Law is high on the list of industries that use and generate a great deal of paperwork, and this is true all over the world, even in the digital age. While this fact is unlikely to change for a long time, firms have already adopted digital working, and the digital storage of data is increasingly preferred over cumbersome physical storage.
The main challenge for law firms comes when trying to transfer physical data to a digital format. To do this, they would traditionally need to resort to manual data transfer by employees. More recently, optical character recognition (OCR) software is used by many firms to automate the digitization process. However, both of these come with limitations, not least the fact that both are prone to high error rates.
In the last few years, more advanced OCR software has been developed, using AI technology to provide higher accuracy, faster data processing, and various other benefits. In this article, we explore how AI-based OCR technology can transform the way the legal industry handles data and how you too could benefit.
What is OCR for the legal industry?
OCR for legal industry is, in essence, the same OCR technology used in any other industry but applied to the context of law-related documents, i.e. any documents that might be handled by a law firm as part of its operations, such as case files, invoices, and so on.
As mentioned above, basic forms of OCR are limited in their real-world applications by their tendency to make errors when digitizing information. Additionally, they can struggle to comprehend complex and unique document types often associated with legal work.
AI-based OCR, however, is often capable of much higher accuracy when digitizing and can recognize and understand a far greater range of complex document formats. For these reasons, an increasing number of law firms are opting to incorporate AI-enabled OCR into their operations.
How can OCR benefit law firms?
A significant downside of physical documents is the amount of waste they generate, in terms of the paper they use, the electricity needed to scan and copy them, the physical storage space they require, and more.
Digital storage, on the other hand, requires far less space and can be copied in an instant without using any paper. This is more convenient for firms, saves them money, and helps them to achieve a lower carbon footprint. AI-based OCR technology facilitates the elimination of paper documents, thereby helping firms to significantly reduce any unnecessary wastage.
Legal workers have enough to worry about without the added burden of manually and painstakingly transferring data from paper to digital format. It can become a particular issue when there is a surge in the amount of paperwork that needs to processed, potentially leading to other pieces of work being neglected and business suffering, or a need to hire extra workers to cover any shortfall.
OCR technology eases the burden of manual data transfer for workers, automating the most time-consuming part of the process and dramatically speeding up the transfer of data, giving workers the time they need to focus on other important tasks.
Process complex documents
The usual digitization methods of manual data entry and basic OCR also fall short when it comes to processing complex types of documents. Unfortunately for legal firms, these complex document formats are commonplace in the legal world. This means that employees need to spend more of their valuable time deciphering the documents and extracting relevant data. Primitive non-AI OCR technology also struggles when it comes to complex document formats, with drops in accuracy or even total incompatibility being unavoidable in many cases.
Advanced AI-powered OCR does not suffer from the same issues. Firstly, AI is capable of recognizing and accurately transferring data from a wider range of document types, making it more useful to legal firms. Secondly, AI-based OCR can be pre-trained to recognize even the most complex document formats, so legal firms can rely on total compatibility with their operations.
Simpler data storage and access
Digital data is inherently easier to manage, with far less physical storage space required, simpler filing and organization, and faster retrieval. Additionally, digital data is much simpler to share between people and places – something that can be invaluable to legal firms often working across varied geographic locations and with dispersed stakeholders.
OCR software facilitates the digitization process, helping law firms to store, organize, retrieve, and share their data more effectively.
Information accuracy is of huge importance to any organization, but it holds particular importance for law firms, where case outcomes, serious consequences, and large sums of money can hang in the balance.
The digitization methods of manual data transfer and basic OCR technology are both prone to unacceptably low accuracy rates, but until recently law firms had no other choices. Modern Ai-based OCR platforms, however, are able to reliably achieve significantly higher accuracy rates when digitizing documents, making them far more suited to the exacting work of legal firms.
Why choose Digitise.AI to automate your document processing?
The advanced AI technology powering the Digitise.AI platform enables companies to accurately, reliably, and rapidly transfer information from physical documents into digital storage. This includes almost any document type encountered by the law industry, including case files, invoices, and much more.
For especially complex or unique document formats, our team can also pre-train the algorithms that Digitise.AI is built on, enabling them to instantly comprehend and accurately digitize any specified document and tailoring the platform to your organization.
If you want to eliminate paperwork and automate the digitization process for your law firm, get in touch to book a demo and see Digitise.AI in action.
Transform the way you deal with paperwork forever.