Corporate Lawyers Call for Transparency in Law Firms’ Use of Generative AI

In a recent survey conducted by LexisNexis Legal & Professional, corporate lawyers across several key nations expressed a growing interest in the use of generative AI tools by their outside law firms. The survey, known as the International Legal Generative AI Report, sheds light on the evolving landscape of legal technology and the expectations of legal professionals regarding AI deployment.

The survey revealed that 60% of corporate counsel in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France are keen to see their external legal partners harness the power of generative AI tools. This indicates a growing recognition of AI's potential to enhance legal services and streamline various aspects of legal practice.

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Perhaps one of the most noteworthy findings is that 78% of in-house lawyers expect their law firms to be transparent about their use of AI. This demand for transparency underscores the importance of clear communication between corporate counsel and external law firms regarding the integration of AI into legal processes. Transparency not only builds trust but also allows for a more collaborative and informed approach to AI adoption.

While the overall desire for generative AI tools is prevalent, there are regional variations in expectations. In the United States, a significant 67% of in-house lawyers are eager to see their legal partners embrace AI, marking the highest percentage among the surveyed countries. In France, 61% of counsel share this enthusiasm, followed closely by the United Kingdom at 59% and Canada at 53%.

Interestingly, nearly half of the law firm lawyers surveyed believe that their corporate clients expect them to utilize generative AI tools. However, there is a notable discrepancy when it comes to offering a choice about AI deployment. While 65% of in-house lawyers expect the option to be given, only 45% of law firm respondents agree. Furthermore, 25% of law firm respondents expressed the belief that in-house counsel clients do not want them to deploy generative AI tools, showcasing a divergence of opinions within the legal community.

Despite the growing interest in generative AI, concerns about its ethical implications persist. A staggering 90% of lawyers surveyed expressed concerns about the ethical aspects of AI in the legal field, with a third of them highlighting significant ethical challenges. These concerns often revolve around issues of data privacy and intellectual property, reflecting the need for clear ethical guidelines in AI adoption.

As the legal industry continues to embrace AI, addressing ethical concerns and ensuring open communication between legal professionals and their clients will be crucial for the successful integration of AI into the practice of law.