For the Fourth of July week, we thought we’d do something fun and probably a little weird. Greg spoke with an AI guest named Justis for this episode. Justis, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, was able to have a natural conversation with Greg and provide insightful perspectives on the use of generative AI in the legal industry, specifically in law firms.
In the first part of their discussion, Justis gave an overview of the legal industry’s interest in and uncertainty around adopting generative AI. While many law firm leaders recognize its potential, some are unsure of how it fits into legal work or worry about risks. Justis pointed to examples of firms exploring AI and said letting lawyers experiment with the tools could help identify use cases.
Greg and Justis then discussed the challenges for the legal industry in using AI, like knowledge gaps, data issues, technology maturity, and managing change. They also talked about the upsides of using AI for tasks such as research, drafting, and review, including efficiency and cost benefits, as well as downsides like over-reliance on AI and ethical concerns.
The conversation turned to how AI could streamline law firm operations, with opportunities around scheduling, paperwork, billing, client insights, and more. However, Justis noted that human oversight is still critical. Justis and Greg also discussed how AI may impact legal jobs, creating demand for new skills and roles but aiming to augment human work rather than replace it.
Finally, Justis suggested innovations law firms could build with AI like research and drafting tools, analytics, dispute resolution systems, and project management. Justis emphasized that focusing on user needs, ethics, and change management will be key for successfully implementing AI. Looking ahead, Justis anticipated continuing progress in legal AI, regulatory changes, a focus on ethics, growing demand for AI skills, and AI becoming a competitive advantage for some firms.
While this was a “unique” episode for The Geek in Review, we hope it provided an insightful “conversation” about the current and future state of generative AI in the legal industry. There is significant promise but there are also challenges around managing change, addressing risks, and ensuring the responsible development of new AI tools. With the right focus and approach, law firms can start exploring ways to make the most of AI and gain a competitive edge. But they must make AI work for human professionals, not the other way around.