The Benefits of Technology and Humans in Document Review

  • Blog Post
  • Posted on 5 March 2024

The appropriate use of technology, proportionality and reasonableness, are all concepts that lawyers should be aware of when it comes to the costs associated with the discovery process.

Whilst technology provides significant benefits to law firms to meet these goals, the importance of humans as part of the process should not be forgotten.

Technology and Humans

Technology Assisted Review (TAR) saw a seismic shift in the way that large document sets were able to be reviewed, and the saving in time and costs that have resulted have been measured on a similar scale.
Even where data sizes are not on the same seismic scale, the use of technology can have a dramatic impact on cost and time associated with review.

In a recent matter Law In Order assisted a client in running TAR over a set of 55,000 documents. Based on assumptions the initial estimate for a team of lawyers to review this data set came in at just below $250,000 and 46 days. Using technology, we were however able to reduce the total number of documents to review to around 16,000, which based on those same assumptions provided a saving of around $170,000 and 33 days.
Sounds like a pretty good saving. However, looking at a different approach to the human aspect meant further savings could be unlocked.

Using a team of dedicated, highly qualified and experienced reviewers, as part of our Managed Document Review, we offered more savings of almost $60,000 and 3 days.

And these are only the visible savings. 

By using an outsourced document review team legal teams can free up their own time to add value to the existing clients and look at winning new clients. They can also avoid tying up junior resources with low level work that may stifle their development or maybe even their enthusiasm.
Whilst perhaps not yet being adopted widely enough, TAR is certainly widely accepted as a valuable tool that is available for lawyers to save on the time and costs associated with eDiscovery. 

Technology replacing Humans

As data size continues to grow TAR has not, as some feared, replaced human viewers rather it has assisted with human reviewers being able to keep pace. This fear that reviewers and even lawyers are being replaced by “robots” has however been reignited by another seismic shift in technology with the incorporation of Generative AI (GenAI) into the eDiscovery mix.
Although it is maybe too early to comment on what the impact GenAI will have on eDiscovery, there are 2 things that seem to be certain at this point in time:
1.    Gen AI will provide powerful tools that will further reduce the time and costs associated with eDiscovery
2.    It will NOT replace the need for human reviewers (at least not yet….)
Like all new technologies the incorporation of GenAI will create changes in the way that things are done. However, until a time that AI is so advanced as to become self-sentient and self-aware, there will be a need for humans in the review process.
In respect of tools such as Relativity aiR the tool needs human input to train and refine the system, and also to review the outcomes it provides. 


So, whether using existing TAR tools, or adopting new GenAI tools, human reviewers are still a requirement and how best to resource these reviewers will require consideration of the proportionality and reasonableness of the associated costs. How these 2 pillars of eDiscovery will be met in any given matter will depend on the particular nuances of that matter, however in assessing those nuances it is important to consider not just the appropriate use of technology but the appropriate use of humans as well. 


The use of technology can provide significant time and cost savings when it comes to Document Review. However, the vital role of human expertise should not be overlooked. Managed Document Review with skilled reviewers can unlock further savings whilst ensuring accuracy. Despite advancements like GenAI, humans remain crucial in the review process, providing detailed information and guiding the training of AI systems or models. The balance between technology and human involvement should consider proportionality and reasonableness, ensuring the most effective and efficient approach to eDiscovery. Ultimately, the integration of technology and human expertise is key to meeting the evolving needs of legal document review.

Contact Us now to speak directly with one of our legal tech experts about the most effective and efficient approach for your specific document review needs, tailored to meet your requirements.

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