By Kate Tuohy
The Philadelphia local group’s monthly lunch program was dedicated to a topic that is widely affecting businesses worldwide and impacting the legal industry. Elonide Semmes, President of Right Hat LLC; and Mark Greene, President of Market Intelligence LLC, who are both LMA Hall of Famers, led an educational discussion on artificial intelligence (AI) and what it means for law firms and legal marketers.
AI was generally defined as “computers performing analytic tasks heretofore believed to be the sole province of the human brain.” Within the four strands of AI, which includes perception, action, cognition and language, there are three factors that make AI real:
- Sophisticated statistics techniques
- Big data (to build AI models)
- Computing processing power
AI’s Impact on the Practice of Law
AI in the practice of law has changed the way legal services are provided. The developments of regulations in this space have driven legal services to be faster, better, more creative, intuitive and accessible. The fundamental operations- i.e. human resources, finance and IT within law firms are using AI to analyze successful partners through hiring and human resources functions; to evaluate lateral partners and groups entering law firms; and to focus on financial strategy in determining what clients and matters are profitable. This, in turn, presents the question of, “How do we use AI in marketing?”
AI’s Impact on the Business and Marketing of Legal Services
Artificial intelligence can make the marketing and business development cycle more efficient, personal and shorter. Specifically within the business of law, AI enables firms to better understand how to target prospective clients and new business matters, to determine how prospective and existing clients think, what their purchasing power is and how to create more meaningful interactions.
In combining existing data (CRM, emails, web traffic, billing and social engagement), partner data (reports from CPA firms and investments), purchased data (reports from IT companies), and original data (client feedback and market research), AI is able to shape marketing and business development efforts of law firm professionals. This combined intelligence can aid legal marketers in projects such as:
- Prospect Targeting and Segmentation: Through sentiment analysis, attorneys and legal professionals use emotions and the velocity of feelings to determine what their prospects are concerned about
- Content Generation: Attorneys and legal professionals use sources like WordSmith to create content and information for articles on a faster basis
- Pricing: Algorithms are created from billing data, pitch data and third-party data to determine information, for example, what other firms are charging in other practice areas
- Ad Buying: Algorithms are used to target specific contacts with greater deliverables
- Hyper-personalization: Determine the thought processes and brain power of prospective clients
- Client Service Assistance: Using technical interfaces to enhance customer experience
Legal marketers would be wise to keep their lawyers and firms in the know on how artificial intelligence may impact and affect the legal industry. In addition, having an understanding of their firms’ data sources and establishing policies around maintaining and developing data, legal marketers can strategically use AI for business development and lead generation.