“The anticipation and excitement surrounding Legal Geek were high, both before and after the event. Over two eventful days, we were immersed in a series of creative talks and product showcases.”
Here are our top 3 takeaways:
- Gen AI is the Big Shot
Gen AI was inevitably one of the most discussed topics – from Bryter’s Policy AI, to Betty Blocks’ AI Search Hub, to Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of CaseText and many more! From a consumer perspective, we were intrigued and impressed.
However, one lingering question remained: what sets each apart?
Key takeaway: Each solution has its unique functionality. Some may have a steeper learning curve but offer a broader range of product functionality, while others feature simpler interfaces with more limited system capabilities.
We anticipate a move towards more seamless integration within and between solutions as well as a shift from an engineering-led approach to a product-led one, for these innovative solutions to attract new and existing customers.
- The replacement of lawyers with AI: but will it really?
A common misconception is to fear the replacement of lawyers with AI. In reality, AI will not cause the replacement but simply the refinement of lawyer’s capabilities; allowing them to excel in performance as well as better mitigate legal risks. With some stating that Generative AI tools can now outperform junior lawyers, the time has never been more imminent for lawyers of the future to utilise AI to excel their performance and remain competitive.
The consensus this year at LegalGeek, compared to the previous, was a decrease in scepticism and a heightened focus on helping companies implement AI to advance their legal capabilities. Key highlights in relation to this from speakers included:
- The widely cited quote: “AI won’t replace people, but people who use AI will replace those who don’t”.
- We cannot underestimate automation’s role in improving contracting process by populating contract templates and AI’s ability to give real-time data insights through e-discovery and CLM tools, such as extracting clauses and comparing them against existing standards.
- However, legal human judgement will remain indispensable for contextual suggestions, balancing interests while negotiating terms, and developing a global legal strategy.
Key Takeaway: This shift raises questions about the sustainability of billable hours. As law firms run under a time-based legal economic system, will firms leverage AI to gain a competitive edge, or will they harbour reservations about its impact on potential revenue?
The billable hours model may move to a product-based model, where law firms will have set prices for legal services. In this way, “AI is valuable not just for unbillable work, but directly increases the profit margin of the legal business”, giving them that competitive edge.
- The North Star in the maze of solutions
As stated at Legal Geek: “Innovation is critical but law firms don’t always know how to innovate”.
In our conversations with in-house teams, we observed a common practice: organisations frequently stack or switch between solutions. The associated costs and challenges can be overwhelming. What’s more, it can be hard as a company to guide oneself through the oversaturated market of technological solutions and identify which is most suited to you.
Companies must understand their ‘North Star’: a clear understanding of their inefficiencies and strategic approach are paramount in navigating the landscape of legal tech solutions.
Key Takeaway: Cut through the noise. Each solution excels in certain areas. The focus should be on identifying the company’s priorities and taking a holistic approach that aligns best with its business needs. The legal tech market is undeniably saturated; as Michael Grupp, Founder and CEO of BRYTER, rightly pointed out, it’s crucial not to become a “solution looking for a problem” or build something simply because the technology is available.
Overall thought: Legal tech is here to enhance existing business processes, improve data sets, increase inefficiency and lead to happier customers. By embracing it wisely, we can restructure an improved business approach that will deliver better outcomes for both legal and non-legal industry. Start small, whether it is a Proof of Concept or a pilot, and gradually expand.