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How Generative AI has helped Law Firms gain a competitive edge through technology?

In the ever-evolving landscape of the legal industry, staying ahead of the curve is essential for Law Firms looking to provide the best possible services to their clients. The latest game-changer in the legal tech world is generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has been touted as this year's must-have technology.

However, as Generative AI becomes more widespread, there also arises a question that has been currently creating a strong hype that can be addressed in the following ways like;

A Familiar Set of Tools

For many years, law firms have relied on a familiar set of tools and platforms such as Westlaw, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, and Relativity. These resources are widely used across the industry, making it clear that the differentiator is not the tools themselves, but how firms leverage these resources to provide innovative and value-added services to their clients.

The Real Differentiator

Wendy Curtis, Chief Innovation Officer at Orrick, emphasizes that the competitive advantage for Law Firms is not solely in the technology they adopt, but rather in the changes they make around these tools. It's about understanding the capability of Generative AI and leveraging it to its maximum impact. It's also about being creative in developing new service offerings and business models around the technology.

In essence, it's not just about what tools you have but how you use them and how you can adapt to changing client needs and market dynamics. Law Firms that can effectively harness Generative AI and align their talent and business models with the technology will stand out from the crowd.

Client Expectations

While generative AI holds a certain marketing appeal, it might not be the sole selling point for Law Firms in the long run. Clients have varying expectations when it comes to how this technology is used, and not all clients are looking for the same outcomes. Therefore, law firms need to be adaptable and customize their approach to meet their client's unique needs and expectations.

Esther Bowers, Chief Practice Innovation Officer at Honigman, points out that using Generative AI can enhance a firm's operational model in ways that go beyond legal work. It can lead to faster, more efficient, and higher-quality legal services, resulting in a value proposition for clients. Additionally, it can also differentiate firms in terms of profit margin, which is essential for long-term sustainability.

Avoiding Duplication of Outputs

One pressing question that arises when considering Generative AI is whether the use of the same tools for similar cases will lead to duplicated outcomes. The short answer is no. While many legal tech vendors use large language models like GPT-3.5, they often customize these models by training them on their own data repositories or adding proprietary AI to the mix. This customization results in varying outcomes from firm to firm.

Ken Crutchfield, Vice President, and General Manager of Legal Markets at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., highlights that the data used with Generative AI is a significant factor influencing results. Law Firms that have strong knowledge management processes and can fine-tune their tools for specific queries will have an advantage. Data isn't the only variable, though. The talent working with the tool, resource allocation, and the firm's ability to attract and retain talent all play crucial roles in differentiation.

The Road Ahead

In a legal industry where innovation is key, Generative AI is a promising technology that can bring about substantial improvements in efficiency and service quality. However, the true differentiator for Law Firms will be their ability to adapt, customize, and innovate around this technology.

As the legal landscape continues to evolve, Law Firms that make the most of Generative AI, not just as a standalone tool, but as an integral part of their strategic approach to legal services, will find themselves ahead of the curve. It's not just about the Legos; it's about how you build with them and the unique structures you create. In the end, Generative AI is a tool, and it's the Law Firms that master its use and leverage it to its full potential that will truly stand out in the legal arena.


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