Week in Review (April 14)

Happy Holidays everyone! Yep, we have JUST about reached that time of the year and what a year it has been…

This Week in Review chats about what I see as priorities for 2024. In compiling this, I’ve had the benefit of the sessions at CLI's Legal GenAI Summit 2023, loads of industry reports, a year of conversations through our Legal Design, Legal Ops and Legaltech clinics, lots of amazing chats with all of you, and a fabulous conversation to round out the year with Caryn Sandler, Graeme Grovum and Tessa van Duyn for our Future 50 series.

So where did it all land? Here are my recommendations for the big things to place on the top of your priority list for 2024, you’ll also find these in a little more detail in the Summit Report:

  1. Tech, talent and capabilities: Get educated – everyone, everywhere…

We’re moving quickly from GenAI awareness to implementation. There’s a big education piece that connects the two. To ensure resources and development are aligned and prioritised the right way, this is a great time to do a skills audit so you know where the gaps lie and put a plan in action to close them, quickly! Everyone should be using this tech now with clear guidance (guidelines, policies, protocols, procedures)!

  1. Check your tech stack, get your data in order then love your LLMs – a lot, a REAL lot, is going to depend on it

This coming year is when you really need to understand what your tech can and can’t do so you leverage it to the max! Then look at your data. We all now know that data is the foundation for every large language model (LLM) and LLMs are the foundation for GenAI. If you want to really get into GenAI, and we have jumped ahead in leaps and bounds this year to make that possible – to move us from consumers to creators - get your data in order.

  1. Entrench experimentation as BAU

We’re living in a new legal world impacted by a new type of global experiment - one where tech is not risk free and the entire world gets to beta test it together. Experimenting with the tech safely and continuously is already important but, it’s coming at a time for many legal businesses where funding is in short supply. The temptation will be to start with the low hanging fruit and, that can help, but it may not tackle the stuff where real, sustained changes are important and will bring big results. In 2024, it’s going to be critical that you choose a few internal and external pain points, prioritise, design, and start your experimentation process with a purpose and some metrics in mind. And, don’t forget to create time and space for you and your team to get that done.

  1. Start leading and developing a culture that embraces personal and organisation wide agility and change – it is the new legal world and the new normal!

There is a lot happening and way too much information out there. In 2024, you’ll want to find a way to cut to the chase but also keep abreast of what’s changing. Identify and choose your sources of information based on relevance to you, credibility and consistency and, follow. Choose your advisors the same way. Embrace and lead the focus on change – make it real, exciting, achievable and visible. Personal and business agility will be more important next year than pretty much any other time.

  1. Understand the impacts of the tech…and start working on them today

Legal GenAI is pervasive. The impacts reach way beyond the tech. In 2024, much more time needs to be spent on the impacts. Review your business plans today to check that your strategy, competition, business models and leadership are ready; that how you work, price, and value your practice aligns; and that you have the talent to deliver what your clients need. If you do, you’ll minimize your risks, and if you don’t, there may be a bunch more you haven’t provided for yet.

  1. Start getting ready for regulatory changes – the impacts will be personal and professional

Regulation always lags and it has with this tech but, it’s catching up quickly. Regulation/law, especially the focus on responsible AI, is going to impact data governance, the tech itself, and how the tech is used – for every industry, including legal i.e., you and your clients. That will impact individuals, and the risk portfolio and insurance for your practice - it’s important to start getting prepared for that now.

Thanks sooooo very much for your contribution and support of our work this year – it means everything to us.

CLI is on a break for the holidays from 15 December until 8 January…we can’t wait to connect again next year, it’s going to be another big, fabulous, fun year!


Terri Mottershead

Executive Director 

Centre for Legal Innovation at the College of Law