Legal analysts report that, while AI has yet to upend the billable hour or usher in a new era of AFAs, change is coming, faster than before. Already, law firms and in-house departments are employing a more data-driven approach with tools like AI to drive cost efficiencies in operations and legal practice.

Legal technology “gave legal departments visibility into what was actually happening,” said Jeffrey Solomon, a vice president and general manager of LegalView BillAnalyzer at Wolters Kluwer. “It’s altered fees and the overall law firm relationship, and, as we get to more current times, that extends beyond cost control and into collaboration.”