Sole Practitioners and the Rise of Legal Tech: Thoughts from One of Toronto’s Leading Employment Lawyers

Apr 29, 2019

The adoption of legal tech solutions has, at times, posed challenges for sole practitioners. Issues such as cost, implementation, and the solution’s perceived usefulness factor into the buying decision. While sole practitioners are more than holding their own in the legal field, it might nevertheless seem like the adoption of legal tech is largely in the domain of Big Law and its big budgets. That assumption is far from the truth.

Sole practitioners are uniquely well-positioned to ride the tech wave and are benefiting greatly from adopting legal tech solutions. From document management to discovery to outcome prediction and validation, legal tech is helping sole practitioners thrive and work more efficiently than ever before. By leveraging the most advanced systems available today, sole practitioners are punching above their weight and providing high quality advice on par with their larger counterparts.

Randy Ai, Managing Partner at the boutique employment law firm Randy Ai Law Office – Toronto Employment Lawyers, is one such innovative professional leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to run a more efficient practice and provide clients with the highest quality advice. Ai has expertise in all areas of employment law, labour law, human rights law, and workplace law, and is one of the top-rated employment lawyers in Toronto. His firm is well recognized for its work on wrongful dismissal and workplace harassment cases. In recent years, Ai’s firm has also expanded its practice to include employment class actions.

We spoke with Ai to learn more about how our artificial intelligence-powered legal research tool helps him stay ahead of the curve.

Validating Professional Instincts Quickly with Artificial Intelligence

Randy Ai Law Office – Toronto Employment Lawyers currently consists of a team of lawyers working in association, legal staff, and two articling students. They work to provide high-quality, tailored advice to every one of their clients in a wide range of employment law and labour law issues.

“We take a customized and individualized approach to client service,” says Ai.

To ensure that he can offer this top-notch level of client service, Ai uses Blue J L&E as “a confirmation tool.”

Because Ai has been practicing employment law for over a decade now, he says that he finds Blue J L&E most helpful when he wants to back up his own professional expertise with case law when making assertions to opposing counsel.

Take the concept of reasonable notice, for example. Ai says that an AI-powered platform like Blue J L&E is useful because it offers a quick overview and it confirms the practitioner’s understanding of what common law reasonable notice should be.

The Unique Advantages of Using AI-Powered Blue J L&E

While reasonable notice calculators are plentiful—“every employment law firm should have access to at least one,” says Ai—Blue J L&E incorporates additional questions that other databases on the market don’t consider.

“Other databases give you a rough estimate of reasonable notice without taking some of these factors into consideration,” he says. “I like how the calculator is more honed that way because it takes into account some of these other factors that judges may take into account.”

The comprehensiveness of the questionnaire is complemented by the comprehensiveness of the tool’s database. Blue J L&E’s Reasonable Notice tool takes into account thousands of previously decided cases when making its predictions.

Developing Intuition: Using Legal Tech to Train Juniors

Legal tech backed by artificial intelligence supports lawyers in all stages of their careers: from a seasoned employment lawyer like Ai to articling students in his office who are just starting out.

“I use it as a training tool for my articling students, because the way that the questions are set up, these are questions that more or less you should be asking during the consultation anyways,” says Ai.

Beyond a teaching tool for young lawyers, Blue J L&E allows for a more efficient legal research process. Ai says that without such aids, juniors are essentially undertaking case-by-case research for a metric that could otherwise be verified quickly with Blue J L&E.

How Legal Tech Can Help Business Boom

While sole practitioners practise in a variety of legal areas, one common goal across the board is ensuring that a steady volume of clients is coming in, and that those clients are satisfied with the services they have received. Satisfied clients, in turn, drum up more business.

Legal tech that leverages artificial intelligence is not only time-saving, but it allows sole practitioners to allocate their expertise where it matters most: providing valuable advice to clients. Instead of undertaking laborious case-by-case research, practitioners are interfacing with clients and providing the quality service that inevitably grows a firm’s good reputation.

As Ai notes, it’s only a matter of time before the majority of firms, regardless of size, are using platforms like Blue J L&E as a baseline for providing advice to clients.