The legal technology landscape in 2024 and AI

An LSSA members discussion with LSSA CEO Kevin Horlock

2023 saw generative AI take the world by storm, with individual law firms and the legal sector as a whole working to harness and capitalise on the capabilities that AI offers. What is next on the horizon as the sector considers the opportunities and challenges created by innovation?

In the first of a series of legal technology prediction articles LSSA CEO Kevin Horlock and expert LSSA members discuss the impact of AI.

Kevin asks,

“What is the impact of ChatGPT and other AI tools on the legal technology industry? How will this develop in 2024? “

John Flanagan, Head of Product at LEAP replies,

“Those of us of a certain vintage will remember many great sci-fi movies from the 1980s where computers with artificial intelligence have taken over the world and are at war with humans. From the outside AI can seem a risk, but not harnessing its potential is foolish. Where we are with AI is where we were with Cloud 15 years ago – if we as software businesses don’t use it, we will be left behind by those that do.”

John mentions that there are some who suggest that AI is no more than a manifestation of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, in that if you put enough computer processing power behind a question, it will eventually come out with the correct answer. He thinks that this is a misunderstanding of generative AI, which uses highly sophisticated algorithms and machine learning to analyse data to identify patterns and structures to produce coherent and meaningful output.

John adds, “In the legal sector, we will see the introduction of a co-pilot for the work you are undertaking. This co-pilot will digest huge quantities of data for the area of law, look at specific circumstances, reference case law and analyse other data to help you achieve the best outcome for your client.”

Chelsea Goldsby, Operations Director of Osprey Approach thinks that AI tools will inevitably impact the legal sector in the coming years – like most other sectors – enabling teams to produce work and service clients quicker, easier, more accurately and with ensured compliance.

Chelsea comments,

“AI isn’t just about tools like ChatGPT: it can be embedded into existing tools to enable them to work smarter. For SME law firms, it’s about a shift in mindset to be open to change and innovation. A cultural shift is needed to enable firms to take advantage of the AI opportunities as they come, encouraging experimentation, testing theories, and trial and error.

Utilising existing workflow automations, client-facing tools, or document production features – within your case management software for example – is a good start to using tech to your advantage. “

Oliver Tromp, Regional Vice President, UK of Actionstep, expects that, in 2024, we will see an increase in existing legal technology suppliers leveraging large language models (LLMs) in the obvious areas: document automation, legal research, contract review, chatbots, etc. However, he also expects to see LLMs used in more complex ways such as compliance monitoring and predictive analytics. He thinks that law firms are a wealth of historical information, and the most innovative legal technology suppliers will help lawyers to leverage their own data to improve client service, efficiency and consistency.

Oliver says, “I also expect to see an increase in machine learning, specifically around time recording. Many legal professionals record time every day, and I expect to see time recording solutions become more intelligent and reliable at suggesting time entries based on the work that the lawyer has actually done. It’s also important to mention here that the adoption of this technology will also have a direct impact on security measures law firms take to protect their client and company data.”

Kevin Horlock, CEO LSSA summarises,

“Technological developments in software dedicated to the legal profession are taking great strides, as we see above.  As with all developments, they come with a health warning: protect your data at all costs.  What law firms need is software which meets their needs, both today and for the foreseeable future: in both cases, AI is proving a vital consideration.

We know that selecting the right package can put great pressure on hard-pressed practice-management staff and partners alike: yet that has to be the most important consideration for all law firms.  Get it right and the practice thrives, expands and works together: get it wrong and the practice stutters, loses clients and becomes fractious internally.  Because of all the technological developments we have seen recently, especially in AI, making a firm, initial specification of new or replacement software will continue to be the most important trend in the landscape of legal technology.”

This article is part of a wider discussion between the LSSA and its members about AI, cyberattacks and future trends and challenges in the legal technology sector.

For the full discussion article please visit: