In my previous blog, I touched upon the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smart technologies on job roles in law firms. They will enable support personnel (the real workers that make sure all the cogs turn properly and the boiler room remains stoked) to help fee earners manage their relationships throughout the life cycle of engagement with a contact. I have no doubt that smart technologies such as Lexis InterAction’s Business Edge capability will be a real boon to lawyers when their role in the months and years ahead will primarily be to:
- Interpret that the AI / Robot is right about the law; and
- Provide a supportive relationship to clients and General Counsel
And the role of the ‘support worker’ will continue to be in supporting the lawyer in making the above happen extraordinarily well. In this new incarnation, law firms will not be in the business of law anymore, but in the business of supporting intelligent relationships and relationship management. Use of these kinds of technologies will enable the skill and experience of senior, associate and junior lawyers, and all support personnel to be focused on the parts that really matter – i.e. adding commercial value, finding solutions, rainmaking, interacting with prospects and clients, negotiating, persuading, doing deals, and being creative – rather than spending time on ‘mundane’ tasks, which usually account for 60-80% of time spent on any legal matter.
I am confident that Business Edge will assist in firm growth and client loyalty as it eases the pain and helps support personnel market their algorithmic angels to existing and new clients as well as communicate and interact intelligently more often. I envisage that the future of law will witness the rise of more relationship agents, (in whatever guise) and the majority of roles will simply be to manage / project manage / over-lord and be intelligent about relationships via ROARing (Reach Out And Relate) supported with smart technologies such as Business Edge. CRM systems such as Lexis InterAction will facilitate the valuable intelligent relationships.
To succeed in the future of law will require every individual to be imaginative and creative in how they approach existing and new clients by using the information on client relationships intelligently – facilitated via technology at our fingertips. It is these kinds of things that will distinguish us from ‘the machine’. Embracing all these forms of technological deployment will free us all up to do the thing of real value – client humanness activities. Getting clients and keeping them. The thing ‘the machine’ can’t do... yet.
So, what is the next legal frontier? Isn’t it obvious? Cultivating intelligent relationships using human wisdom and machine intelligence, together. Period. It always was. It always will be.