Artificial intelligence is in a position to really shake up law firm operations over the next decade – at least according to a recent survey.
The survey – which was carried out by Altman Weil and polled 320 U.S.-based law firms of nearly all sizes (50-99 employees to those with 1,000+) – concluded with a bonus question centered around artificial intelligence. The question asked respondents to state if they thought that “a law-focused ‘Watson'” – the name of the IBM AI computing system – could replace certain roles in the firm within the next decade.
Nearly half of all respondents – 47 percent – said they felt that within five to 10 years, AI could replace paralegals at their firms. And more than one-third of respondents – 35 percent – even felt that first-year associates could be replaced via evolving AI technology. Only 20 percent of respondents felt that humans are irreplaceable as far as AI goes.
Watson isn’t the only tech transforming the law firm
“Future-focused tech is already proving to be a critical asset to firms of all types.”
The notion of a learning-enabled computer taking over the tasks of certain lawyers within a firm still sounds like a futuristic one, despite the fact that it’s already in the beginning stages. But there’s no denying that technology is playing a transformative role in the modern law firm, and there are examples beyond Watson of how this tech is impacting the contemporary firm. Here are some facts that illustrate how future-focused tech is already proving to be a critical asset to firms of all types:
- Majority of firms undertaking IT projects: In late October, a law firm industry report conducted by PwC came out. This year’s report – which covers law firms in the United Kingdom – found that of the law firms surveyed, a full 95 percent of them stated that they’d be carrying out significant IT projects over the next year. Significantly, this statistic was an across-the-board figure, applying to law firms of all sizes – not just the large ones with big IT teams. As PwC uncovered, one of the key reasons the vast majority of firms are pursuing business-bolstering IT tech is because they recognize the role the digital age is playing in shaping the nature of their work. Remaining competitive as a firm means staying up to date in terms of tech deployments, as David Snell, head of PwC’s law firm advisory group, pointed out.”We see rapid technological change, innovation in business models and changing client buying patterns,” Snell said of the survey. “The agile firms are not only responding to these factors, but beginning to anticipate the next likely developments.”
- Increase in experience discovery system deployments: Even though we’re fully immersed in the digital age, some law firms are still years behind when it comes to their firm directories, which they maintain in a legacy mode, relying on manual updates. But the workplace tech advances of today are highlighting the inefficiency of this outmoded method, and are driving a widespread firm push toward more streamlined experience discovery. Ikaun represents one of the go-to solutions for firms looking to make the process of finding the right people as quick and effective as possible.
For firms, it’s time to investigate tech solutions that can lead to better business.
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