AI Isn’t the Apocalypse for Corporate Legal Departments; It’s Actually a Renewal

Hey there legal innovators!

Our industry isn’t necessarily known as the realm of fast-paced change. Outside counsel and even corporate legal departments are inherently risk averse and rightfully so! 

However, even the immovable wall of the legal department is being overwhelmed by the unstoppable force of Generative AI. 

For many legal departments, this additional challenge is daunting. The hype around AI in particular, has arguably taken too much brain space from the myriad of priorities and risks that corporate legal departments face daily. This backdrop makes it crucial for leaders to be actively engaged with developing a comprehensive and cohesive AI strategy for their department to avoid pain further down the line. 

PERSUIT is all in on this topic and in case you missed it, we recently facilitated a discussion between leaders from a law firm, corporate client, and legal consultant. You can check out a recording of that conversation here

Ultimately, the conclusion we arrived at is that this isn't about humans versus machines or even corporate legal departments vs outside counsel. It's all about being proactive and prioritizing partnership. AI needs to become a collaborative lever that can deepen the relationship between you and your firms. 

GenAI isn’t the "apocalypse" of the attorney-client relationship; it's actually a renewal!

Note: Want to hear how industry leaders are responding to AI in legal? Click here to view the recording of a session we held with leaders from HSBC, ReedSmith, and HBR Consulting.

5 strategies for including AI in your next outside counsel arrangement

As I noted above, proactivity is the name of the game! Here are a few steps you can do today to set up a good foundation and structure for working with our outside counsel. 

1. Initiate the conversation 

Don't wait for your outside counsel to bring AI to the table. Initiate a proactive dialogue about AI integration, discussing how it can optimize processes and drive outcomes.

2. Develop a shared vision

Define a shared vision of how AI could transform the partnership. Understand each other's expectations, concerns, and aspirations regarding AI adoption.

3. Encourage collaborative learning

Organize joint learning sessions to explore AI's capabilities and possibilities. Demystify the tech jargon and ignite enthusiasm for the collaboration.

4. Talk about value

Corporate Legal Departments should not shy away from discussing the value and cost of AI augmented legal services. This is a new and different ecosystem and working with your firms to develop updated pricing structures are vital for the success of your continued partnership. 

5. Use an RFI template

PERSUIT has developed a request for information (RFI) template that can be a great starting point for legal departments. This RFI allows you to open the discussion with your firms and provides you with a great set of data points to start your conversation. 

Here's a RFI template we've created here at PERSUIT that you can download and use with your firms.

Q3 2023 Benchmarking Report Graphic

Guide your department forward with AI

As we stand at the crossroads of tradition and transformation, we should embrace the role of AI as a catalyst for corporate legal departments and their outside counsel. 

Be the proactive conductor and guide your department forward. 

Note: You can learn more about AI-driven legal transformation by watching the recording of our recent webinar: AI-Driven Legal Transformations — Navigating the Future of Corporate Counsel and Outside Counsel Relations.

AI-Driven Legal Transformations

Maui Gevero

Maui Gevero is a senior member of PERSUIT's Legal Advisory team and a former senior financial analyst at Latham & Watkins. Maui is an expert in legal pricing and alternative fee arrangements.