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8 Bold Legal Technology Predictions For 2024

8 Bold Legal Technology Predictions For 2024

What could be bigger than the rise of generative artificial intelligence in 2023? How about the next iteration of AI in the legal field in 2024?

Experts in law firms and vendors told Law360 Pulse about their boldest legal technology predictions for 2024, all of them involving AI.

Some predictions see the use of AI expanding in legal departments, law schools and even the highest court in the country. But, experts also say there might be setbacks in AI among BigLaw firms and AI legal startups.

Here are eight bold predictions about legal tech next year from experts in the industry.

A Generative AI-Created Brief Will Be Filed To The Supreme Court

Lawyers were sanctioned and scolded by judges in 2023 for using generative AI to write legal briefs, and in some cases were required to disclose the use of AI. But 2024 will be a different game.

Chris Dralla, CEO of the AI platform TypeLaw, predicts that the first brief written by generative AI will be filed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2024. Additionally, Dralla said that the court won’t realize that AI was used to write the brief.

“I think it will happen because that’s something we’re going to be able to offer some of our customers who file to SCOTUS in 2024,” Dralla told Law360 Pulse. “They’ve already used TypeLaw AI automation to format and edit briefs submitted to SCOTUS, and generative AI for drafting is a logical extension of what we already do well.”

Lawyers will also spend less time preparing arguments for court, as AI can handle the technical and procedural aspects of a case, according to Dralla. This would allow lawyers to devote more time to thinking about the substance of a case.

“I think briefing is going to be more articulate and specific, which will help courts arrive at fairer decisions more efficiently,” Dralla said.

Lawyers Will Be Ethically Compelled to Use AI-Powered Legal Tools

As the use of AI in the legal field raises ethical concerns, industry associations may need to step in and provide clarity.

Cat Casey, the chief growth officer for the e-discovery company Reveal, told Law360 Pulse that concerns about proportionality, the need for speed to gather evidence and increasing complex and large-scale data volumes will lead to a new ruling in 2024 with lawyers having an ethical obligation to use AI or some form of advanced legal technology.

“With the increase of mainstream adoption, [more] user friendly interfaces and data challenges will create a perfect storm,” Casey wrote. “The delta between linear e-discovery and AI-powered will become so great that failure to leverage this efficiency will no longer be tenable.”

This new ethical obligation would likely arise from a combination of existing Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and American Bar Association rules. Casey cites a few examples, including FRCP Rule 1, which calls for the “just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding” and ABA Model Rule 1.1, which deals with the ethical duty of technical competence.

The idea of a new ethical obligation for AI isn’t entirely new to the legal industry. In November, a Florida Bar ethics committee issued proposed guidelines for attorneys using generative AI in their legal work. So a new ethical ruling in 2024 wouldn’t be that surprising.

New Specific Use-Case GPTs Will Emerge for Practice Areas

One-size-fits-all may not work with law firms using generative pre-trained transformers, or GPTs, which are the models that power generative AI tools. Lawyers might need AI tools that are built specifically for each practice area.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Hunter Jackson, the firm’s chief knowledge officer, and Michael Shea, the chief information officer, told Law360 Pulse that specific GPT models will emerge in 2024 that are tailored for discrete practice groups, industries, tasks and scenarios.

“These GPT models will combine vectorized information from various sources with custom GPT models that are trained on specialized datasets and objectives,” Jackson and Shea wrote to Law360 Pulse.

For example, some GPT models will be developed to conduct big data analysis on financial agreements. Other models will be used in e-discovery for locating relevant information from large collections of documents.

“These use-case specific GPT models will offer more value and efficiency for the legal professionals, as they will address their specific needs and challenges,” Jackson and Shea wrote.

In-House Teams Will Opt For Multi-Purpose AI Tools

As a sort of counterpoint, instead of relying on tailor-made AI tools for each department, corporations might transcend traditional departmental boundaries in their approach to generative AI and data.

In 2024, enterprises might try to navigate the AI cycle by following a multidisciplinary approach to AI adoption. In other words, AI tools will be shared across departments.

“Integrating expertise across data scientists, finance, engineering, and legal, among others, will lead to a more cross-functional, agile, and efficient enterprise-wide environment that capitalizes on cross-department data pools to up-level generative AI into a valued resource,” Bernadette Bulacan, the chief evangelist at contract management software company Icertis, wrote to Law360 Pulse. “Legal leaders must wear two hats across the enterprise as they will be asked to join cross-functional steering committees to look at responsible AI use across the enterprise while still being committed to transforming the legal department with the best technologies.”

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