Microchip with AI letters on it.

Linked – Law Firms Start Training Summer Associates on Using Generative AI

This is a good idea. What I found most interesting and applicable to other law firms is who they have doing the training at these firms:

K&L Gates’ summer associate class will go through firm-led generative AI trainings and be introduced to CaseText’s Co-Counsel, a legal AI assistant the firm is already using for areas such as case research and summarizing depositions, said McDonnell. The firm will later match each associate with a lawyer identified internally as a generative AI “power user” to use the technology in their day-to-day work.

“We hope that’s kind of going to give them a good mix of theory and practice,” said Carolyn Austin, K&L Gates’ director of practice innovation.

Dechert, for its part, is doing something similar. The firm will focus on one-on-one training between a summer associates and attorneys who are using AI tools in their work, said Thor Alden, Dechert’s associate director of innovation.

I’ve been saying this to anyone who will listen to me rant about it. Your IT or Training and Development teams can only go so far when it comes to training for AI. We can do some training around prompting, show them where to click to enter a prompt, and even show them how to integrate the AI responses into their work.

What we can’t do is help them judge the results and iterate their prompts based on the results. That requires expertise in your practice area. That can only come from other lawyers. It’s also the much larger learning curve for working with AI.

These handful of firms are taking the initiative to train Summer associates on the AI tools they already have in place. That makes sense. These are the tools they’ll be expected to use if they get hired. They are becoming an everyday experience for associates. Notice, however, that the training is on those specific tools, not ChatGPT, Copilot, or other non-specific AI tools. I find that interesting as well. I’m not sure what to make of it. I wonder if the fact that many firms are not sure what to make of those tools is the reason for their exclusion.


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