Crisis Communications: Implementing Generative AI: A Field Guide for Lawyers – Part I

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Crisis Communications: Implementing Generative AI: A Field Guide for Lawyers – Part I

By Gina Rubel

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, particularly “generative AI,” are heralding a new era in how legal professionals conduct research, draft documents, and even predict case outcomes. Yet, with cutting-edge innovation comes a complex terrain of adoption and integration. Understanding and deploying generative AI tools require clear pathways and a practical roadmap, from policy frameworks to capability assessments.

This guide is crafted for legal professionals ready to traverse the path of incorporating GenAI into their practices. It will also provide insights into key governance principles and the capabilities needed to enforce GenAI policies effectively. We’ll discuss the critical components of deployment and underline the factors paramount in the tech-infused legal world.

Understanding generative AI

Generative AI, particularly large language models such as OpenAI’s GPT, can create content, mimic human interactions, and provide predictive analytics using enormous amounts of data. By analyzing the intricacies of language patterns and human behavior, these models can produce text that is remarkably coherent and contextually relevant.

In legal settings, generative AI excels in tasks like contract drafting, legal documentation, and due diligence analysis. The potential for these tools to reduce the mundane aspects of legal practice and the workload on junior associates cannot be overstated.

But, with great power comes great responsibility.

Important considerations in generative AI implementation

Before leaping into the world of generative AI, there are foundational principles that legal practices must consider to ensure successful integration.

Project scoping and feasibility: Law firms should identify areas where GenAI can deliver the most value. The firm should conduct a feasibility study to understand the cost, technical requirements, and potential benefits of GenAI implementation.

Change management: Generative AI fundamentally changes the way legal work is done. Successful implementation requires thorough change in management processes, including clear communication, stakeholder buy-in, and training programs.

Measuring ROI: Like any major business investment, firms should set clear key performance indicators and mechanisms for measuring the return on investment from GenAI.

Continuous learning: Generative AI technology is rapidly evolving. Legal professionals must commit to staying abreast of the latest developments and maintaining the skills necessary to harness these tools effectively.

Who should be involved?

The integration of GenAI into a law practice is not a one-person job. It requires collaborative efforts among legal professionals, technologists, data scientists, and possibly ethicists.

Legal professionals: Legal professionals should spearhead the initiative, aligning GenAI implementation with a firm’s strategic goals. They’ll need to define the use cases where GenAI would bring the most value and ensure that the quality of work produced by AI meets professional standards.

Technologists: These experts will oversee the technical aspects, such as compatibility with existing systems, data privacy, and the integration of GenAI platforms.

Data scientists: Data scientists will enable the training of GenAI models by providing the necessary legal datasets and validating the accuracy of generative AI-generated outputs.

Ethics: Since GenAI in legal practice can have profound ethical implications, ethicists, including general counsel, should guide practices to ensure that GenAI use aligns with moral principles and legal guidelines, like those set forth by the ABA.

Legal marketers and client value teams: The professionals who often know more about what the clients are asking must have a seat at the table. They often include legal marketers, client value teams, and business development professionals. They’re the ones who are talking to end users of legal services.

Governance issues

Legal practices operating at the intersection of law and GenAI must address numerous governance concerns, including data privacy, security, ethical use, and client confidentiality.

Governance structures: Establishing a clear governance structure with defined roles and responsibilities is crucial. The structure should designate who has the authority to make AI-related decisions, how to address potential malfunctions or breaches, and how to oversee the ethical use of GenAI.

Data privacy and security: Generative AI often operates on sensitive client data. Firms must ensure that GenAI platforms comply with data privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and state privacy and data security regulations. They must also safeguard against unauthorized access and cyberattacks.

Ethics: There are growing concerns surrounding bias and discrimination in GenAI models. Lucid AI policies should be developed to tackle ethical considerations and implement regular audits of GenAI algorithms and outputs for biases that could affect legal proceedings.

Client confidentiality: It is critical that law firms understand GenAI’s potential to disclose confidential data inadvertently, and they must thus enact protective measures.

Capabilities needed to enforce policies

To implement governance policies effectively, a robust set of capabilities needs to be in place. These include technical capabilities to monitor and manage GenAI systems, legal and compliance capabilities to develop and enforce policies, and organizational capabilities to train and support GenAI users.

Technical capabilities: IT departments should be able to monitor, update, and maintain GenAI systems. Additionally, they should have tools to track and analyze GenAI usage.

Legal and compliance capabilities: The legal and compliance teams should have expertise in GenAI regulations and data privacy laws and a thorough understanding of potential legal implications associated with GenAI implementation.

Organizational capabilities: For generative AI deployment to be successful, there must be robust training programs, support systems for GenAI users, and a clear understanding of the role GenAI plays in the organization’s overall strategy.


By embracing generative AI, the legal industry is unlocking doors to efficiency and innovation. But with these profound evolutionary steps comes a pressing need for airtight governance, new capabilities, and a vigilant eye on ethics. The shift to AI-enhanced legal practice is more than a digital upgrade; it’s a reimagining of the very fabric of law, one line of code at a time.

For legal professionals, the genie is indeed out of the bottle. Now, it’s time to guide it responsibly, ethically, and strategically toward a new and brighter horizon for the legal profession.

This is part one of a two-part article. Part two will discuss organizational agility, culture and change management.

Gina Rubel is the CEO and general counsel of Furia Rubel Communications. She educates professionals on devising and implementing strategic communications plans to manage their reputation, develop and attract top talent, and drive business success. She is the host of On Record PR. Gina can be reached on LinkedIn at in/ginafuriarubel/.

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