- 75% of legal chiefs expect to use generative artificial intelligence in the legal function in the near term, according to an industry report.
- Along those lines, 77% of general counsel survey respondents said they have plans to make new technology investments this year, a more than 20-point increase over the previous year. Contract lifecycle management tools ranked the highest among the technologies legal departments plan to invest in during 2024.
- More than half of GCs say they handle legal technology purchasing decisions independent of other stakeholders, according to Part 2 of The General Counsel Report from FTI Consulting. The report is produced in partnership with the legal technology company Relativity.
Most general counsel expressed a high degree of support for utilizing generative AI across a mix of legal use cases, the FTI Consulting/Relativity report found.
Overall, survey participants rated their GenAI comfort level at a weighted average of 3.2 based on a scale ranging from one (not comfortable) to five (extremely comfortable).
E-discovery was a leading area in which general counsel indicated readiness for generative AI solutions, with 80% saying they were comfortable. This figure included nearly one in four legal chiefs who said they were “extremely” comfortable using GenAI for electronic discovery.
Roughly two-thirds of GCs said they were comfortable with the use of AI for compliance monitoring, including 52% who said they were “very” or “extremely” comfortable.
“Unsurprisingly, AI was a major topic of discussion in this year’s general counsel report, but more than the excitement around technology innovation was the sense that there has been a distinct shift in the legal department’s attitude toward technology,” said Sophie Ross, global CEO of FTI Technology, in a press release about the report.
“While lawyers will always maintain a healthy degree of caution, legal department leaders are more focused than ever before on trying new technologies, investing in tools, automating their work and embracing the technological changes that will make them more effective as strategic business partners,” Ross continued.
Additionally, general counsel expressed greater openness to their internal teams using AI than their outside counsel utilizing the emerging technology.
“I am concerned about lawyers being lazy about using AI for contract review,” one GC said in the report. “I have asked my outside counsel not to use AI unless they tell me how they are using it and on which matters.”
The FTI Consulting/Relativity report is based on a detailed survey and one-on-one interviews Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors conducted with chief legal officers at large corporations in every major region around the world. Kaplan interviewed 60 leaders serving as the general counsel or chief legal officer of their organizations in July and August 2023.