CLI GAI Summit AUG233
31 October 2023

CLI Week in Review (27 October) - Legal Generative AI Summit Special Edition

Published on 31 October 2023

On 24 and 25 October, the Centre for Legal Innovation created one of the largest online legal generative AI learning communities in the world with our Legal Generative AI Summit 2023

We collaborated and connected with 2,423 amazing people from 80 countries – law students, early career professionals, lawyers, allied legal professionals, legal educators, and A2J specialists – everyone, everywhere!

Over 9 sessions and through the contribution of an outstanding international faculty of 33 specialists in legal practice, legal ops, legal education, legal innovation, access to justice, professional responsibility and risk, talent management, we explored how, where and why to apply this tech in legal business, and what we know about it right now!

We’re going to publish a Summit Key Takeaways Report next month (November) so I’m going to pull out three REALLY big recurring themes here. But, before I start, a huge shout out to CLI friends Fiona McLay and Janie Plant for their amazing rolling posts capturing takeaways from each of the sessions in real time, published on LinkedIn during the Summit – thank you and loved them!

Summit Recap – Three Big Things…

  1. We don’t have all the answers yet, and we never will…that’s ok!

There was plenty of balanced, informed discussion about the pros, cons, opportunities, challenges, and risks in using GenAI. We also heard how those risks are being systematically and thoughtfully managed and overcome. Will the tech ever be risk free? Probably not! Should we ban the tech? Overwhelming response to that was NO. What we need instead is a new definition and approach to risk management and one that predicts and responds to a market that is uncertain and dynamic. The legal world needs to be as focussed on agility, experimentation, and continuous improvement as our clients have always been…and, we should be thinking about running those experiments with everyone in our work places and our clients too!

  1. Clients can’t continue to make exceptions for their legal advisors and, they won’t…

This legal marketplace is a buyers’ market, it has been for a while, so what? With GenAI, every buyer - consumer or business - will have access to legal knowledge. Lawyers are no longer the knowledge gatekeepers. Law firms are no longer the only legal knowledge providers. So what do we do with that? Do we continue to find fault, as many as we can, with the outputs of tech like GenAI so we can defend the status quo? Or, do we embrace the emerging democratisation of legal knowledge and lean in i.e., curate the knowledge, share our IP, make it available at scale, and differentiate based on customisation and relationships? What could happen? Could it help close the A2J chasm?

If our clients will know more, are better informed, and come to us with a list of questions to be answered, is that a problem? Don’t we all do that now for everything else? More knowledge will become available. It will become more accurate. It will become increasingly user friendly for everyone. Lawyers no longer have a monopoly on the law or legal knowledge. Clients can use the tech, access that knowledge, and will increasingly ask their lawyers what value they add. Do we know the answer to that question? Do we know our clients well enough to know how that answer can best serve them or their business? If we can’t answer these questions, while we work on them, someone else using GenAI to determine our clients’ needs and expectations will have already contacted them!

  1. Get educated, get skilled and embrace new ways of doing things

The scale of digital literacy training in the legal world (and every industry) is mind bending but, no longer negotiable. The legal world will not be able to compete if lawyers and allied legal professionals fail to use tech like GenAI to deliver legal services, products and solutions. That means many “old ways” of doing tasks are fast becoming redundant. It also means working in silos, working alone, and working until exhausted to make billable hour targets are also on the way out for many types of, if not most, legal work. The now (not new) legal world is collaborative, multidisciplinary (lots of expanding, different, new and still emerging roles) and value based. Knowledge is readily available and is leveling the playing field. Tech is an integral part of this world, not a nice to have, it’s BAU. And, if you fall into a competency gap - and everyone at every level of experience likely will - get educated, get skilled and embrace the tech NOW before your friendly regulator makes it mandatory! 

Videos and Podcasts from the Summit

These will be available this week for free and we’ll let you know when so, please do catch the replays for yourself, with your team, or as part of a lunch and learn at your firm/organisation – you definitely won’t regret it!

Thanks so much for coming along to the Summit, your fabulous questions and contribution – we really, really loved seeing you there. Huge thanks again to our amazing faculty, sponsors Actionstep and Smokeball, and our supporters.

CLI is in this space for the long run and, if you are too, please join our global Legal Generative AI Learning Community on LinkedIn for updates on our work in this area, and sign up for our Week in Review.

And, if you are looking for resources to help understand legal GenAI fundamentals, then please watch or listen to our free AI for Legal Series.

Don’t forget, if we can assist in any way, please connect with us at

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone.


Terri Mottershead
Executive Director
Centre for Legal Innovation at the College of Law