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Legal Sector Hesitant to Adopt Generative AI, Survey Reveals

A recent survey conducted by Consilio, a prominent legal software firm, highlights a significant hurdle in the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI) within the legal industry. The findings, derived from responses of 129 attorneys across corporate law departments, law firms, and government-affiliated entities during Legalweek in New York City, reveal a substantial gap in understanding and readiness for gen AI technologies.

Key Findings and Concerns

  • Training and Expertise: A notable 63% of participants expressed the need for further training on gen AI before considering its implementation in their operations.
  • Data Security and AI Risks: The survey identified several concerns hindering gen AI adoption, with 58% of respondents wary of data security issues, 34% apprehensive about the potential for AI “hallucinations,” and 30% worried about intellectual property (IP) infringement.

Despite these apprehensions, the potential benefits of generative AI are not lost on the legal community. Almost half of the respondents (48%) believe gen AI could liberate in-house talent for more strategic tasks, and 32% see it as a means to cut business costs.

Promising Applications for Legal Teams

Consilio’s report further details enticing use cases for gen AI within the legal domain, including:

  • Enhanced data insights (54%)
  • Efficient document review processes (49%)
  • Improved management of sensitive workflows (32%)

Industry Perspective on Gen AI Integration

Consilio’s CEO, Andy Macdonald, encapsulated the sentiment, stating, “It’s clear from our survey that legal departments and law firms are looking for ways to utilize gen AI safely,” acknowledging the need for knowledgeable guidance, effective data protection, and seamless integration with existing enterprise data to mitigate the inherent risks associated with gen AI technologies.

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This cautious stance on gen AI is echoed by another survey from Lowenstein Sandler and the Association of Corporate Counsel, which polled 165 U.S. in-house legal professionals. Findings showed 64% had not employed AI for legal tasks, attributing their hesitance largely to a lack of expertise. Over 40% of these respondents confessed to having little or no confidence in their understanding of AI technologies, underscoring the industry’s urgent need for enhanced training and skilled personnel to navigate the complexities of gen AI adoption.

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