Automating Legal Services with Expert Systems

VisiRule is a state-of-the-art self-service legal tool which enables legal practitioners to capture and deploy knowledge thru an easy-to-use visual tool.


Designed by lawyers for lawyers. The are various legal expert systems demos to explore.

VisiRule enables lawyers to deliver personalized advice, content and guidance via intelligent legal expert systems. Lawyers can keep current their legal expertise in an online rules based legal advice system without the need for programmers.


VisiRule opens the door to a new wave of innovative legal products and services for  law firms, their staff and their clients.

Opportunities to use VisiRule include:

  • Create new self-serve applications for clients to use without bothering lawyers

  • Perform intelligent legal document review & risk assessment in conjunction with contract analysis tools

  • Provide interactive Q&A systems using Legal ChatBots or LawBots to engage clients, give bespoke information and guidance on legal issues, and help increase demand for more complex legal advice

  • Generate legal documents though interactive questionnaires with links to explanatory texts

  • Develop and deliver automated legal checklists to support regulatory compliance processes

VisiRule365 Expert System Authoring

Legal Expert Systems

Legal Expert Systems are software applications that replicate the thought processes of subject matter legal experts. Once deployed, these systems permit the rapid execution of complex logic and the generation of high-quality advice, reports, checklists and documents tailored to the specific situation. They can work stand-alone or in tandem with other applications. All the answers and derived inferences can be exported and shared with other legal applications.

Why Legal Expert Systems?

Legal expert systems offer a way to automate some of those common and well understood legal questions. By providing your clients' staff and customers with direct access to your expertise on a self-service basis, you greatly enhance the service your provide them. You can also free your own people from having to deal with those tedious routine cases. The law is well suited to automation. It requires a high degree of consistency and transparency and is well suited to a logic-based treatment.

Use Cases for Legal Expert Systems

Legal expert systems can be used in the following areas:

  • Internal: to help share specialist knowledge and best practices with colleagues and junior associates

  • Client facing: to provide existing clients with greater access to your specialist advice and documents

  • Intermediaries: to provide expert guidance which can be branded and customized by third party providers

  • Marketing B2B: to help attract new clients via a marketing showcase with free access to some capability

  • Marketing B2C: to help provide low-cost but high-quality legal advice to consumers and citizens

Automated Legal Document Generation

Legal expert system to generate an NDA

Legal document generation is an important aspect of many legal services. VisiRule combines user answers with selected text fragments, to populate a document template to generate a documents such as letters, contracts, agreements or advice reports. 


VisiRule document generation combines the following:


  • VisiRule Expert System Chart
    The VisiRule chart contains a collection of questions, answers and algorithms. Answers can contain free text fields where the user has entered, in their own words, text they wish to see incorporated. At the end of a session, VisiRule uses the answers to populate the Master Document Template including any associated text fragments.

  • Clause Database
    An optional clause database of text fragments which associates approved legal text with answers to questions. Text can be associated with specific answers or combinations of answers (say If 'Male' and 'Adult' Then Insert "Dear Mr")

  • Master Document Template
    A Master Document Template contains the basic structure of the document annotated with special tags to indicate where to insert given answers and any associated text fragments extracted. In addition, the template can also contain conditional text to be inserted if certain conditions hold.

VisiRule can also be used in conjunction with established Document Assembly tools to generate documents.

Automated Case Law Search and Retrieval

VisiRule can be used to drive intelligent Case Law retrieval using:

  • Legal Expert System
    VisiRule charts contains named questions, answers and statements which can be used to create a list of keywords. As a session unfolds, more keywords are accumulated and passed using a hidden field

  • Case Law Search Engine
    VisiRule provides a simple search engine which can analyse Case Law documents, extract headings and generate a database of indices. Then, given a set of keywords, it will compute a percentage match for each relevant document.


  • REST-based co-ordination
    The pair are co-ordinated using Javascript, Json and REST so that as the next question is asked, the keyword list for the search is updated accordingly. The output from the search engine is written back into the next question page.


VisiRule Author provides a dedicated diagramming tool for experts to draw and test charts


VisiRule Publisher compiles the charts to create questionnaire pages and associated rules


VisiRule Server executes each question page + the associated rules to compute the next page


VisiRule generates a conclusion + reports, documents & transcripts using the answers given

Automating Legislation

Legislation is complex and not easy to understand. But some parts of it are well understood and that understanding can be broken down into a sequence of smalls steps like you find in a flow chart. By encoding that expert interpretation of best practice, you can provide clients with systems which will guide them safely to do the right thing at the right time and in an informed and consistent way; just as if the compliance expert was there in person.

As legislation is updated, and your interpretation of how to enact it changes, you can update the VisiRule chart to reflect those changes, and so provide detailed, up-to-date, situation-specific advice and guidance. 


This powerful combination of legal expertise and intelligent technology means that both corporate legal departments and law firms can leverage their own legal knowledge to provide their customers, clients, staff and prospects with convenient and efficient, self-service 'intelligent' legal systems. You can use VisiRule to provide an automated "self-service" or "self-help" legal service to staff, clients, agents, representatives and consumers alike.


Disruptive Legal Technology

Legal expert systems are a disruptive technology for the traditional delivery of legal services. The disintermediation of legal services means the role of the professional legal practitioner will change. The challenge is for law firms and corporate legal departments to rethink, reinvent and reposition themselves in light of technical advances in LegalTech and LawTech and enable legal knowledge to be commoditized and automated. We are not looking to replace existing products and services, more to imagine new ones which, up till now, were not possible.

