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Artificial Intelligence is no longer for large-scale organizations with expansive resources. Today, even smaller in-house legal teams can get their hands on some pretty advanced tech without blowing their budgets.

The availability of free and low-cost AI tools is leveling the playing field, enabling even smaller legal departments to implement solutions that were once considered out of reach.

The benefits? Enhanced efficiency, risk mitigation, and a more agile response to the complexities of legal work. 

So, let's dive into the top five AI tools that are making this game-changing tech accessible to all.

Types of AI tools for different in-house legal use-cases

#1 Document automation

  • Populates standard forms
  • Cuts down repetitive tasks
  • Eliminates human errors

#2 Legal research AIs

  • Finds statutes, cases, and regulations
  • Speedy results

#3 Chatbots for Client Interaction

  • Initial client consultations
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Basic legal Q&A

#4 Predictive Analysis Tools

  • Risk assessment
  • Strategy planning
Also read: How AI Contract Review Tools are Transforming Legal Workflows

Free AI tools for in-house legal

Excited about integrating AI into your in-house legal operations but wary of the cost? Good news! There are free AI tools out there that are ready to make your life easier without breaking the bank. 

#1 Humata

Humata’s free version offers select features designed to make a lawyer's life easier without breaking the bank. From summing up long case laws to quickfire Q&A, it's a decent start to automating your workflow.

Whether you're researching historical case laws, drafting reports, or analyzing contracts, Humata comes equipped with AI capabilities that transform tedious tasks into simple clicks. 

How does it do that? By leveraging vector embeddings for semantic searches and packing predictive analytics features.


  • Basic document summaries: In the free version, you can get quick overviews of your texts, helping you decide what's worth diving into
  • Limited Q&A: Need quick answers to straightforward legal questions? Humata Free has you covered. For more complex queries, though, you might need to look at their premium offerings


  • Efficient and quick: Time is money, especially in law. The free version gives you a speed advantage in simple research tasks
  • User-friendly: No PhD in software engineering required. The tool's design is pretty straightforward


  • Text-only: The free version, like the paid one, focuses only on text
  • Limited depth: Don't expect deep analysis or comprehensive answers here

Real-world application:

Let's say you're drowning in case files, and time is ticking. The old-school way? Manually combing through each document, making notes, possibly missing crucial info. 

With Humata, you get a quick, precise overview of each file, instant answers to your questions, and even a leg up on report writing. In a profession where time is often billed by the hour, imagine how much more you could accomplish (or how much extra time you could enjoy).

#2 Legalese Decoder

Ever read a legal document and feel like you're deciphering hieroglyphs? Enter Legalese Decoder—a tool engineered to take the puzzle out of legal jargon. 

Using a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), this tool scans your legal documents and spits out a plain English version. It's like Google Translate but for legal mumbo jumbo.


  • AI-Powered Text Analysis: It starts by breaking down the complicated language into key terms and concepts
  • Legal definitions database: A built-in library of legal terms is then employed to offer straightforward definitions
  • Simplified rephrasing: It rewrites your legal document using simpler, more digestible language


  • Accessibility: Understand documents in plain English, instantly
  • Client relations: When you can break down a contract into layman's terms on the fly, you become the hero your clients didn't know they needed.
  • Time-saving: Save a heap of time not having to dissect each line of a convoluted contract


  • Accuracy: The tool can occasionally miss the nuances of complex clauses
  • Oversimplification risk: While making things simpler is the goal, it can sometimes go too far and strip out essential details

Real-world application:

Imagine you've just been handed a 30-page contract that's as thick with legalese as a law school textbook. Normally, you'd spend hours, maybe days, dissecting every clause. 

With Legalese Decoder, you could have that labyrinthine document simplified in a matter of minutes. It becomes a game-changer in client meetings, where you can swiftly offer simplified explanations and focus on strategy and decision-making.

Also read: Generative AI for Contract Management: Best Practices - SpotDraft

#3 Ferret

Contracts can be dense forests of legalese, and sometimes you need a guide. The free version of Ferret serves as your initial scout, helping you identify the most obvious hidden clauses and risks in legal agreements. It's your first layer of defense in contract analysis, without costing you a dime.


  • Basic AI-powered analysis: The free version gives you an entry-level peek into AI-driven contract scrutiny. It flags glaring issues but won't delve into the nitty-gritty
  • Limited data access: You won't get to tap into their rich database of news archives, legal records, or white-collar crimes. But hey, it's free, and it's a start


  • Quick overview: Get a fast rundown of potential pitfalls and easy wins in your contracts
  • User-friendly: The interface remains intuitive, even in the free version, so you can jump right in


  • Surface-level analysis: It'll find the obvious stuff, but for deep dives, you're going to need to upgrade
  • Limited features: Understandably, the free tier won't offer all the features like relationship intelligence or extensive data archives

Real-world application:

Picture this: You've got a freelance contract to review. It's not War and Peace, but it's still ten pages of legal jargon. Enter that into Ferret's free version, and in a couple of minutes, you'll get alerted to any sketchy clauses like unfair termination policies or hidden fees.

