Billable Hours Remain a Barrier to Law Firms Embracing AI: The Morning Minute

FIRM FRUGALITY – In this economy, everybody’s having to sacrifice. For some, maybe that means forgoing takeout a couple nights a week. For law firm partners, it might be mean forgoing that transcontinental flight to visit a client who wishes they would have stayed home anyway. ”Law firms can’t control the economy. But they can control their expenses,” Joe Mendola, senior director of sales for the Wells Fargo Legal Specialty Group, told’s Andrew Maloney. “In a slow economic environment, you do expect firms to drill down and focus more on managing their expense growth.”  Really, that drilling has already commenced. While surging expenses have kept law firm leaders up at night lately, costs in the legal industry actually went down “sharply” by the end of the year, Wells Fargo analysts found, and they expect the trend to continue in 2023.

YOU DOWN WITH GPT? – Over the past few weeks, there’s been a growing trickle of legal tech providers leveraging GPT-3.5—a large language model that one can think of as the AI engine powering ChatGPT—in their products and services. But don’t expect many law firms—some of whom have become legal tech developers themselves—to follow suit anytime soon. For most firms, the expertise needed to develop GPT 3.5 tools is still a bridge too. That’s not the only barrier to entry, however.  As’s Rhys Dipshan reports, this new tech once again presents law firms with an age-old problem: where’s the value in becoming more efficient when your business model depends on billing a boatload of hours?

ON THE RADAR – Boeing was hit with a lawsuit Monday in Washington Western District Court claiming $83 million in damages due to the company’s sale of ‘non-airworthy’ 737 MAX aircraft, which has been connected to two crashes resulting in over 300 fatalities. The 76-page complaint was brought by Shook, Hardy & Bacon on behalf of South African aviation company Comair Ltd. d/b/a British Airways and Comair accuses Boeing of breaching an aircraft purchase agreement by concealing the ‘catastrophic’ and ‘potentially fatal’ defects of the aircraft. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 2:23-cv-00176, Comair Limited v. The Boeing Company et al. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Radar


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