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Law Firms Start Training Summer Associates on Using Generative AI

Bloomberg Law: “Some Big Law firms are now making summer associates learn the ins and outs of generative AI as they begin integrating what’s considered to be a game-changing technology for the profession. K&L Gates, Dechert, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe have incorporated training on the technology for this year’s class of summer associates, teaching them how to use research and chatbot tools now being used by the firms. The programs offer a window into what some firms believe artificial intelligence will mean for those now entering the profession. Future junior lawyers won’t be replaced by AI, as some fear, but they will need to harness it to be successful, said Brendan McDonnell, a K&L Gates partner and member of the firm’s AI solutions group. That includes understanding how to effectively interact with generative AI chatbots to unearth the most useful information for clients, he said. “That’s the whole idea about the training program: You need to teach people how this is going to impact the way they come to work,” said McDonnell. While AI will automate many tasks, he said, it’s also going to open up new lines of legal practice while freeing up new professionals’ time to learn and master the complex work they went to law school for. Most firms are still in an experimentation phase when it comes to deploying generative AI chatbot and research tools. Firms’ use of the tech is also dependent on clients’ openness to it. “We’re in a transition period,” said Alex Su, the chief revenue officer at Latitude Legal, a global flexible legal staffing firm. “It’s hard to say there’s going to be a huge impact in how law firms staff in the near-term.” Still, legal experts caution that future lawyers need to address the technology…”

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