Two-thirds of legal operations professionals expect generative AI will help their departments bring more work in-house, a recent report found.
Along those lines, 70% of legal ops pros believe generative AI will lower their in-house departments’ legal spend, according to the Law Department Operations Survey from Blickstein Group and Deloitte.
Roughly one-fourth of the surveyed operations professionals said their law departments already have generative AI-powered tools and plan to update them, while another 36% said they do not have those tools but plan to add them.
The tasks law departments report sometimes using generative AI to complete include document management (23.1%), e-billing (21.2%), pre-execution contract management (17.3%), document/contract assembly (15.4%) and matter management (15.4%).
The only task for which the ops pro reported always using generative AI was pre-execution contract management at 1.9%.
The in-house legal use of generative AI is beginning to grow as legal ops pros and other colleagues work to become more comfortable using the emerging technology.
A combined 18.6% of legal ops pros said they were either very or somewhat comfortable using generative AI.
On the other hand, 25.9% of ops pros reported being somewhat uncomfortable using the technology and 11.1% said they are very uncomfortable.
“While there are valid reasons to be trepidatious, generative AI offers a promise that’s familiar to those who have spent any time exploring the vast field of legal technology offerings: better results in less time with a lower price tag,” the report said.
Expectations of law firms
Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (63%) of legal ops pros said they encourage their outside law firms to use generative AI, the report found.
An even higher percentage, 68.2%, said they believed the value of legal services provided by law firms would improve if generative AI/large language models are incorporated into their service delivery models.
Additionally, 54.5% of legal ops pros said they agreed that for work augmented by generative AI, law firms will increase their use of alternative fee arrangements and modified billing.
“Generative AI may give law firms the ability to complete a higher volume of work faster, but they will only benefit if they, with the help of their clients, finally get serious about alternative fee arrangements,” the ops report said.
On the other end of the spectrum, 28% of legal ops pros said they discourage their law firms from using generative AI and 10% said they outright forbid its use.