Many lawyers and law firm leaders are worried about the potential disruptive impact of generative artificial intelligence. I’m less convinced that these worries are justified. It’s not that generative AI won’t be disruptive — it will. However, small, agile law firms are in an excellent position to use generative AI-based tools and products to compete with larger, resource-rich law firms in ways that were previously impossible.
I know this because I have seen firsthand how law firms have adopted earlier generations of artificial intelligence into their practices. From the first generations of natural language processing that were built into legal research products decades ago to more advanced applications for AI in products used for large-scale document reviews, law firms have effectively adapted to new forms of AI when they are embedded in the many products that lawyers use every day.