With legal tech's potential to transform the legal industry, Carrasco uncovers what she believes the future holds for in-house counsel in Chile.
Our team is looking for new ways of
working and new systems to improve
legal work. We are looking for new
ideas and resources, in order to become more
orientated towards implementing artificial
intelligence into our work, and this is just the
beginning. We recently reviewed new systems
that are currently on the market, but before
anything can be implemented, in our case, it
needs to be validated and implemented by the
central offices based in France.
Recently, I was in a regional legal meeting
comprised not only of lawyers, but contract
management, insurance and compliance people.
In this meeting, we spoke a lot about how we
are going to manage artificial intelligence and
new technologies. Also, how we can manage
automatisation in the best way.
For instance, since I work a lot with contracts
and negotiations, it would be very good to have
a reliable system where I can find worldwide
information. Maybe it exists, but I am not aware
of it as this is a new issue to deal with for a
lawyer of my generation. I am in charge of Chile,
but I have also been in charge of other countries
which I am not overly knowledgeable about,
such as Colombia. In that situation, I have to go
to a local legal firm for assistance.
It is difficult for me to research case judgments
from different jurisdictions - it would be great to
have a system that would make those processes
and daily tasks easier. Finding information like
this mostly means I have to go to an external
lawyer. I do not work in litigation - it is not
my area - but sometimes when I am putting
together a legal opinion, I need information on
judicial cases. At this moment, this information,
for a non-litigation lawyer, is not easily found.
And this only refers to automatisation and
One of the barriers inherent in implementing
legal tech comes internally. I know there are
certain constraints on my company to implement
new systems as there are some systems already
implemented at our central level that sometimes
don't fill all the local needs on automatisation or
otherwise, which represents security risks.
The circumstances have not obliged me to
seek new support systems as it hasn't been
until recently an issue or something that was
considered not only a tool but really a resource
for optimisation. Obviously, it would be good
if external lawyers used more technology.
Ultimately, technology could help lawyers deliver
solutions within a shorter period amount of time.
But still, I believe that the options available to
external lawyers, for example to find case law,
are the same as the options that are available
to me. In the end, we experience the same
difficulties. The only difference is that often I do
not have the time to do the research myself.
When it comes to legal technology and
innovation, I think the legal sector is falling
behind other professional sectors in Latin
America. Consider that most doctors have
artificial intelligence working with them in order
to do surgeries, yet these scientific professions
are very different to the law. Lawyers tend to be
- maybe because of the past - counsellors of the
family or of a company. They tend to be more
focused on a close relationship with customers
than implementing new technology.
The new and upcoming generation is different.
My perception is that, in the last five years,
new lawyers coming into the market are much
more technology- and AI-oriented. They see
technology as an asset - something that could
be very useful. I think the view of technology
and the role it plays within our profession will
eventually change, but no one can tell you how
quickly the market will allow the process to be
implemented, nor the cost of such optimisation.
Looking to the future, I can imagine working
with programmes that would speak to you like
a robot. Lawyers will have access to a lot of
information that will help you make the right
decision much faster in the right situation. I
know there are some programmes already out
there in which you can enter the facts of a case
and the programme helps you make a decision
regarding a legal issue based on previous
decisions. In this case, artificial intelligence will
be able to help you make legal decisions quickly.
This is happening now. As a result, it means that
your workload will be reduced, because part
of the work will be done by technology - the
software will only be confirming what you have
already analysed in a specific situation, or maybe
challenge that opinion so you will have new tools
to analyse the situation again. I can imagine the
future of legal tech looking something like that
- and if things were to head in that direction, it
would be very interesting. As a consequence, I
believe that some legal professionals are starting
to fear artificial intelligence, as they believe that
it has the potential to replace lawyers.
I do not believe that AI has the potential to
disrupt the legal profession. Even if you feed
an AI system all of the information, you will
still need a lawyer to go through the process
of feeding the information into that system. AI
may do part of the job as it seems difficult to
imagine now AI orienting customers face to face,
negotiating, issuing a legal opinion, or litigating
in front of a judge. Closeness is an essential
part, nowadays, of our job. Times are changing,
and we are always working towards becoming
more creative and innovative. But, at the end of
the day, I see people are still reluctant towards
Maybe in the future it will be like the movies:
everything will be done in a way which is hard to
imagine at this moment. At the same time, thirty
years ago it was hard for me to imagine speaking
on a smartphone. Now I do almost everything on