How AI Is Transforming The Legal Profession


paper-airplanes-7400060_1280Ed. Note: This is part of a series detailing Gen AI’s impact on the legal profession from our friends at Thomson Reuters. For a further deep dive on Gen AI, download the Future of Professionals Report here.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI are reshaping the way we work, learn, and create. From automating mundane tasks to generating novel solutions, these technologies are empowering legal professionals across various industries and domains to achieve more with less. But how do professionals perceive the impact of generative AI on the legal industry? What are the opportunities and challenges they face as they adopt these technologies? And what are the skills and strategies they need to thrive in the future of work? 

To answer these questions, we conducted a survey of professionals from different sectors and backgrounds, asking them about their perspectives on the current and future state of AI in their industry. We also asked them about the areas where AI has the most potential to help them meet their goals, and if AI would hinder their progress in the same areas. In this blog, we will share a few of the key findings and insights from our report, “Future of Professionals,” and discuss the implications for legal professionals who want to leverage AI to transform their work and business.

AI as a catalyst for growth

Bringing together macro- and organizational trends, we asked legal professionals about the areas in which AI had the most potential to help firms and departments meet their goals, and if AI would hinder progress in the same areas. Not surprisingly, the majority reported net-positive impacts in most areas. They perceive AI as a catalyst for growth.  Legal professionals in both law firms and corporations see AI as having the ability to enable growth opportunities. For law firms, AI reduces friction to launch new services or expand into new markets. For example, AI potentially can free up time for professionals to identify and evaluate attractive markets for expansion. For corporate departments, AI can free up their time to dedicate to supporting their organization’s strategy and growth objectives. 

To take advantage of all the opportunities that AI offers, and to mitigate the challenges that it poses, legal professionals need to adopt a proactive and strategic approach to the future of work. Here are some of the recommendations we propose based on our survey findings: 

  • Embrace lifelong learning and upskilling, and seek to develop a combination of technical, cognitive, and social skills that will enable you to work effectively with AI.
  • Define the role and scope of AI in your work, and identify the tasks that could, or should be automated, augmented, or delegated to machines and the tasks that require human oversight, judgment, and creativity. 
  • Consider the ethical, legal, and social implications of AI, and adhere to the principles of responsible and ethical AI, such as fairness, accountability, transparency, and privacy. 

AI is transforming the legal profession in unprecedented ways, creating new possibilities and challenges. Our survey revealed expectations and concerns for the future of work, and the areas where AI has the most potential to help or hinder their goals.  Read the full report to help you prepare for the future of work with confidence and optimism. 



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