AI & The Legal Landscape: Opportunities, Risks, and the Future
Michael Glasser, Frontline Managed Services

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of AI in the legal domain, it’s essential to reflect on the past and envision the transformative path ahead. Cybersecurity has been a persistent concern, and its significance is only intensifying. The continual improvements in AI promise exponential advancements year over year, reshaping the legal landscape drastically in 1, 5, 10, and 20 years.

One compelling aspect of AI exploration is the integration of platforms like ChatGPT into legal processes. Earlier this year, opposing counsel discovered inaccuracies in citations, emphasizing the need for vigilant oversight to maintain precision and compliance.

Historical Context: AI’s Impact vs. The Industrial Revolution

When considering the parallels with historical industrial revolutions, AI stands poised to revolutionize the nature of work. While certain jobs may face replacement, the emergence of more sophisticated roles is on the horizon. This shift echoes the radical changes observed over the past two centuries. Importantly, it is essential to recognize that AI is not only set to replace some jobs but also to fundamentally transform others. As the legal landscape evolves, adaptation becomes paramount, necessitating a proactive approach to embrace the transformative potential of AI technologies. AI’s profound impact on work mirrors historical shifts, akin to the automation and robotization of previous industrial revolutions. However, the consensus is that AI is unlikely to diminish the overall number of jobs.

Much like robotization facilitated the elimination of repetitive manual tasks, AI enables the removal of repetitive intellectual tasks, thereby freeing up capacity for more intelligent endeavors. The efficiency of AI, exemplified by applications like diagnosing diseases from X-rays, surpasses human capabilities in specific tasks. In essence, AI represents the logical extension of the industrial revolution’s trajectory toward automation and robotization.

The Legal Realm

Regulatory bodies and legal associations are actively engaging with the AI revolution. Proposals like Advisory Opinion 24-1 and the efforts of the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence by the New York State Bar Association indicate a growing awareness of the need for regulatory frameworks. The recent AI executive order by President Biden underscores the importance of creating new standards for AI safety, protecting privacy, and promoting innovation. There are also ethical dilemmas surrounding AI’s decision-making processes

In the practical realm, AI is being incorporated into legal programs, ranging from Extractive AI that pulls data through questions to Generative AI that facilitates more conversational interactions. Notably, Clio Duo’s proprietary Generative AI Legal Technology, set to debut in 2024, promises to revolutionize legal offerings by integrating AI seamlessly into Clio’s suite.

AI’s use cases in legal operations are diverse, enhancing efficiency in workflows, billing, drafting, summarization, and case management. Predictive analytics for case outcomes offer data-driven insights, informing decisions and optimizing resources. As the legal community contemplates the future of billing, AI’s ability to free lawyers from labor-intensive tasks suggests a shift towards “Value Billing” over hourly billing.

AI’s Intersection with Cybersecurity

The promising aspects of AI come with significant considerations. The intersection of AI and cybersecurity introduces new challenges, especially with the advent of deepfake technology. Beyond its potential for misinformation, deepfake poses threats to identity and financial security. AI can be used to boost cybersecurity in a number of ways, enhancing threat detection, malware analysis, vulnerability assessment and automated response. It also enables a more proactive and effective defense measure against evolving cyber threats.

To mitigate risks, AI plays a crucial role in detecting and preventing cybersecurity threats. Proactive defense measures involve creating predictive models, generating simulated environments, and analyzing vast data volumes. Yet, concerns about potential breaches of attorney-client privilege and ensuring accuracy in AI-generated outputs demand a nuanced and ethical approach.

As we embark on this transformative journey, law firms are advised to continually review and update policies, incorporate AI responsibly into client engagement letters, and address privacy and security concerns. We are at the very early stages of the promise and power of AI. The future of law practice holds immense potential, and AI’s role in either empowering large firms or leveling the playing field for smaller ones remains to be seen. As AI technologies evolve, the legal profession stands at the threshold of dramatic changes—only time will reveal the full extent of its impact.


For more information contact Michael Glasser.