So, while the free version of Ferret won't replace a seasoned legal advisor, it certainly offers a decent first pass at contract review. It's like having a junior detective who points out the obvious clues, leaving the intricate sleuthing for the more experienced (read: paid) detectives.

Also read: Understanding The Role of AI In Contract Analysis - SpotDraft

#4 Paralegal AI

Paralegal AI is designed to perform routine legal tasks like drafting emails, scheduling, and basic research, all without human intervention.


  • Automated assistant: Frees up time for complex tasks
  • Consistency: Your drafts and schedules will have a uniform quality, devoid of human error


  • Limited skillset: Not suitable for high-level legal analyses
  • Minor Hiccups: Like any tech, it's not immune to glitches or occasional server downtimes

Real-world application:

You've got client meetings to schedule, routine correspondence to send, and baseline research to conduct. But you also need to prepare for that big deposition tomorrow. This is where Paralegal AI steps in, taking over the grunt work so you can channel your energy where it's most needed.

#5 OpenAI’s ChatGPT

Meet ChatGPT, your quick-fix for those sudden "Oh snap, is this even legal?" moments.

Designed to serve up advice based on an extensive database of legal guidelines and frequently asked questions, it's like having a law book that talks back—but way cooler.


  • On-the-spot insight: ChatGPT offers instant guidance to help you navigate through difficult legalese
  • Multi-tasker: ChatGPT can juggle multiple queries without breaking a sweat


  • Scripted sage: While it can churn out legal advice like a champ, it's all based on predefined programming. Complex or nuanced issues? You'll need a real, live human
  • Legal aid, not legal advisor: It's a solid tool for quick queries but can't replace a specialized legal consultation

Real-world application:

A late-night email pops in from a department asking about the legality of a certain marketing tactic they want to try over the weekend. You could wait until Monday to run it past your legal advisors, but the marketing team is itching to get started.

Enter ChatGPT. It can provide immediate guidance. Is the proposed tactic standard practice, borderline, or a complete no-go according to your company's compliance guidelines? ChatGPT can offer an initial assessment, helping to either green-light the initiative or pump the brakes until it can be reviewed in greater detail.

For in-house legal teams, ChatGPT serves as that reliable first responder for quick queries, helping you to filter out issues that require immediate attention from those who can wait. It won't replace detailed counsel but acts as a triage, sorting through the 'urgent' and 'can-wait' so that you can manage your time and resources more efficiently.

Also read: 7 ChatGPT Prompts for In-House Legal Teams

How to choose the right AI tool for in-house legal

Choosing the perfect AI tool for your in-house legal team isn't a one-size-fits-all game. Here are some details of what you should consider when you're looking for an AI tool to help you increase your productivity.

#1 Align with team needs

  • Task specificity: Are you looking for a generalist or a specialist? If you deal mostly with contracts, a tool like Ferret could be ideal. If you need a bit of everything, Humata might be your go-to
  • Scale: Small team with fewer resources? Opt for a tool that handles a broad range of tasks. Larger teams may benefit from specialized tools that can integrate into existing workflows
  • Skill level: Some tools have a steep learning curve. Make sure the tool you pick can be easily adopted by your team. The last thing you want is to pay for something that no one ends up using

#2 Evaluate key features

  • Data security: Check how the tool handles your sensitive data. Encryption and GDPR compliance are must-haves
  • User experience: A slick, intuitive interface can significantly reduce the time spent on training.
  • Integration: Can this tool seamlessly merge with your current systems? You don't want to juggle between ten different platforms

#3 Real-world applicability

  • User Reviews: Let's face it, companies will always market themselves as the next big thing. Read user reviews to get unbiased opinions on how the tool performs in real-world scenarios.
  • Scalability: Ensure that the tool can adapt as your team grows or as your needs evolve

#4 Financials and support

  • Budget: Free is great, but sometimes the features you need are behind a paywall. Make sure the tool fits within your budget constraints
  • Customer support: A responsive customer service team can be a lifesaver when you hit a snag. Always a good thing to have in your back pocket
Also read: Contract Management Software: Essential Features Checklist

Sticking to free AI tools might cost you more

This slew of free AI tools can significantly upgrade how your in-house legal team operates. Each tool has its own strengths and limitations, but one thing is clear: the use of AI in the legal sector isn't just a fad; it's a game-changer.

If you're still relying solely on manual processes, you're missing out on some serious efficiency gains.

While these free tools can bring your legal team into the 21st century, investing in a robust, secure solution could be the way to go. 

Enter VerifAI. Yes, it's a paid plugin for MS Word, but it comes with a slate of features that can make contract review a breeze. You end up saving upto 15 hours every week and streamline contract turnaround time.

When it comes to modernizing your operations, half-measures won't cut it. It's time to fully embrace the future of legal tech.

Want to see VerifAI in action? Request a demo!

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