Curtailed by resources, uptake of AI technologies in the legal sector likely to be slow

Innovation is a long-term trend, expert says

Curtailed by resources, uptake of AI technologies in the legal sector likely to be slow

A new survey has found that the adoption of AI technologies in the legal sector will likely be slow, hindered by a lack of resources available to firms and lawyers.

The findings come from the “Move Forward with Confidence: Your Roadmap to Transformation” report by Global X and the Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA).

 “The survey results show we are likely to experience a slow uptake of AI within the legal industry, with the innovation being a long-term, rather than immediate, trend,” said Peter Maloney, GlobalX chief executive. “It’s not that firms are reluctant to innovate. The survey results show that by far the biggest impediment to adopting new technology is simply a lack of time and money.”

The study also found AI was the least-used technology in the legal sector. Software for practice management and document management was the most widely used. Maloney said that AI can be a differentiator for early adopters.

“While it’s the least utilised legal innovation now, for those early-adopter firms it’s a point of difference in the market and potentially a real competitive edge that other firms are yet to explore,” Maloney said. “For smaller firms who sometimes have to be more innovative to compete against the giants, AI could be the difference between barely surviving and thriving.”

The GlobalX CEO said that nearly a third of firms indicated that they intend to introduce AI technology within the next year. However, firms are most keen to implement digital-signing and practice-automation technologies.

The study also found that smaller firms are more open to adopt new technology in the workplace. Asked to rate their receptiveness to new technology on a scale of 0 to 100, small firms averaged 71. That’s higher than the average of 55 for larger firms, and the average of 66 for all respondents.

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