As industry leaders from across the legal and technology profession gathered for day two of Legal Geek 2022, Luminance’s Head of Legal, Harry Borovick, and Jezah Khasima, Knowledge and Innovation Manager at Slaughter and May, took to the stage to discuss how lawyers at the Magic Circle firm are leveraging AI to transform document reviews and cultivate firm-wide innovation. With Slaughter and May among the earliest adopters of Luminance’s next-generation technology, Jezah was able to provide an invaluable perspective on how and why AI adoption has become so crucial for private practices today.
Socialising AI in the Legal Sector
Jezah opened the conversation by explaining how the socialisation of AI remains central to technology adoption in the legal sector. Despite the rush to embrace novel technologies in recent years, AI is still seen by some as a daunting and unfamiliar concept – something to which risk-averse lawyers are not immediately drawn. Jezah countered this ‘tech scepticism’, commenting: “I think when people are scared of AI, that often comes through a lack of understanding of what it is actually doing. It’s not replacing your job; you need to work with it.”
As Jezah was quick to emphasise, AI isn’t replacing lawyers, but augmenting them. Luminance’s AI reads and forms an understanding of any volume of legal documentation in any language, automatically surfacing key information such as clauses, dates, parties, governing law and even areas of non-compliance and risk. With Luminance automating the bulk of labour-intensive review work, legal professionals can redirect resource to the work that truly demands their expertise: analysing the AI’s findings and thinking critically and creatively about a matter.
AI is Key to Talent Recruitment and Retention
Jezah went on to explain that AI has become essential in future-proofing her firm and the legal sector as a whole, describing how junior lawyers are providing a fresh perspective on exactly why AI is indispensable to their profession. She noted that junior lawyers view AI adoption “as a benchmark for how forward thinking a firm is”, adding that “it’s a reflection on what their day-to-day life is going to be like and if the firm is keeping competitive.”
Against a backdrop of high levels of burnout and an intense competition to attract the best emerging talent, which has seen spiralling wages for newly qualified lawyers, the importance of a healthy work-life balance has recently come to the fore. Junior lawyers are increasingly calling on firms to adopt AI to assist them in their day-to-day legal work, which can often consist of laborious review work and other admin-heavy tasks. Jezah and Harry agreed that, by integrating AI into legal workplaces, both senior and junior lawyers can save precious hours historically assigned to administrative work and instead focus on client-facing interactions and collaboration across teams. As Jezah explained: “it improves work-balance because it helps us collaborate and get work done quickly.”
As Harry explained, Luminance is also enabling junior lawyers to access institutional knowledge, ensuring that the acquired expertise of senior members of the legal team is more easily transferred. For instance, when negotiating contracts in Word with Luminance’s AI-powered Traffic Light Analysis, lawyers can provide rationale on-the-fly as to why contractual terms are or are not acceptable. This rationale is then captured by the AI and applied to future negotiations, ensuring that no knowledge is siloed or lost during personnel changes and helping junior counsel to better adhere to internal standards.
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