Law & Human Rights

August 23, 2018

LawPavilion set to release Nigeria’s first Artificial Intelligence Legal Assistant

LawPavilion set to release Nigeria’s first Artificial Intelligence Legal Assistant

•Ope Olugasa

LawPavilion Business Solutions, the foremost Legal Technologies company in Nigeria is set to release Nigeria’s first Artificial Intelligence Legal Assistant.

This was revealed in this interview with the Managing Director, Ope Olugasa.


•Ope Olugasa

By Onozure Dania

LawPavilion has spearheaded innovations in the legal technologies industry in Nigeria. In 2016, you launched Nigeria’s first Legal Analytics Software, LawPavilion Prime at the 56th Annual General Conference of the NBA. What should we expect from your company at this year’s NBA Conference?

In fact, our LawPavilion

Prime with Case

Analytics is the first of such not only in Nigeria, but the whole of Africa. This year, we are

integrating Artificial

Intelligence, simply

known as AI, into our

Legal SoftwareSolutions.

What’s with the Artificial Intelligence being brought into the legal industry?

In recent times, there has been a rave about Artificial Intelligence, AI and this is because it is affecting every industry, shaking the very core of norms and redefining roles. This is primarily because with AI, machines can now do the things that were considered to be exclusivelywithin the purview of human intelligence.

AI is permeating every industry! For instance, in the medical field, AI

techniques from deep

learning, image classification and object recognition can now be used to find cancer on MRIs with the same accuracy as highly trained radiologists while the Babylon AI Doctor App uses speech recognition to consult with patients, check their symptoms against a database, and offer them adequate

treatments. In

marketing, recommendation engines make use of machine learning and predictive analysis to provide personalized recommendations to each customer. This has helped big e-commerce platforms such as Amazon boost their revenue at an impressive rate.

In transportation, Google Maps can analyse the speed of movement of traffic at any given time and reduce commutes by suggesting the fastest routes. As seen above, Artificial Intelligence is having broad and significant impacts across a variety of industries. Lawyers (and the legal profession) should not be left out in this new wave that bears many benefits. Today, in developed countries of the world,  AI is beginning to transform the legal profession in many ways as lawyers are already using AI to do things like reviewing

documents,ensuring compliance(which is a very front burner issue for multinationals and transnationals),analysing contracts to determine

whether they meet pre-determined criteria,

performing legal research, and predicting case outcomes.

Does that mean AI is replacing lawyers?

Of course not! AI is not here to replace lawyers; rather, it is here to

augment what lawyers do and free them up to take on higher level tasks such as advising clients, negotiating deals and appearing in court, thereby being productive and doing much more in less time.

At JPMorgan, for instance, an AI-powered program called COIN has been used since June 2017 to interpret commercial loan agreements. This means that work that previously took about 360,000 lawyer-hours is now being done in seconds.

Do you think Nigeria’s Legal industry is ready forAI?

We cannot wait for AI to come to us in the Legal Services industry in Nigeria. Rather, having observed the speed of adoption of AI around the world in several industries, I have no doubt that the Nigerian Legal Services has so much more to gain than lose by quickly adopting and adapting AI to our industry.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has paved the way for even a faster adoption of AI through the very succinct directive issued by the Honourable Chief

Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen on Friday, 2nd of February, 2018, mandating all legal practitioners to make use of the legal email system through which processes and correspondence with the Supreme Court are to be served and issued.

To my mind, that is such an important directive and I am almost certain that the Honourable CJN will still issue firther directives about better adoption of technology to the Court system. There can be no better stamp of approval than what emanates from the highest Court in the land.

So, what is this AI that LawPavilion has for the legal industry?

Our AI is called ‘TIMI’, which is a ChatBot for now with more complex

implementations coming shortly. It works like a consultant that lawyers can chat with. It converses with you and helps you get things done faster. It has been programmed to walk the user through the Civil Procedure Rules of Nigeria Courts.

Why Civil Procedure Rules?

We are starting with the Civil Procedure Rules because from our research, as a foremost Law Reporting Company in Nigeria, we have come to realize that 48% of the cases in the Appellate Courts are not based on the substantive suit; but on procedural issues. This means that a lot of lawyers are erring on the side of procedures in Court which is chiefly governed by the Civil Procedure Rules of the various Courts. TIMI has been developed to ensure that its users never again err on the side of procedure!

Can you briefly tell us how TIMI works?

In a conversational manner, TIMI carefully walks its users through the Civil Procedure Rules, bringing to their attention what has to be done, within what time frame, consequence(s) of their failure to do something within the stipulated time and the remedy (if any) where there has been a default in complying with the stipulation of the Civil Procedure Rules. The user interface is very friendly and easy to navigate.

Does TIMI have all the Civil Procedure Rules in Nigeria?

For now, we have completed Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules. The Civil Procedure Rulesof other States as well as the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules are in the pipeline and will be available to TIMI’s users shortly.

Who can benefit from using TIMI?

Everybody! From the seasoned lawyers, to the new wigs, to law school students, to anyone that is interested in knowing how our CPR in Nigeria works.

When will TIMI be available for purchase?

TIMI will be officially unveiled at this year’s NBA conference in Abuja at our exhibition Stand. We have a package called “ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SUITE” encompassing TIMI- Nigeria’s first AI Legal Assistant, Case Analytics and a Practice/Case Management Software. With this three-in-one feature, you can do so much more than just legal research and practice management! You can cross-reference cases, make use of the case analytics feature of LawPavilion Prime, automate your Case Diaries, keep records of spending in respect of a client’s account, track your matters’ list; endorse your client’s file electronically; automate your calendar and so much more while conversing with TIMI. This is the package we will be offering at the NBA Conference.