The lawyers are leaning into AI
Despite all the gloom and doom, corporate legal and law firms are both embracing generative AI much more quickly than previous technologies
Recently I’ve been thinking about how law firms have embraced generative AI much more quickly than other technologies. Two related data points I noticed this week:
Chief legal officers recognizing the transformative impact generative AI will have on the businesses they support, and the practical concerns related to it. Earlier this week Ironclad hosted a webinar with heads of legal from Asana, JLL, and Twilio who basically said if they don’t find a way to lean into AI, their client (the business) will just go around them and create even bigger risks.1
Major law firms are announcing that they’ve created their own internal versions of ChatGPT. This week, both Dentons and Addleshaw Goddard announced that they’re launching secure chatbots based on GPT technology. Relatedly, I’ve know of at least one other Biglaw firm that’s already has their GPT-powered chatbot up and running for months.
When I first heard law firms announcing that they were adopting AI, I was skeptical. Anyone can announce a partnership or selection/piloting of an AI vendor. It’s good PR, and doesn’t mean that the firm has truly embraced AI. But when they create their own GPT-powered tool—that feels different. Setting aside whether it’s a good idea to build your own vs. buy, it certainly feels like a real investment, especially since the firms are dedicating significant internal resources to it.
Today I’ll discuss why generative AI is diffusing across law firms much more quickly than expected.