Many people have been speculating about whether AI tools will eliminate jobs or wipe out humanity. All this speculation reminds me of my experience with a technology tool that I thought would put me out of business a few years ago.
At the time, I had just completed an e-discovery-related technology acquisition project for a small company. It was the third small company I had help obtain e-discovery-related solutions (each one needed something different).
After completing the third project, I stumbled across an article about a company called ClariLegal and the tool they offered for identifying e-discovery vendors. At first, I panicked a bit. I immediately thought that ClariLegal could put me out of business if my potential clients learned about it. The ClariLegal tool could do in hours what was taking me days or weeks to do.
After the initial concern, I reached out to the founder of ClariLegal, Cash Butler. I had never met or even heard of Cash, but I needed to learn more about the ClariLegal tool. Our first conversation lasted almost three hours.
After the phone call, I realized that the ClariLegal tool was not a threat to my business. Instead, it was a tool I should incorporate into future e-discovery procurement projects.
I determined that I would have to switch from the billable hour model to a value-based billing proposal for future projects, but using this technology tool would drive more value for my clients. Instead of seeing ClariLegal as a threat, in the span of one phone call, it became a competitive advantage for me to gain more business and provide better value for future clients.
For the legal industry, generative AI and the other existing and burgeoning AI tools are like Clarilegal was for me. They are tools for us to use to improve client services. The legal departments and law firms that use these tools properly will increase the value they provide for their clients.
Some of the benefits I gained after my initial negative reaction to ClariLegal as a competitor included:
1. A phone call can broaden perspectives and open opportunities.
2. Knowing the is better than imagining worst-case scenario.
3. Embracing the competition can result in win-win outcomes.
4. Having a growth mindset avoided the zero-sum mentality.
P.S. I have never made a dime from Clarilegal, and they did not know I was writing this post.