Understanding How AI and Automation Will Impact on Legal Workflow
Tim Pullan strips away some of the hype and takes a broad view of the use of AI in legal practice, highlighting its impact and potential
The commoditisation of corporate legal services has been going on for some time. Since 2007, in-house legal teams have been squeezed for resources. Law firms are under increased cost pressures, made worse by increased competition from within and outside the legal sector. Because of the inelastic nature of legal spend on high-value bespoke projects, many legal activities regarded as low value-add, such as bulk contract analysis, are passed on to low-cost providers.
Data in the US has demonstrated price erosion in the legal industry, with declining revenue per lawyer that may only be offset by cost reduction and an increase in non-equity partners. Neither of these methods is particularly sustainable. AI and automation tools may provide the solution, allowing lawyers to adapt their business models to make workflow more efficient, increase their margins and deliver more value to clients at the same time.
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