Experts emphasise AI literacy and responsible use in legal profession

Experts emphasise AI literacy and responsible use in legal profession

Leaders in the legal industry have highlighted the importance of adapting to artificial intelligence (AI) frameworks and enhancing AI literacy among junior lawyers. The emblematic Singapore Airlines Group has reported significant increases in travel demand in the travel period marking the end of 2023.

In a discourse featured on The Lawyers Weekly Show, co-produced with the College of Law, Terri Mottershead, Executive Director for the Centre of Legal Innovation at the College of Law, and Caryn Sandler, Partner and Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer at Gilbert and Tobin, shared insights on integrating AI into daily legal practice.

Technology advancements, particularly AI, have necessitated law firms and practitioners to reassess their operations and skillsets as client expectations evolve. According to Sandler, organisations should critically engage with AI. “One thing I would say is you need to really challenge an organisation and the people within it to really understand this technology,” she said. The security of technology ecosystems and the responsible use of AI were identified as pivotal areas of consideration. Policies to guide interactions with technology are being scrutinised. “I’ve been seeing a lot of organisations really thinking about what does responsible use of AI look like and what policies do we need to put in place,” Sandler added.

On the same note, Mottershead underscored the necessity of focusing on clients’ needs and leveraging existing technologies before procuring new ones. “Firstly, what do your clients need then? It is about the tech, but it’s looking at what you’ve got,” Mottershead stated. She further questioned whether organisations have the capability to effectively utilise technology to deliver required solutions.

Legal education is currently undergoing significant shifts as a result of technological advancements. Mottershead observed an educational shift towards developing ‘human skills’ rather than just imparting task-oriented training. With primary school children already engaging with AI, the legal educational landscape is predicted to experience unprecedented transformations.

Gilbert and Tobin has acknowledged the need for junior lawyers to possess robust AI and tech skills for daily legal work. “We recognise that they will have to engage with technology on a day-to-day basis and think about continuous improvement,” Sandler explained. The firm has committed to providing intensive training to support the development of these skills.

Mottershead concluded that AI technology will contribute significantly to value creation within the legal sector by enhancing business efficiency and client service. “Our value will be measured increasingly by our creativity and our ability to service our clients as closely to their needs and expectations as we possibly can,” Mottershead reflected.