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Aussies uncomfortable with lawyers using AI, survey finds

Artificial intelligence may be all the rage right now, but that doesn’t mean those in the community are thrilled at the prospect of lawyers using such technology in their work.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 26 October 2023 Big Law
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Global practice management software provider Dye & Durham has just released its Australian Market Pulse Report, which surveyed over 1,600 Australian adults, in early September, on their perceptions of the economy, technology, and property.

According to the findings, almost one in two (48 per cent) of Australians are somewhat or very uncomfortable about the use of AI by lawyers in delivering services to their clients.

Just under one in four (23 per cent) of respondents were somewhat or very comfortable with the idea of lawyers utilising AI, and three in 10 (29 per cent) were neither comfortable nor uncomfortable.


The findings provide extensive coverage, including from Lawyers Weekly, on the extent to which legal professionals – both domestically and globally – see the use of AI as paramount to the future of practice. Almost all lawyers see AI as crucial for merger and acquisition, for example, while one in three in-house legal teams plan to use AI to reduce costs.

This said, Australians also have issues with other professionals using AI in their work.

Only 27 per cent of those surveyed are comfortable with real estate agents using AI, and just 22 per cent said the same for doctors and other health professionals, while 19 per cent expressed some level of comfort at the idea of AI use by financial planners, advisers, tax agents, and mortgage brokers.

Prospective clients’ reasons for being sceptical about AI use by lawyers will, of course, be varied. However, one potential conclusion to draw is that – like some lawyers – a lack of understanding of the potential of AI for practice methodology and, ultimately, client service delivery may feed into current lukewarm perceptions.

Reflecting on the findings, Dye & Durham Australian managing director Dennis Barnhart said that AI is not currently a priority for many Australians.

“Only a third of Australians have tried AI, and most of them have only experimented with it once or twice,” he explained.

“About half the population expressed discomfort with AI being used in professional settings, which reflects its novelty.”

Three in five (59 per cent) of respondents noted they have never used AI for personal reasons, and two-thirds (64 per cent) have not done so in a professional setting. Fifty-three per cent have never used AI for any reason.

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