Implementing industry-specific GenAI tools at small law firms

Female legal professional on laptop in gray office

As the power and utility of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technologies continue to increase and evolve, attorneys are among those professionals who stand to benefit the most. While many attorneys remain cautiously optimistic about GenAI’s future, the introduction of industry-specific GenAI solutions has the potential to accelerate the wide-spread use and adoption of GenAI-powered tools by law firms of all sizes. 

Today, according to the Thomson Reuters Institute Generative AI in Professional Services report, industry-specific GenAI use among legal professionals is in its infancy stage with only 12% of legal industry respondents reporting they currently use legal-specific GenAI. However, this figure is expected to grow considerably in the near future — an additional 43% say they plan to implement GenAI technology into their practices within the next three years. This means that by 2027, the use of industry-specific GenAI tools within the legal industry could equal or even surpass the use of public-facing GenAI use like ChatGPT. 

Data from Generative AI in Professional Services report
43% of respondents to the Generative AI in Professional Services report say they plan to implement GenAI technology into their practices within the next three years.

How industry-specific GenAI tools are different  

Attorneys’ current views on GenAI remain mixed, with 46% of respondents reporting feeling hopeful or excited about the new technology, while 35% report feeling hesitant. This hesitancy isn’t necessarily surprising as lawyers are trained to be skeptical and some of the key concerns legal professionals cite center around GenAI’s reliability and accuracy. However, these types of concerns quickly diminish when viewed through the lens of legal-specific GenAI tools. 

That’s because industry-specific GenAI tools are built for legal professionals and tailored to the specific needs and regulations of the legal industry. Attorneys can be confident that the sourced and cited information and resources are always up to date, accurate, and legally compliant.

Data from Generative AI in Professional Services report, detailing sentiments on the future of GenAI
Attorneys’ current views on GenAI remain mixed, with 46% of respondents reporting feeling hopeful or excited about the new technology, while 35% report feeling hesitant.

With industry-specific GenAI tools, the data and machine learning algorithms are also tailored to the specific requirements and needs of the legal industry. This increases the accuracy and reliability of the results, making it a more responsible option when compared against public-facing GenAI tools that don’t have these stringent safeguards in place.

For the 46% of respondents who reported feeling excited or hopeful, many cite the prospect of greater efficiency and productivity at their law firms. From conducting legal research and document reviews to drafting legal documents and drafting case briefs, think of industry-specific GenAI tools as being the smartest and most accurate and efficient assistant you could ever hope to hire.   

When used strategically, this technology can give busy attorneys like you the one precious thing that’s always in short supply: Time. With the gift of more time, you can focus on practicing law, helping your clients, and growing your practice.

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The benefits of industry-specific GenAI tools  

Using industry-specific GenAI tools, attorneys and small law firms can enjoy the following benefits:  

Cost savings 

Like all businesses, work at small law firms can ebb and flow. When a few big cases hit at the same time, you either need to hire someone or put in extra hours you don’t have — and both options have significant costs. But using industry-specific GenAI tools reduces the need to hire additional staff by assisting you with large volumes of work. GenAI can also reduce the costs associated with correcting human errors.  

Enhanced client services 

Every attorney knows that client service is important. Doing it right takes a tremendous amount of time and attention, things that are in short supply when you’re a busy attorney at a small law firm. However, with GenAI tools doing the heavy lifting associated with data-intensive tasks, you can spend more time with clients and provide the personalized service they want and expect. Down the road, this can translate to more satisfied clients, better online client reviews, and business growth.  

Prioritizing high-value work 

When you’re an attorney at a small law firm, you’re often doing it all. Your days can easily be consumed by the necessary, albeit tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with conducting legal research and drafting legal documents and communications. This is where the utility of GenAI technology really shines as it can complete these types of tasks in a fraction of the time. In turn, you’ll be able to provide more efficient legal services to clients at a higher quality and speed.

Special report: 2024 Generative AI in Professional Services

Learn how professionals perceive the use of generative AI in their workplace, along with the perceptions of the future of work in an environment in which generative AI has made its presence felt.

A proactive approach to industry-specific GenAI adoption 

GenAI is here to stay — and the next five years will be a time of tremendous growth and expansion as legal professionals harness the benefits this technology provides. Law firms that take the steps to adopt legal industry GenAI tools now will be ahead of the pack and poised to enjoy the biggest payoffs. 

Discover how legal professionals plan to use GenAI technology by downloading the new Generative AI in Professional Services report. Interested in learning how industry-specific GenAI tools can benefit your small law firm? Learn more about CoCounsel and request a free demo.

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