Service 

1 How will Language Modelers like ChatGPT Affect Occupations and Industries? Ed Felten, Manav Raj, and Robert Seamans, March 18, 2023.

2 Thomson Reuters, ChatGPT & Generative AI in Law Firms: New Report Shows Opportunities Abound, April 19, 2023.

3 Goldman Sachs, Global Economics Analyst: The Potentially Large Effects of Artificial Intelligence on Economic Growth, Jan Hatzius, Joseph Briggs, Devesh Kodnani, and Giovanni Pierdomenico, March 26, 2023.