How to build a business case for AI at your law firm

How to build a business case for AI at your law firm

Here are some tips for acquiring and incorporating AI-based tools into your firm’s processes

Generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) offers great potential to transform both legal practice and the business management of law firms. Whether you’re already convinced of AI’s contribution and impact to the legal industry, or you’ve been tasked with exploring the use of AI in your firm, we can help.

Consider the following model as shown below.


1. Explain Generative AI

A valuable tool for automating various tasks, generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that creates content from scratch. One well-known example is ChatGPT, a large language model that processes large amounts of text to generate new text based on defined patterns.

While large language models can be very useful for designing and creating, they require human input to determine whether new content is trusted and how best to interpret it.

While many legal professionals today are wary of embracing the latest AI technology, many see its potential value.

According to a March 2023 survey by Thomson Reuters, more than one in three US large and mid-sized law firm professionals are considering generative AI for their practice. More than 80% of lawyers surveyed said there are ways technology can be applied to legal work.

2. AI increases efficiency

Law firms are always competing for clients and talent. At the same time, they want to grow and increase profit per partner. Efficiency can hinder these efforts.

Clients expect their firms to deliver superior work and representation, and to do so efficiently. In addition, new partners come to firms expecting automation to minimize repetitive tasks and minimize errors. Legal AI tools can help by automating certain tasks to improve a firm’s overall efficiency and accuracy.

3. Improved work product

Firms can improve both legal practice and business management by using generative artificial intelligence. Law firms are still figuring out how to use generative AI, but according to a 2020 Thomson Reuters AI survey, most firms use AI best for legal research.

These firms cite increased efficiency and time savings as key benefits. When AI solutions are based on a reliable data set, these advantages can also be applied to create a legitimate business product.

How analytics help build a business case for AI

On the business side, customers and potential customers will expect firms to become more tech-savvy in the future and use all the latest solutions, such as generative artificial intelligence.

Firms can train AI-powered analytics on their operational practices. This can help you uncover your strengths, weaknesses, and competencies to help you appoint attorneys to cases and prove your expertise to potential clients. You can also use this data to identify patterns involving time and costs to improve customer relationships and pricing structures.

Generative AI can also help reduce the time spent on customers who push back billable hours. While this may result in a short-term decrease in revenue, demonstrating your efficiency to clients will help protect your firm’s long-term health and relationships.

4. Assess the risks

Many legal professionals are rightly concerned about the risks associated with using generative artificial intelligence in their work. Accuracy and privacy are two key issues to address when presenting your AI case.

To reduce risk, you should avoid using private customer data in surveys and choose a platform that does not collect or claim ownership of your surveys. You should also ensure that the AI ​​model is sourced from a trusted source when your team is using it for legal research or project development.

5. Determine your ROI: what is the profit?

Because we are still in the early stages of generative AI tools, ROI and the impact of AI on law firms can be difficult to quantify. Your ability to build a business case for AI will improve with insights from data reported by early adopters.

In the meantime, see how your company measures the success of technology initiatives. If it focuses on efficiency, utilization, and contribution to revenue or profit, you can quantify ROI in several ways:

  • Calculate the time saved in non-billable hours that can be converted to billable hours
  • Convert usage statistics to percentage of billable hours
  • Link time saved to routine tasks for increased job satisfaction and employee retention
  • Demonstrate increased customer satisfaction and the likelihood of retaining customers who can see your commitment to efficiency and accuracy

Preparing to make your case

When it comes to AI and the future of law, the industry is likely on the brink of a revolution. Developing a business case for AI in your company will help you stay competitive and stay ahead.

Read our white paper The Case for AI in Your Law Firm to better prepare to make your case.

  • Time frame and execution
  • The business is preparing to deliver its business
  • Bringing it all together

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