McGuireWoods’ Hems and O’Donovan Write Article on Legal AI in Financier Worldwide

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) can be a helpful tool for lawyers, but legal judgments are best left to humans for the foreseeable future, McGuireWoods London partner Simon Hems and associate Alice O’Donovan wrote in the December 2023 edition of Financier Worldwide.

In the article, “Generative artificial intelligence in dispute resolution,” Hems and O’Donovan explored whether GenAI is an “all or nothing tool” or one that can be useful despite its limitations.

GenAI can, in just a few seconds, handle tasks that might take teams of document reviewers several days, the authors noted. Legal AI models that are trained on the content of accredited legal databases could provide valuable assistance in structuring hearings, planning cross-examinations and drafting submissions, they wrote. But, they added, “this would be as a foundational source for the work that needs to be done, and not as a complete solution. Expecting GenAI to be the advocate or the judge is more challenging.”

“The practice of law is, unquestionably, a document-heavy industry, which makes it an obvious ‘target’ for legal AI,” Hems and O’Donovan wrote. “But the true value of the lawyer is as a trusted adviser. GenAI models can only draw inferences based on patterns they detect in their training data.”