A must-read report entitled “Generative Artificial Intelligence and the Workforce” was released last week by The Burning Glass Institute and SHRM. This report was also featured in an article in The New York Times.
This report is interesting for the legal industry since it shares the following observations regarding the potential impact of GenAI in the legal industry:
- Regulatory Compliance: “Examples of how AI will place certain occupations at high risk include:..Regulatory compliance, a task overseen by auditors, compliance officers and lawyers, demands thoroughness and accuracy. GenAI can facilitate quicker compliance checks with fewer errors.” (Page 5)
- Repercussions by Industry: “The industries most likely to be affected include financial services, law and marketing research. For example, legal advisors face potential automation in creating standardized documents…” (Page 6)
- Legal Occupation Affected by Gen AI: Legal was identified as a key occupation most affected by GenAI compared to previous automation waves. In fact, law offices were ranked with the second highest “GenAI Exposure Score” of 3.906 for occupations right behind mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers. (Pages 13 and 16)
Of course, only time will tell regarding the true impact of AI upon the legal profession.
While I don’t believe that AI will be replacing lawyers anytime soon, there is no doubt that sophisticated AI tools will be able to perform and automate certain tasks – especially routine and repetitive ones – that have been traditionally performed by lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals.
A key take-away from this report is that the legal profession needs to be open to learning more about AI and embracing AI tools to better serve their clients so that lawyers can practice law at the top of their law license.
I’m also adding this interesting graphic below from the report which provides a summary of workforce skills that will increase/decrease in importance with the rise of GenAI tools.
Hopefully our law schools will be teaching some of the skills identified above that will be increasingly important for lawyer success as AI technology advances and lawyers use more AI solutions to deliver legal services to their clients. Key skills like “AI Literacy,” “Emotional Intelligence,” “Continuous Learning,” “Critical Thinking,” “Digital Security and Privacy,” and “Creativity” will be even more critical for lawyers to invest in and build upon moving forward in an AI-powered world.