Legal Surveys Suggest Law Firms May Require In-House Expertise on GenAI

In a recently conducted survey, a majority of legal professionals expressed a desire to use AI tools to gain better insights but didn’t know where to start.

Animated woman with magnify glasses searching through papers
Image by Adobe Stock/Nastudio


Gregory Sirico

March 25, 2024 12:00 AM

Generative AI tools and the technology surrounding them are swiftly emerging as a transformative force across industries, promising both efficiency and innovation. However, in the legal sector, while excitement about its potential mounts, there are also significant apprehensions and challenges hindering its widespread adoption.

A recent survey conducted by Consilio, a leader in legal technology software and solutions, sheds light on the nuanced perspectives of legal professionals regarding generative AI, highlighting key obstacles, potential benefits and strategies for responsible implementation of the rising technology. According to the survey, as of 2023, nearly two-thirds of legal professionals, roughly 63%, desire increased expertise in regard to AI tools before they are willing to implement them in their workflows.

Bridging the Expertise Gap

As of late, one of the most significant hurdles identified by legal professionals is the lack of experience within their in-house teams when it comes to effectively leveraging generative AI tools. More than one in three respondents expressed concerns about this continually expanding knowledge gap, emphasizing the need for updating training initiatives. Additionally, just over one in four legal associates cited the glaring absence of appropriate tech talent to support generative AI implementation as a major concern, underscoring the importance of recruiting and retaining skilled professionals with expertise in these up-and-coming technologies.

Furthermore, apprehensions regarding data security and the potential risk to intellectual property are prevalent among surveyed professionals. According to the survey, 58% of individuals expressed concerns about data security, emphasizing the critical importance of robust security protocols and encryption measures to safeguard sensitive information. Similarly, 30% of respondents worried about the implications for their company's intellectual assets, highlighting the need for both comprehensive risk assessment frameworks and legal safeguards.

A Common Consensus

Despite this unique set of tech challenges, there's a growing recognition within law firms nationwide, all pushing for the need to educate legal teams and even stakeholders about the efficacy and benefits of generative AI tools. Additional survey data states that roughly 28% of respondents reported actively engaging in educational initiatives aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of AI’s current legal capabilities.

These efforts not only help demystify the widely popularized tech but also foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the legal sector. By establishing a concise roadmap for generative AI’s integration and adoption, organizations can mitigate all risks involved to ensure a smooth implementation process.

Recognizing the Potential Benefits

Despite their trepidation, legal professionals also recognize the myriad of benefits that AI tools can offer. Nearly half of the respondents believe it can free up talent for more strategic work, enabling legal teams to focus on high-level tasks that require human judgment. Additionally, one-third of respondents see generative AI as a valuable tool for reducing overall business costs, particularly through automation and streamlining of routine legal processes.

The survey identified several specific use cases for AI tools within the legal industry, reflecting its versatility and potential to address various challenges. Over half of the respondents expressed interest in using AI tools to gain better insights by leveraging advanced analytics and natural large language model algorithms to extract actionable data from vast pools of clients. Furthermore, roughly half are interested in leveraging AI tech to review documents and enhance efficiency in workflow processes, including contract management and due diligence tasks.

Other potential applications identified by legal professionals include managing contracts, identifying data efficiently and handling sensitive workflows, more specifically, compliance monitoring and regulatory reporting. These findings underscore the diverse opportunities for GenAI to drive innovation and strategic advantage within the legal sector.

Looking Ahead: Strategies for Responsible Action

As legal professionals navigate the evolving landscape of generative AI tools and tech, responsible adoption remains crucial. By establishing complex data security measures, implementing comprehensive risk assessment frameworks and ensuring proper integration with all other legal systems, law firms are one step closer to mitigating potential risks and maximizing the benefits of AI.

Raj Chandrasekar, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Consilio, emphasizes the importance of laying the right foundations for AI’s widespread implementation. “Data security and control are the lynchpins of responsibly utilizing GenAI in a corporate setting; without them the results can’t be trusted. However, once the right fundamentals and guardrails are in place, the technology has seemingly endless potential applications, to drive efficiencies, process more data and reduce overall business costs, making the technology the most impactful evolution of our sector since Technology Assisted Review,” stated Chandrasekar, as reported by LegalDive.

While challenges and hesitations persist, legal professionals are increasingly recognizing the transformative potential of AI tools in a legal space. By addressing concerns, fostering a culture of innovation and strategically implementing the technology, the legal industry can harness the power of AI tech to enhance productivity, streamline processes and drive sustainable growth in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Featured Articles
EU flag covered in binary code
Digital Markets Act Prompts European Investigation into A...
By Gregory Sirico
Animated woman with magnify glasses searching through papers
Legal Surveys Suggest Law Firms May Require In-House Expe...
By Gregory Sirico
Light bulb mixed with brain being held by hand
Traversing the Complex Landscape of Intellectual Property...
By Gregory Sirico
Various pictures of legal tech overlapping
Accomplishing More With Less: The Value of Legal Tech
By Gregory Sirico
Best Law Firms Germany Badge on German Flag
Announcing Best Law Firms™ – Germany
By Rebecca Blackwell
ChatGPT logo in front of video editing software
The Legal What-If’s of New OpenAI Video Creation Tool Sora
By Gregory Sirico
Robotic hand about to touch human hand connected by wires
Legal Representation Goes Beyond Data: How to Balance AI ...
By Gregory Sirico
Headshot of man in glasses wearing blue suit and red tie
American Independence: The Insurance Industry's Grip on O...
By Marc Gravely
Headshot of man in suit
Supreme Court Ruling on Texas Social Media Laws
By Gregory Sirico
Headshot of man in grey suit with red tie
What Would Henry Do or Say?
By Talmage Boston
Headshot of man in blue suit and orange tie
A Corporate Guide to the Texas Business Courts
By Alan Dabdoub
Group of male and female lawyers standing in front of building
A Year of Legal Triumphs
By John Fields
Professional female overlooking cityscape
Breaking Barriers: Funding Disparities for Women Leaders ...
By Gregory Sirico
Grey and white badge depicting Best Law Firms Australian with Australian flag in background
Announcing the Inaugural Edition of Best Law Firms™ - Aus...
By Megan Edmonds
Multicolored fingerprint displayed on screen
FTC Increases Scrutiny of Biometric Technologies
By Gregory Sirico
Old fashioned photo of child standing on pile of books to look over wooden fence
How Practicing Curiosity Is Advantageous for Lawyers
By Mark LeHocky
Person taking notes in journal with open laptop in background
Best Law Firms Informational Webinar
By Best Lawyers
Black background with colorful squares and faces
Best Law Firms® Research Explained
By Rebecca Blackwell
Pixelated eye with rainbow effect
ADA Compliance: A Better Experience for Law Firms
By Gregory Sirico
Two female and one male lawyer in suits having discussion
Improved Settlement Efforts in Dispute Resolution
By Mark LeHocky