Law Sites Article: Is Gen AI Creating A Divide Among Law Firms Of Haves and Have Nots?

Ambrogi writes

On Friday, I spoke to a group of trial lawyers on the use of generative AI in litigation. Many in the room were that increasingly rare breed of lawyer who actually go into court and try cases. Of several that I spoke to before and after my talk, they were proud of their courtroom skills and happy to share a war story or two. But when it came to talking about generative AI, most seemed to have barely given it a thought.

In fact, during my talk, when I asked for a show of hands of who had tried ChatGPT, I saw only two go up. When I asked if anyone had used a generative AI product in their legal work, no hand went up. When I asked if they were familiar with the Avianca hallucinated-citations case, no hands went up. When I asked if they had heard about the Stanford study on hallucinations in legal research, no hands went up.

My poll was anything but scientific, and the lack of raised hands may have been attributable to the early-morning hour, or to shyness, or to simple lack of interest. But, as I said, several of the lawyers there told me, outside the context of my talk, that they were completely inexperienced in any aspect of generative AI. Two told me outright that they have been ignoring it because they are retiring soon.

For what it is worth, conversations I had after my talk were of a different tenor than those before. Several people told me I’d sparked their interest, or at least made them realize they should start to take this technology seriously. One trial judge in the room bemoaned that the higher ups in her court system prohibited the use of any type of AI. One of the products I demonstrated was Clearbrief, and the judge told me that when she saw that, she realized what a time-saver it could be for her, as she has no law clerks and writes her own opinions.

If I were to assess the legal landscape based only on LinkedIn, I might conclude that everyone in the legal profession is at least talking about generative AI, if not using it. My feed is full of people who are immersed in the technology ecosystem, and that makes it easy sometimes to forget that not everyone in legal is as tuned in to the latest tech.

Read the full article