The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal profession is increasing in Nigeria and other jurisdictions. However, the majority of lawyers and law firms in Nigeria still prefer the traditional system of legal practice and remain conservative towards the adoption of AI for the advancement of the legal system and the legal profession.

Artificial intelligence is defined as the use of machines to perform tasks that require human intelligence, usually powered by machine learning.

The use of AI in the legal profession is a welcome development. However, it is important to consider the ethical and legal considerations attached to the use of AI and how to forestall liability from the use of AI.

Advantages of AI in the Nigerian Legal System

The following are some of the advantages that the legal system tends to enjoy from the use of AI:

  1. Document Review: the day-to-day activities of lawyers include the review of documents with the aim of identifying facts that are irrelevant to a matter. This is time-consuming and prone to error. Documents reviewed by AI are less susceptible to errors.[i] Though AI is not intelligent enough to replace Human-lawyers’ work, it, however, can reduce the workload and make the work of a lawyer easier.[ii] Therefore, the use of AI should be combined with lawyers’ intelligence.
  2. Risk Assessment: AI tools such as Technology Assisted Review can help lawyers assess potential risks associated with a matter and make informed decisions that will aid them in their legal advisories. AI also helps to determine information and data that should be protected.
  3. Due Diligence: lawyers conduct due diligence on transactions. Due diligence can be time-consuming, and due to the volume of documents that lawyers have to review, the process is prone to human error. AI can automate the process and produce a report that assists lawyers in their due diligence reports.
  4. Prediction of the Outcome of a Lawsuit: AI can predict the outcome of a lawsuit with a high degree of certainty after analyzing data accurately. Research has shown that AI tools can predict the outcome of a legal proceeding with a 79% accuracy rate.[iii] This will save lawyers the stress of pursuing baseless cases and forestall damage to their reputations.  
  5. Legal Research: AI tools can assist lawyers in legal research. Law Pavilion is an example of an AI tool that assists lawyers in Legal research and electronic law reporting.
  6. Administrative Work: AI can help lawyers perform administrative work such as the selection of an arbitrator, case management, and case scheduling, therefore giving lawyers enough time to focus on the part of the work that requires human input.
  7. Legal Drafting: there are AI tools that automatically generate terms and conditions, and privacy policies within seconds. Lawyers can use the documents generated by these AI tools as templates. The documents should be adapted to suit the interest of the lawyer’s work. This will make the lawyer’s work faster.

Legal and Ethical Consideration in The Use of Artificial Intelligence

Despite the advantages of AI, it is important to consider the legal and ethical implications of the use of AI. One of the legal implications that arise from the adoption and development of AI in the legal profession is the possibility of AI giving legal advice. This is important considering the fact that Section 2 of the Legal Practitioners Act defines a Legal Practitioner as a person whose name is listed in the rolls of legal practitioner(s). AI tools are not persons registered to practice as a legal practitioners in Nigeria.

The adoption of AI also raises questions of liability for the actions of the AI tool. Is it the creator who may not be easily found or who may have excluded his liability in one of the terms and conditions for the use of the AI tools? However, when a lawyer adopts the legal advice of AI tools with or without modification, such a lawyer bears the responsibility for the advice.

Ethical considerations from the use of AI in legal profession include:


  1. Competent Advice: AI-powered tools produce output based on the data supplied to them and the data available on the internet without additional consideration. Giving competent legal advice requires a lawyer to consider extraneous factors such as societal norms, emotional intelligence, the background of the parties, and the idiosyncrasy of a judge, among others. It will be difficult for AI tools to consider these important social factors that a lawyer needs to give the best legal advice to his client.
  2.  AI Bias: the developer of the AI tool might have built bias in the AI tool inadvertently or consciously.  This will hinder objective and unbiased advice by the AI tool. 
  3. Breach of Confidential Information: Lawyers are required to keep the information of clients confidential.[iv]  The processing of confidential information by AI tools may lead to data breaches, and the lawyer may be liable for professional negligence.

 Recommendations & Conclusion

The use of AI in the legal profession is a welcome development that will transform the legal profession. However, Lawyers should be cautious in the use of AI tools to avoid liability for professional negligence and to maintain the reputation of their practice. Lawyers should always supervise the results generated by AI tools. Regulations should be put in place to minimize programming bias in AI tools. Senior lawyers should note that AI tools are not to replace junior lawyers rather, they augment the work of both seniors.

[i]Jeremiah Ajayi Artificial Intelligence in the Nigerian Legal Industry: A Threat or an Opportunity? Available at Accessed December 15, 2022

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Avaneesh Marwaha, Seven Benefits of Artificial Intelligence for Law Firms, Law Technology Today, July 2017,

[iv] Rule 16 of Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007

Written bAbdulrasheed Badmus for The Trusted Advisors

Email us: [email protected]

Telephone Number: +234 810 159 9159

Open chat
Hello 👋
Thank you for getting in touch, how can we help you?