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Many Legal Firms are Still Wary of Using GenAI


While some industries – notably, customer care – have taken to generative AI eagerly as a way of keeping costs down and improving the customer experience, many other industries have been slower and more cautious when it comes to turning over parts of their workflow to advanced AI solutions. The legal industry is one of those more cautious sectors, probably for good reason; their workers may not understand it well enough to use it properly and safely.

A new survey by legal technology solutions provider Consilio found that legal professionals have cited a lack of experience around leveraging GenAI on the legal team (36%) and a lack of the right tech talent to support implementation (27%) as key AI hesitations. Overall, only 10% reported that their legal team is “very trained” on GenAI.

Training issues aside, some of the hesitation among corporate law departments and law firms revolves around whether the technology will work accurately given the risk for potential “AI hallucinations” (34%). At the same time, the survey also found concerns about data security (58%) and the potential for risking their company’s intellectual property (30%) if they were to make use of generative AI.

“Historically the legal industry has been cautious to not let technology outpace certainty in outcomes, so we’ve been focused on diving deep into this new technology to develop the most defensible GenAI solutions on the market and ensuring our on-your-matter experts are well equipped to shepherd every technology deliverable we offer,” said Andy Macdonald, CEO of Consilio, in a statement. “It’s clear from our survey that legal departments and law firms are looking for ways to safely utilize GenAI. However, without the right people as a guide, confidence it will actually work, strong data protections, and integration with your enterprise data, the risks of GenAI can easily outweigh the benefits.”

Legal professionals are attracted to some aspects of GenAI, the survey found. These include attaining better insights from data (54%), reviewing more documents (49%) and leveraging existing work products for greater efficiency (49%).

The survey of 129 legal professionals from corporate law departments, law firms, and government affiliated entities was conducted from January 30-31 by Consilio at the Legalweek New York 2024 conference held in New York City.

Edited by Alex Passett
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