Alaina Lancaster: Will Attorneys Afraid to Adopt GenAI Get Left Behind?

Extract from Alaina Lancaster’s article “Will Attorneys Afraid to Adopt GenAI Get Left Behind?”

Lawyers don’t have to worry about generative artificial intelligence taking their jobs, but there’s cause for concern if they shun the technology altogether, warned legal professionals at an event Thursday.

At the Everlaw Summit 2023—where the legal technology company announced new generative AI capabilities, including a partnership with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith—experts told the audience they don’t have to be afraid, but they should be ready for immense industry transformation. 

“Don’t worry about the technology coming for your job,” said Stephen Poor, chairman emeritus and labor and employment partner at Seyfarth Shaw. “Worry about the people who understand the technology coming for your job. 

In an interview at the event, Everlaw’s Chief Legal Officer Shana Simmons said she perceives that some attorneys are scared about their role in the industry amid the growth of generative AI technology. But she said she expects intellectual curious attorneys who are bold and confident are going to come out on top. 

“I think that there’s going to be those who embrace it and figure out how it’s going to supplement them to figure out their own superpower within the law,” she said.

Mary O’Carroll, chief community officer of contract lifecycle management company Ironclad and former director of legal operations at Google, said generative AI is going to completely change the way law schools teach, law firms practice and in-house departments are structured. Lawyers, O’Carroll said, are going to be able to do so much more, but the work will likely be different. 

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