The business press and specialty legal press are replete with speculation about how “Generative AI”, ChatGPT, GPT4, and other AI developments might change law firms’ delivery of legal services. Most center their discussion on functionality: How well will they work?
But the likelihood, and pace, of adoption will depend on the answers to two other questions:
1. Will law firms apply such exciting new technology to significant portions of their work now performed by junior associate lawyers at hundreds per hour?
2. If so, will law firms share with clients — by reduced charges — the resulting efficiencies?
Based on my career as a practicing lawyer, and my 12 years as a business executive at Whirlpool and GE (where I worked with and supervised law firms), I believe that the answer to each of these questions is more likely to be “no” than “yes”. Continue reading