Almost half of all clients have generative AI fever. 46% are using it now and we expect nothing but growth in adoption. It may not be for case research — but it has plenty of other uses in the legal industry. Here are the top current uses for generative AI based on our hot off-the-press survey of more than 250 corporate counsel:
- Generating new ideas
- Trying to predict outcomes
- Critiquing attorney work product
- Correspondence and emails
- Doing deep dives on attorneys
Generating new ideas
Generative AI feeds clients’ intellectual curiosity and can make life easier. Corporate counsel are describing management, business, and organizational issues into generative AI — and asking for answers and ideas. While these clients may show hesitation when it comes to legal matters, they have reported receiving some valuable suggestions and insights.
Trying to predict outcomes
Certainty and predictability are core client needs. They rarely wane. Asking generative AI chatbots about scenarios and outcomes offers perspective on defining outcomes. When predicting outcomes, clients want all the informed help they can get.
Critiquing attorney work product
It almost started as a lark. Clients wanted to test generative AI so they copied/pasted a law firm’s work product (redacting names). These clients found interesting and helpful recommendations to improve the work product and gained insightful knowledge on relevant topics.
Correspondence and emails
Clients are inundated with emails and correspondence. They find generative AI chatbots helpful in writing routine and straightforward correspondence, adding time to their day — a highly valued benefit.
Doing deep dives on attorneys
Clients want to know more about the attorneys they deal with. They especially want to know more about attorneys they are considering for hire. But it’s not just outside counsel. Corporate counsel ask about opposing counsel, in-house counsel for the other side, regulatory agency histories — and they also ask about the people and places where they are considering new jobs.
These top uses offer two big lessons for outside counsel:
- Clients’ intellectual curiosity is one of the most enjoyable aspects of their job. They can get it from AI but they can also get it from outside counsel. It won’t be the same — it will be better because it is a 2-way street.
- Prepare yourself for what clients will see. Better to know what the chatbot will say than not. Tell your client you ran it through generative AI and share the results. You will find it especially important to know what the chatbots say about you and your firm. Perform the query before your client tells you what they found.
Clients want their attorneys to be ahead of the game. Your clients will be impressed with your added outreach and due diligence. And like your clients — we all may learn a few new things to help us out.