Sam Vincent
Sam Vincent
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Will AI take over legal jobs and the legal profession?

We know that automation is coming, we think that automation is targeting legal jobs but nobody knows exactly which jobs or how many (if any).

Another unknown is what our new life among machines will look like: will they need 'us' to operate 'them' in the future? They need us to program them that’s for sure. Initially at least.

What we do know, is that legal jobs are likely to be affected disproportionately. The divide's likely to occur across certain lines of practice area, with a focus on the more 'process driven' aspects of large transactions; where a computer programme can be taught to spot red flags.

We've seen handfuls of firms announce their partnership with large tech firms/businesses and AI developers: claiming to be the “next big thing” in “technological innovation in the law.”

So as a lawyer, do you need to be looking to diversify your practice? Should you be taking coding lessons in your spare time? In short, only if you’re really interested in coding.

However, as Partner/Manager/Director/Head of HR etc. can you be using AI across your employee experience and should you be doing?

Can it enhance motivation?

There are two potential uses of AI.

  1. To support manager effectiveness with talent alerts
  2. Engagement analysis

AI talent alerts

AI talent alerts would be a first for direct line managers. They'll help managers make decisions about their people, based on a range of information.

Engagement analysis

AI engagement analysis is technology that looks at social media content from inside a company. It looks at unstructured content from annual surveys and pulse surveys, as well as social media chatter meaning that 100,000s of comments can be analysed for themes in a matter of hours. (Please seek advice on how GDPR will impact your ability to listen to this kind of data.)

Increasing your ability to retain with better remuneration planning

When it comes to salary review time, your decisions require careful consideration of a wide range of factors. In addition to billings figures, other factors include the market rate for PQE and skill level, how in demand they'd be in the wider market, what would be the lead time and cost of recruiting a replacement and whether it's better to reward strong performance in base pay or in bonuses.

To make the best decisions on basic salary, you need a good understanding of employee skills, the going rate for a lawyer with those skills, and whether those skills are in demand or not. There are more points you'll need to consider and analyse with or without technological support, but these are a starting point.

The development of AI-based remuneration support has lead to thousands of hours of preparation for arduous salary review meetings to be reduced to just a few hours; it provides advice based on the examination of additional variables - many more than you would've examined previously. The focus on skills in determining remuneration and the use of AI minimises the chance of bias; clouding your final decision.

As employers search for new ways to assess and motivate employees, non-legal companies are making significant investments in emerging AI technology to better understand their employees. There are various online tests that claim to identify what makes employees tick. These online surveys use artificial intelligence to score employees on a number of different values and gives that information to managers to help determine each employee’s optimal work environment and how to keep them motivated.

Be prepared, the robots are coming. You can get ahead of the game but choose your weapon wisely.

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