AI HAS ENTERED THE CHAT - When artificial intelligence research and deployment company OpenAI released ChatGPT—a “chatbot” that responds to users’ prompts with complex, human-like accuracy—for public use in December 2022, they unleashed a new era of technology frenzy that no one saw coming. As Law.com’s Stephanie Wilkins writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, it’s not a question of if generative AI will impact legal professionals, it’s merely a question of how and when. But regardless of the application, helping—not replacing—humans is the goal. As Gaurav Oberoi, CEO of Lexion, which has already created an AI Contract Assist feature, was careful to stress: “The human is still very much at the center. You’re not eliminating the expert, you’re augmenting the expert.” To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.
A FIRM OUT OF TIME - Shortly after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, Shearman & Sterling was still a marquis name in the legal community. The firm, then ranked No. 5 in the Am Law 100, was high-priced, effective and had a market reputation as a firm that you called. But Shearman’s trajectory—a one-time Wall Street darling to now actively courting merger options to gain scale and thrive—contrasts with that of several of its New York peers, which advanced their profit and platform in the last two decades to gain considerable scale and stay in the Am Law 20, according to an analysis by Law.com. So what happened? “The market changed, and [Shearman] did not,” Tim Corcoran, a long-time legal industry consultant, told Law.com’s Patrick Smith. “It seems to me they’ve been resting on their laurels.”