Legal Lags Behind Other Professionals Using AI

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Despite increased demand for artificial intelligence, most professionals are not using this technology at work, with legal professionals lagging behind other sectors, according to a new survey on Tuesday.

Professional services software company Intapp Inc. released its 2024 Technology Perceptions survey report Tuesday. The survey tries to understand how knowledge workers believe AI will impact their performance.

There were 805 participants in the survey across legal, accounting, consulting and finance.

Nearly half of professionals believe they have used AI on the job. However, only 32% of legal respondents reported using AI, the lowest of any professional group surveyed.

Forty-five percent of respondents said that their firms were tech-savvy. Only 35% of legal respondents said they work in similar tech-enabled firms, which was lower than the other industries.

Over 80% of respondents from high-tech firms said they were highly satisfied overall and likely to stay at their current companies. Legal respondents at high-tech firms had the lowest satisfaction rates among the industries at over 70%.

"Professionals take technology into consideration when deciding which firm is right for them, expecting at least the level of AI-enabled technology they use in their personal lives," Ben Harrison, president of industries at Intapp, said in a statement "They know AI and other advanced technologies have the power to transform business operations and create a competitive edge, and they expect it to help them improve collaboration, automate tasks, and support knowledge management on a daily basis."

Harrison added that firm leadership might be surprised to hear that technology can impact employee satisfaction and retention, meaning a lack of effective technology could increase the risk of losing talent.

In the legal field, the results suggest that attorneys don't see the same value in using automation to complete manual administrative tasks. Just a third of work in legal is composed of manual tasks that could be automated, behind the 39% average across all industries.

Automation can also free up time for high-level work, but legal's view is a bit behind the other sectors. Professionals in all industries said they could save 25 hours per week using AI, but legal professionals believe it could only save them 18 hours each week. This was the second-lowest of all industries ahead of consulting.

Lawyers are also rusty in using AI in their personal lives.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said that technology made them more productive in their personal lives, but legal came in last, with just 73% agreeing.

Nearly 60% of respondents are already using AI at home for data entry, voice queries, summarizing data, generating documents or making recommendations. Only 56% of the legal respondents are using AI for home use.

Rockbridge Research conducted the survey for Intapp using an email invitation and an online survey. Responses were collected between Sept. 25 and Oct. 6.

Of the 805 respondents, 222 were in the legal industry. Fifty-six percent of legal respondents were associates and 29% identified as partners, principals and shareholders.

The respondents were based in the United States and the United Kingdom across all workforce ages.

--Editing by Michael Watanabe.

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