With AI growing in different industries these days, some may be wondering whether or not they will replace human talent.
For the legal industry, however, having an AI to help with the workload is likely news that many lawyers would welcome.
“Having an AI alleviates the burden and workload of a lawyer by doing less complicated tasks, like guiding clients through the hiring and firing process, or preparing documents,” said Dato ‘Fion Wong, founder of AskAILA, at Vulcan Post.
“The lawyer can then concentrate on more complex tasks, which eventually increases their productivity and efficiency,” she added.
Help SME employers During the pandemic
AskAILA is a trained AI with knowledge of Malaysian labor laws and regulations that is sufficient to support HR departments and employers in Malaysia. Customers can access its support 24/7.
Dato ‘Fion Wong is also the Managing Partner of Shang & Co., a Malaysian law firm known for its divorce and employment legal services. AskAILA was originally established in 2019 to help Shang & Co. attorneys deal with existing family law clients.
The rest of the team behind AskAILA are Dato ‘Chris Chin, Shayne Thum and Regene Ng, who are the founding partner and partners of the company, respectively.
During the pandemic, the firm saw an increase in demand for legal services on employment matters, such as illegal layoffs.
“Too many illegal dismissals stem from ignorance of HR departments or employers who are causing difficulties for employees. Although they can seek redress and damages in court, it takes time and takes a long time, ”said Dato ‘Fion.
Many SMEs would then seek legal advice to deal with this, but are unable to afford these legal fees, especially those running their businesses on a tight budget during the pandemic.
Therefore, AskAILA was created to provide cost effective solutions for employers and human resource departments, especially for small budget SMEs.
AskAILA fees VS average lawyer fees
Currently, the pricing plans for AskAILA are as follows:
|Plan||Small team||Growing team||Great team|
|Team size||Less than 25 employees||25 to 70 employees||71-150 employees|
All plans include basic AI features which are:
- Access to AskAILA
- Access to all sample documents and checklist
- Invitation to events
- Malaysian Labor Law Updates
- Reviews of work letters
According to Dato ‘Fion, the average price for seeking legal advice for employment issues through a warrant ranges from RM15,000 to RM60,000 per year, depending on the size of the business.
Dictionary time: Paying for legal services with a down payment means paying legal fees up front for the year. It guarantees the commitment of the service provider but does not generally represent all the costs for the whole process.
Institute of Corporate Finance
Some businesses may choose to pay for legal services on an ad hoc basis, especially when they know exactly what to expect from a legal service or do not need regular legal advice.
For SMEs who find it necessary to have a year-round legal services subscription, AskAILA would be a more affordable choice.
Add value to your HR department
If you work in the human resources department and have legal issues related to employment, AskAILA might be of help.
“Human resources departments often fire their employees without following basic rules of natural justice and procedural fairness, such as failing to follow proper procedure in the event of termination,” said Dato ‘Fion.
“It might not seem like a big deal, but AI plays a vital role in ensuring that termination is legal and that the employer’s conduct is not seen as tainted with bias,” she added.
An example of how AskAILA can help with the process is by providing advice, guidelines, and detailed precedents to guide employers and HR departments to exhaust the necessary steps before termination.
These include sample HR documents and checklists to eliminate errors that can cost a business up to millions of Ringgit in compensation.
“It’s common for employees to be fired for time off work. So, for example, when a human resources person deals with an employee who is late for work, AskAILA will ask questions to see if they have allowed the employee to provide an explanation, ”explained Dato ‘Fion.
It guarantees procedural fairness
Dato ‘Fion assured that AskAILA will not abolish the post of lawyer, especially in the execution of judicial work such as cross-examination of a witness and participation in hearings.
That being said, she also stressed that AskAILA does not determine what is fair or unfair in legal employment matters. It is intended only to provide advice to ensure procedural fairness.
“Letting an employee go is not an easy choice for any employer. Meanwhile, for employees, losing a job without a potential alternative is very disheartening, ”she told Vulcan Post.
“Ultimately, our vision is to prevent needlessly time-consuming and costly labor disputes by ensuring that both employer and employee are provided with adequate legal knowledge and advice.
In the future, Shang & Co. plans to extend AskAILA’s knowledge to other areas of law and even outside their own jurisdiction, collaborating with other equally reputable law firms in the countries neighbors.
- You can read more about AskAILA here and Shang & Co. here.
- You can read more of the AIs we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Dato ‘Fion Wong, Founder of AskAILA
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