Practical next steps to get started and some thoughts around future careers
So here’s the third and final instalment in this current series focussing on the practicalities of generative AI for in-house counsel. Let’s focus on some practical next steps to help you get started, whilst also addressing some common questions around what technologies like AI mean for the lawyer of the future.
Getting Started – Have a Play
I’m a firm believer in that the best way to get to grips with something new is to roll up your sleeves and have a go, and that’s no different with Generative AI. If you haven’t done so already, I’d highly recommend you take a visit to the Chat GPT website where you can sign up for free. There are plenty of other alternatives to Chat GPT, including Google Bard, Microsoft Bing Chat and Claude. REMEMBER: do not share/insert any sensitive or confidential information into these platforms!
Here’s a few ideas for inspiration if you haven’t yet had a play:
Let’s put this into practice
Here’s a few tips to progress from experimenting to doing.
The above is a very general guide. Of course, if you have more specific questions or would like to explore further, I would love to have a chat and so please get in touch.
Technology, AI and the Future Lawyer
One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether “AI will eat our jobs” or “Do I need to be a technology or AI expert to be a lawyer in the future”.
In short, the answer to both of those questions from me is “No”. Quite decisive for a lawyer, (right?!). So now I’ll briefly explain the caveats and the thought process behind that.
Firstly, as we’ve seen throughout this blog series, there are risks and challenges to using technology like AI. Like humans, it’s not perfect.
Let’s summarise what we’ve already covered: Generative AI is an assistant tool, it’s not going to replace us. It’s going to get you to a first draft of some content more quickly, it should be treated like an intern, or a trainee lawyer – someone who is talented, who is still learning the ropes but can help you get through a large job list much more quickly.
You’ll need to review the content, you’ll want to fact-check the sources and recommendations, you’ll want to use your years of training and experience to polish the outcome and assure its accuracy – that’s why you are there. When using for the right task though, you’ll get to the right outcome much more quickly (up to 80% in some of the time trials I have done).
Now let’s move onto Gen AI in terms of careers. As it has done over the past couple of decades, technology and tools like AI will continue to create new opportunities in the legal sector – we’ll need some lawyers with deep understanding and a passion for technology to be the change makers. We’ll see more “non-lawyer” (thankfully, that phrase seems to be slowly dying!) roles embedded within the legal ecosystem, which will continue to diversify how legal services are provided – that’s developers, data scientists but also project managers, product managers etc. Sure, an understanding of technology will be helpful, but as AI and technology become more ubiquitous in our everyday lives this will naturally happen as an evolution.
So, if black letter law and the practice of law is your passion, I’ve no doubt that technology and AI will not take that away from you in the long term. If you’re a bit more entrepreneurial, or tech-savvy, then there will continue to be an emergence of new roles that might be more interesting to you in the future.
And with that, I wrap up this blog series on Generative AI. There was so much I could not cover here in a short blog series designed as a quick and light read. I’m passionate, but also realistic and practical about the possibilities of AI in legal.
If you’d like to chat more, please do get in touch.
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