Generative AI tech usage is being driven at a much higher rate by legal professionals compared to consumers – with expectations of AI use for research, communication, and drafting documents.
TORONTO, September 6, 2023 – LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of legal information and analytics, released the results of its Canadian Legal Generative AI Survey. LexisNexis Canada Inc. surveyed over 1,952 people, including 610 lawyers, 148 law students, and 1,194 consumers in Canada to better understand the overall awareness of generative AI, how the legal profession is currently using these tools, and how likely they are to adopt them in the future.
This report provides insights into the awareness, usage, impact, potential, and ethical considerations surrounding generative AI (GAI), as well as how it may impact the relationships between counsel and their clients and the education of new lawyers.
Awareness of Generative AI
The survey results show that there is an extremely high level of awareness among lawyers with 93% stating they have heard of it. In fact, lawyers have become aware of GAI at a much higher rate than the public; only 66% of consumers have reported they have heard of GAI tools, such as ChatGPT.
Potential Use of Generative AI
More than half of all lawyers (52%) and over two thirds of law students (68%) have already used it either personally or professionally. Consumers have used GAI at a slightly lower rate, with 37% already having used GAI tools either personally or professionally.
Potential use is also aligned with those currently in use by early adopting lawyers, with researching matters (59%) in the top spot. While 42% are currently using generative AI to understand new legal concepts, only 35% see the potential for that use case. The same is true for writing emails (57% are using currently yet only 46% see potential)
“We are excited to see the level of interest in Generative AI among our customers.” said Alan Votary – Head of Product, Canada. “This survey helps us understand their perceptions of this new technology, and the insights gained here will help us focus future product development, to deliver better outcomes for legal professionals.”
Potential Impact of Generative AI
When asked what impact generative AI will have on the practice of law, over half the legal market (51%) and law students (56%) believe it will significantly transform the practice of law, with nearly all believing it will have some impact.
Ethics Regarding Generative AI
A very high percentage of the legal market and law students (90%) are concerned about the ethical implications of generative AI, (with 37% of the legal market, and 39% of law students responding that their concerns are at least “significant”). However only a very few members of the legal market (6%) and law students (8%) say their concerns are fundamental.
These findings reinforce the fact that legal professionals desire to work with trusted and ethical companies as they explore and adopt generative AI solutions in their work.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional® provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 11,300 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.