Generative AI and the future of the legal profession: LexisNexis UK report analyzes internal and law firm opinions – Legal IT Insider

LexisNexis legal and professional today (July 13) publishes a new report entitled Generative AI and the future of the legal professionwhich highlights the sometimes surprising expectations of in-house consultants and law firms when it comes to the adoption of generative AI.

49% of in-house counsel expect their law firms to use generative AI in the next 12 months, including 11% who say they expect firms are already using the technology. Only 8% did not want AI used in their work. Conversely, 24% of companies believe their customers would not want them to use AI.

The survey, conducted among 1,175 UK legal professionals from May to June 2023, finds that 87% of legal professionals are aware of AI tools and of that group, 95% agree these tools will have an impact on legal practice (38% said it will have a significant impact, 11% said it will be transformative, and 46% thought it would have some impact).

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of in-house counsel agree or strongly agree that law firms should use cutting-edge technology, including generative AI tools.

While only 36% of respondents in both the domestic and private sectors said they have used Generative AI in a personal or professional capacity, adoption rates are likely to accelerate in the coming months, with 39% saying they are currently looking for opportunities. This percentage rises to 64% when looking at responses from large law firms only, and to 47% when looking at responses from in-house attorneys.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) said that generative AI technology will increase their efficiency. When asked how specifically they would like to use generative AI in their work, respondents said that question research (66%), briefing documents (59%) and document analysis (47%) had the most potential .

Natalie Salunke, general counsel at Zilch, says she and her team are working with their technology partners to incorporate ChatGPT into their internal processes and customer-facing products.

“We are in a very risk averse industry. Many lawyers have been concerned that using ChatGPT and the like will result in all of their data going public or that they won’t have ownership rights to the output,” he said, but added: “We will already see this more in our daily life. All of this change is really scary, but it’s not reason enough not to embrace it and learn how to incorporate it to make our lives easier.

The survey reveals, however, an industry very uncertain about the changes ahead: two-thirds (67%) of survey participants feel mixed about the impact of generative AI on legal practice, admitting they can see both the positives and the disadvantages.

When freely available AI tools don’t have access to relevant data, they have a tendency to invent answers or hallucinate, says Alison Rees-Blanchard, head of TMT legal advice at LexisNexis.

This means that any output generated must be carefully controlled, as open source generative AI does not always identify its source. However, when trained on a closed source and taught not to deviate, the results are exponentially more accurate.

Even commenting in the report was Toby Bond, intellectual property partner at Bird & Bird, who said companies need to start enforcing policies around generative AI tools.

“The risk is that AI tools are being used for a business purpose without proper assessment of potential legal or operational issues that may arise, he said.

You can download the report here:

LexisNexis is using the survey in part to highlight its recently announced commercial preview of Lexis + AI, a generative AI platform that will undoubtedly transform the way users of its platform conduct research and write resulting documents.

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