The legal profession can best be described as risk averse when it comes to adopting new technologies, with many attorneys doing so begrudgingly, and many more refusing to do so at all. But one Biglaw firm is buying in when it comes to the rise of artificial intelligence — in fact, it’s one of the first firms to create a C-suite position specifically for AI.
Michael Best — a firm that brought in $185,190,000 gross revenue in 2022, putting it at No. 167 in the most recent Am Law 200 — recently brought on Sarah Alt as the firm’s first chief process and AI officer. Alt will use her expertise in IT and ethical AI practices to guide the firm into the future. The American Lawyer has additional details:
Alt joined Am Law 200 firm Michael Best in April 2021 as chief business process officer, but her new role expands her responsibilities as AI becomes a larger issue for the firm and clients. She said she will lead the firm’s approach to AI as well as advise the firm’s clients as a consultant.
“We recalibrated my role to absorb the AI leadership role for the firm and still keep the internal processes and technology [responsibilities],” she said.
Alt, a fellow with the Ethical AI Consortium who created the first-ever Ethical AI Professional certification, said of her new role, “Certainly firms are advertising an AI practice, but to name an AI officer at the C-suite level? This is not something.”
Although the firm has banned the use of generative AI like ChatGPT because of its “risk profile,” Alt said some clients, depending on their industry, are trying to use it “responsibly.”
Best of luck to Alt as she navigates AI at Michael Best. Will any other Biglaw firms introduce C-suite-level roles to manage and guide their use artificial intelligence?