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How AI contract tools can help you understand a contract

Contracts can be confusing. Here’s how AI can help.

How AI contract tools can help you understand a contract
[Source photo: Yevhen Lahunov/Getty Images]

We are all bound by contracts: legal agreements that rule our work and personal lives. Contracts can be difficult to read and understand, with page after page of legalese seemingly written to deliberately confuse and obfuscate. Fortunately a new wave of artificial intelligence (AI) contract review tools can help both legal professionals and laypeople navigate even the most complex documents.

AI contract review software can help ordinary people by digging through legalese and summarizing what intricate terminology means in plain language. These AI contract tools can also help lawyers by automating the process of analyzing and writing basic contracts. For the general user, these tools can read a long contract and summarize it, highlighting key points.


AI contract review tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to analyze contracts. The software builders feed thousands of contracts to an AI like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and then train it to identify what is good and bad about each example. The AI learns from this, finding patterns in the sample text and discerning what should (and should not) be in a contract.

Once the AI is trained, users can input a contract and let the AI compare it to existing examples and highlight any glaring issues. Some AI contract tools simply point out problems, but others can suggest changes and revise the contract directly. The creators of these tools stress that they won’t replace human lawyers—at least not yet. Instead, they will make legal professionals more efficient by handling some of the tedious line-by-line reading on their behalf.


DoNotPay: This service offers what it claims is the world’s first robot lawyer trained to take on tasks such as fighting parking tickets, canceling trials, and requesting refunds, as well as handling a surprising range of contract-related functions, including negotiating a car lease, breaking a timeshare agreement, and utilizing a tool called Do Not Sign, which scans contracts for potential problems. The company recently tried to use an AI lawyer in a real courthouse, but was blocked by alleged complaints from state bar officials.


  • Lawgeex: The contract review automation feature of Lawgeex offers three levels of contract analysis: It assigns a risk level to each clause and is capable of adding suggested changes as well as providing a full redline analysis—the final step before signing.
  • Ironclad: The contract law firm Ironclad has recently launched Ironclad AI Assist, a suite of tools for drafting and managing contracts. Ironclad says its assistant does more than just analyze a contract and show areas of concern; it can scan old contracts, collect data from them, and handle digital signing.
  • Spellbook: Spellbook focuses on the drafting side of contracts, using ChatGPT to both write and analyze documents within Microsoft Word.
  • Harvey: This new AI tool can create and analyze contracts and other legal documents. It is available only to a limited number of users so far, but it is already generating a lot of buzz among those who have tried it out.
  • Kira: Produced by productivity and risk management software company Litera, Kira is a powerful analysis tool that can grab a contract, analyze it, and provide feedback. It also works with contracts in a number of European languages.
  • Linksquares: This service is a complete contract lifecycle management (CLM) system. Recently the company has added AI functionality to the service, with tools for drafting and analyzing contracts, both before signing and afterward, to prepare for renewal and updates.
  • Onit: Onit Catalyst is another CLM system that uses AI analysis to enhance legal workflows.

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