COVID-19 stopped many corporate legal departments and law firms from purchasing AI/machine learning tools for their law libraries. But that doesn’t mean AI has disappeared. In fact, the technology still plays a significant role in law libraries—even if its impact isn’t obvious on the surface.

According to the American Association of Law Libraries’ 2021 “AALL State of the Profession” report released today, of the 229 U.S.-based corporate legal department and law firm law librarians surveyed, 28% are planning or creating one or more AI/machine learning initiatives. Nearly 52%, however, said they didn’t have an AI/machine learning initiative and had no plans to start one. In contrast, in 2019, the AALL reported 30% of in-house and law firm librarians had plans to create one or more AI initiatives while 42% didn’t have any plans to launch an AI initiative.