Creating a legal expert system involves legal analysis and human expertise. The author needs to understand how the laws, regulations, and cases apply to a specific legal question and how they relate to each other. VisiRule provides a very soft and flexible tool for capturing this knowledge and a platform to deliver it. VisiRule not only supports the design, documentation and execution of the dense chain of reasoning that is a common feature of legal reasoning, but VisiRule lets you build solutions that are scalable from internal users to outside business partners and ultimately to customers.

VisiRule’s unique approach of "programming via flow-charting” permits rapid prototyping and review, and this greatly enhances the accurate capture and shared understanding of decision models. The ability to represent complex decision making graphically improves quality, transparency and ease of maintenance.




Legal Knowledge Sharing and Automation

Legal Knowledge is a valuable commodity. It can be captured and modeled in VisiRule using a simple and intuitive flowchart decision tree with logical expressions to control the execution flow. VisiRule charts can capture best practice from compliance officers and legal experts and make it available to a much wider audience in a simple and self-explanatory manner. Law firms and corporate legal departments can reduce the traditional costs associated with giving both general and personalized guidance without increasing the associated risk or workload. 


Situation-specific personal guidance can be made generated for customers, employees and consumers via a collection of interactive, dynamic questions which they can access, anytime, anywhere and on any device.


Once set-up, such automated systems are scalable without requiring any additional staff, delivering consistent and trusted advice and guidance while creating a digital record of each session for future reference. Any session data can be used downstream by other processes such as document assembly, customer analytics and report writing. 


VisiRule Author helps experts unravel and organize the decision logic which can precede form filling and document generation; say to determine whether or not a person is or is not eligible for a benefit or entitlement, what steps they need to take and identify which form(s) they need to complete.


VisiRule guides the author in the creation of a chart and automatically generates the appropriate rules. When you are happy with your chart logic, you can upload and publish your chart. These are made available for immediate execution and testing along with a user questionnaire. The presentation of questions can be customized using standard web technology to reflect corporate branding. Alternatively, you can deliver your logic in the form of a legal chatbot.


As the user answers the questions, the rules are fired and the logic executed. This directs the user to the relevant conclusion. VisiRule will explain and justify its findings based on the trail of questions asked and answered, collecting any explanations, checklist items, text, guidance along the way. 


This means that legal experts can rapidly build and deliver highly interactive systems which give tailored legal guidance in a consistent and transparent way.

"An algorithm is a stepwise set of operations that perform logical and arithmetical operations in a pre-defined order. Algorithmic law requires that valid interpretation of the law is established as part of the system design."

Why you can Trust VisiRule Legal Expert Systems

VisiRule enables legal professionals to make specialist legal expertise available to a much wider audience in a safe and trusted way. With VisiRule, you can show the progress of users as they answer questions and make their journey through the chart. You can inspect an answer trail to see all the questions visited by a user and the answers given. You can provide explanatory guidance to help users better understand what they are being asked and why.

VisiRule Author and VisiRule365 let legal experts model their knowledge visually simply by drawing a chart. VisiRule Publisher uses that chart to generate a questionnaire-based user session. It looks at all the branches of the chart to work out what questions to ask, in which order and which values to use. The VisiRule rules engine uses the user's answers to compute which rules have succeeded and what to do next, i.e. which branch to follow and what question to ask.


A picture of the chart can be made available, like a road map, to give users a better understanding of their legal journey and help them reach a suitable outcome or conclusion. This can greatly expand their knowledge of the subject matter.


VisiRule provides a way of communicating, disseminating and delivering legal information and expertise to both a non-legal and legal audience, whilst at the same time asking the right questions and capturing the right information.

Emerging areas such as Legal Informatics are being established both in academic institutes and industry. AI is becoming increasing recognized as an enabling technology to automate repetitive tasks within the legal sector and help deal with the sheer volume of data that surrounds us. You can read here how "Law Firms are climbing aboard the AI Wagon".

I maintain that this binary distinction between bespoke and commoditized legal work is a false dichotomy and that legal services are in fact evolving through five different stages which I call bespoke, standardized, systematized, packaged, and commoditized"

Legal AI, Legal Innovation and Legal Informatics

Legal innovation aligned to improvements in baseline technology, both hardware and software, is transforming the way the legal industry operates and connects to its customers. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used to help automate and streamline various aspects of the legal industry. The automation of traditionally skilled human tasks can open up many legal processes. This increases both customer satisfaction and accessibility, whilst reducing costs and improving accuracy, consistency and accountability. It is also needed to meet raised customers' expectations.

As Richard Susskind, OBE, has long argued, IT is bringing about fundamental changes in the ways lawyers and legal professionals do their work which will signal a fundamental shift in legal service from a form of advisory service to an Internet-enabled and often packaged service. Just read "The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services", published by OUP back in 2008.

VisiRule enables legal teams to improve their internal processes and productivity, and offer automated innovative legal services to clients and prospects. In this way, law firms and corporate legal teams can reduce both their costs and risks, whilst improving the quality of service they provide both internally and externally. 


VisiRule can help free some of your best legal brains from the routine drudgery associated with those common yet important tasks, and let them focus on the more complex challenges which are not so easy to automate.


LPA, the company behind VisiRule, has been in the business of delivering solid, efficient and reliable rule-based systems for over 37 years covering areas such as Computational Linguistics, Expert Systems, Knowledge-Based Systems and Business Rules. You can augment VisiRule's basic decision logic with these other AI techniques.

LPA is a small, but well-established, AI company which in 1999 helped establish Business Integrity to exploit document automation technology developed at LPA. BIL established Contract Express as a world leading document automation software product, and the company was sold to TR in 2015.


LPA was recognized as leading AI company by CV Magazine​.


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