Paul Weiss Assesses the Value of AI

DataPlus AI
May 14, 2024
3
min read

As the artificial intelligence boom sweeps through the legal industry, many are predicting a transformation in how lawyers work. However, law firms like Paul Weiss are largely still in the testing phase, carefully navigating the well-publicized risks of generative AI such as accuracy problems and threats to confidential client data.

According to research by Bloomberg Law, Paul Weiss has been piloting AI tools including:

  • Harvey, a legal assistant tool, for nearly a year and a half
  • CoCounsel and Lexis+AI
  • AI drafting tool Draftwise
  • Review platforms Macro and Kira
  • Tools for AI data extraction

However, the firm is not yet using hard metrics like time saved to evaluate the AI programs. Instead, they are focusing on a more subjective measure: how much lawyers like using the tools.

Some key findings from Paul Weiss' AI pilots include:

  • Harvey is useful for experienced lawyers to brainstorm ideas and approaches to problems
  • AI tools are inconsistent, with responses varying to the same query asked minutes apart
  • The tools are most valuable currently for non-billable work and practice groups that benefit from efficiency
  • AI can summarize legal documents without legalese for client readiness
  • AI is making due diligence faster and more thorough by enabling review of all contracts

While Paul Weiss, like other Am Law firms, is likely piloting additional AI products under NDAs, they are not yet attributing any boost to key financial metrics like profits per equity partner, revenue per lawyer, or increased demand to the use of AI.

However, the experimentation and learning the firm is undertaking now is positioning them well to leverage AI in the future to increase revenue, improve margins, and gain a competitive edge in client acquisition and new matter origination.

As Chris Audet, chief of research in Gartner's legal, risk and compliance leaders practice noted, "Most clients understand that Gen AI right now is really just something that they're looking for that firm or that vendor to have on a roadmap."

The value of AI for most law firms still lies ahead, but early movers like Paul Weiss are paving the way to realizing its full potential on both the practice of law and the business of law. Firms that fail to experiment and build competency with AI now risk being left behind as the technology matures and clients increasingly expect it.

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