At its core, legal work demands meticulous attention to detail, extensive research and nuanced argumentation — intellectually rigorous and time-consuming tasks. The complexity of legal work has historically deterred the use of technology because tools to organize and interpret it were simply unavailable. However, the natural language capabilities of generative artificial intelligence (AI) offer unprecedented advantages for distilling legal information and synthesizing actionable insights. Generative AI can dramatically accelerate the completion of legal tasks without diluting quality.
The traditional law firm hierarchy often results in a bottleneck in which senior partners oversee junior associates performing labor-intensive research and document drafting. Generative AI offers the potential to redistribute workloads in ways that can liberate junior associates to conduct more complex, value-added work.
The “Generative AI Tracker®” examines generative AI’s applications for the legal profession, the potential benefits the technology offers and the challenges and controversies impeding its adoption in the field of law.
Traditionally cautious about adopting disruptive technologies, the legal industry is experiencing a watershed moment as it confronts the commercial accessibility of generative AI. A sizable share of legal professionals are either using or contemplating using AI tools, and 89% are cognizant of generative AI.
A recent survey reveals that 62% of legal professionals believe that effective use of generative AI will differentiate successful firms from unsuccessful ones in as little as five years. An even higher share, 80%, agree that generative AI will introduce “transformative efficiencies” — a sentiment echoed by law firms and corporate legal departments.
To learn more, visit the Tracker’s Innovation and Use Cases section.
The belief that generative AI will revolutionize efficiency for so much legal work is tempered somewhat by the many legal professionals who have reservations about the industry’s current preparedness for this AI-driven future. While the evangelists are deeply optimistic that generative AI will positively impact the profession, they represent roughly half of professionals.
Although more than 6 in 10 law firms and corporate legal departments believe the technology will deliver significant business advantages, 72% of legal professionals are doubtful that the industry is adequately prepared for the looming AI revolution. Just 1 in 5 believe in the advantages of using AI surpass the disadvantages. As the industry wrestles with these unresolved issues, the road to widespread adoption of AI in the legal industry remains neither straightforward nor universally agreed upon.
To learn more, visit the Tracker’s Issues and Challenges section.
The current lack of regulation for using generative AI in the legal field has led to a climate of uncertainty. At least one law firm has already dabbled with its use in a high-stakes legal case, only to discover that the technology can fabricate case law. Other firms have simply enforced outright bans on its unauthorized use for legal work. Multiple courts have intervened with judicial guidelines to steer generative AI’s application in legal proceedings to fill this regulatory gap.
To learn more, visit the Tracker’s Policy and Regulation section.
The “Generative AI Tracker®,” a collaboration with AI-ID, examines generative AI’s applications for the legal profession, the potential benefits the technology offers and the challenges and controversies impeding its adoption in the field of law.