AJS innovation and the law firm

When we think of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the immediate go-to thought is automation, taking labour-intensive tasks and making them easier. 

The shtick we have all been sold about AI is that it makes the lives of lawyers a cinch, taking all the slog work away from them and their staff freeing up time for the legal eagle to do more intense, more legal-focused work. The kind of work that they couldn’t always focus on. 

This often means being able to bill for more hours working on the tough stuff – you know, the stuff that actually takes brain cells to work through. And that’s exactly the right deal.

And this is, of course, the absolute truth. AI has come into all of our lives to make it easier what with predictive text, automated driving, document automation, smart homes, Alexa, Siri, Satnav. Basically, if you use an App to do something or if what you are doing is automated in any way you can be pretty darn sure, you have an itty-bitty AI in your life. 

What this boils down to is quite simple – AI supports and empowers law firms and lawyers to do more. AI enables lawyers to take their practices to the next level. 

But there’s something about the way lawyers can use AI that has shifted things a little for us. AI is often described as a tool that lawyers can build practices around, as something that can help lawyers be better lawyers. It’s almost trite to say. 

But what if instead of simply – as Joe Patrice set out in his article Moving Beyond Supporting A Practice Into Creating New Lines Of Business – helping lawyers do their jobs better, AI enables lawyers to do more jobs. In other words, what if AI opens the minds of lawyers and allows them to see what else they could do with the help of AI?

Lawyers embracing the next frontier

Now we’re not saying that the practice of law has become mundane and as such lawyers need another gig to keep them sane. No. 

What we are saying is that lawyers are just like everyone else – keeping up with the side hustle and having their fingers in more than one pie. Trying their best to earn dimes and offer value in more than one income stream. 

It’s the way of the world and a clear sign of the times. 

You see, lawyers have cottoned on to the fact that it could be worth exploring new billable opportunities or potentially developing new lines of business made possible by AI.

In fact, as set out by Lexis Nexis

In January of 2024, LexisNexis surveyed 216 managing partners and other senior leaders at large law firms, as well as 50 executives in corporate legal departments at Fortune 1000 companies, to better understand the business impact of Gen AI technology on the legal industry.

We discovered that 47% of law firms with 50 or more attorneys — and a decisive 54% of respondents from Am Law 200 firms — are currently exploring new business opportunities made possible by Gen AI technology. This suggests that a fast-growing number of law firms see the new business potential of Gen AI and are taking a pro-active approach to exploring AI’s power to drive their revenue growth.

Our survey found that 53% of Am Law 200 firms have already purchased “Legal AI” tools (Gen AI tools developed specifically for the legal industry) and that 45% of Am Law 200 firms are using Gen AI now for legal matters. Perhaps this rapid adoption pace explains why seven in 10 (70%) of law firm respondents told us they believe that Gen AI will enable new value-added work for their firms, with about a third (30%) expecting this to result in a direct impact on firm revenue.”

Exactly where and how AI can be used to generate business and income is yet to be seen. And that’s the exciting thing. One avenue, as suggested by Thomson Reuters is in the marketing and content creation context – 

“AI can assist in generating high-quality legal content for blogs, newsletters, social media, or podcasts that you can review, edit, and publish. That can help establish you as a thought leader and attract new clients.”

Sure, that requires close monitoring and review (and does put writers such as myself out of work) but it can be used, if not for the actual writing of articles, for the analysis and learning of vast datasets of existing text, images, or other media to give feedback on what’s trending, on what’s already out there, what could be written on and what content could be created.  

With the correct application and use of AI, the world is seemingly every lawyer’s oyster, and the possibilities are (almost) endless. But like with everything, caution must be exercised.

That said, have fun. Open your mind to the endless possibilities and think – once again – out the box. That is after all, what AI can help a human do. Remember AI requires specific parameters within which to operate – it can’t handle ambiguity and uncertainty. It can’t make intuitive leaps or think outside the box without being explicitly programmed to do so. But and we think this is the important thing – once you have thought of the possibilities (within reason and within the ambit of law), AI can get you to the next level and help you operate to your full potential.

Take the leap, take the plunge.

How can AJS be of assistance as far as innovation is concerned?

AJS is the supplier of world class all-in-one, web-based software that includes full legal accounting and practice management software.

Not only that but all AJS products are truly cloud/web based, have full server hosting, and offer maintenance of all servers – allowing for hassle-free hosting. There is also full server security, backups and disaster recovery, a true cross-platform (Windows/Linux/Android/IOS) application and REAL TIME free mobile app to all AJS users. 

With the choice between  AJS Express, Pro, Enterprise, AJS One, FLOW and XpressDox (which can all be viewed online here) users are spoiled for choice. AJS offers web-based solutions that are flexible providing packages for all law firm types, sizes, and budget needs. AJS is filled with functions and features designed to achieve more with less time. Which means more profits – do we hear a cha-ching? In other words, you will be well on your way to finding innovative ways to not only reinvent the way you provide legal services, but you may also build a competitive advantage by meeting your clients’ needs in innovative ways. 

What’s more, by utilising tech products such as those offered by AJS and incorporating forward-thinking AI into your practice, who knows, you may just stumble upon the next “big thing” in legal services. And we would be as proud as peacocks if we had even the tiniest role to play in it. 

To find out how to incorporate a new tool into your existing accounting and practice management suite, or how to get started with legal tech,  feel free to get in touch with AJS – we have the right combination of systems, resources and business partnerships to assist you with incorporating supportive legal technology into your practice. Effortlessly. 

AJS is always here to help you, wherever and whenever possible!

(Sources used and to whom we owe thanks: Lexis Nexis; Thomson Reuters here and here and Above The Law).

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