Global Law Firm Experiments With 3 Generative AI Tools

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London-headquartered international firm Ashurst LLP has been experimenting with three different generative artificial intelligence tools and found these tools can help with writing first drafts more quickly and efficiently, according to a report released Monday.

The report said that nearly 80% of Ashurst attorneys and staff who tested the generative AI tools agreed or strongly agreed that the technology helped them write first drafts faster.

The estimated time savings of using generative AI to draft UK corporate filings was 80%, 59% for industry research reports and 45% for first drafts of legal briefs, according to the report.

In addition, generative AI helped attorneys and staff write content like job descriptions, policy documents and social media posts and saved them up to two hours per task, the report found.

"GenAI helped participants not just to draft the content, but it helped pull the relevant source material into one place for them to review," the report said.

The report was based on trials conducted on three different generative AI tools from November to March. The tests were led by Ashurst's office of the chief digital officer and involved more than 400 partners, attorneys and staff from all of the firm's practice areas and business services functions. The firm did not disclose which generative AI tools it tested or comment on specific features of the tools.

The report also looked at accuracy, quality, scope and adoption of generative AI tools.

The report noted that the potential time savings value of generative AI is closely tied to accuracy, so guardrails need to be put in place to ensure that generative AI-produced content is reviewed for accuracy by experts.

The report also found that human outputs scored higher for accuracy on average than generative AI outputs.

The report said that when generative AI content was accurate, an expert panel had difficulty distinguishing it from human generated content.

The report also found that generative AI helped attorneys and staff with daily tasks. For example, trial participants used generative AI to summarize meetings and create action points and, on average, saved about 10 minutes per 30-minute call.

"The trials were instrumental in uncovering not just pockets of value in legal work and potential client-facing solutions, but also showing the potential impact of GenAI on our people's day-to-day work and lives," the report said.

Many law firms have been experimenting with large language models that power generative AI tools to build their own solutions and testing generative AI tools created by legal tech vendors.

Several law firms have created their own chatbots that are more secure than OpenAI's publicly available tool ChatGPT.

Other firms have been adopting commercial generative AI tools like Casetext's CoCounsel, now owned by Thomson Reuters, and partnering with chatbot provider Harvey.

--Editing by Alex Hubbard.

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