WLG | regional New York '24

Published on May 20, 2024

Session Highlights 
During this regional conference, participants learned about the practical and responsible use of AI from Janette Roush, Executive VP of Marketing and Digital at New York City Tourism + Conventions, Paola Morales, a multidisciplinary tech lawyer at Santamarina y Steta, and Jessica Gallagher, a lawyer practicing in insurance and tech at Faegre Drinker. 

AI in Law
  • Prompt Engineering is key to success when using AI. Think of the platform as an eager but green intern. The more information and context provided, the better. When crafting prompts, the user should:
    • Tell the platform what role it is playing: "You are a lawyer writing a social media post."
    • Identify the audience: "The post should appeal to other lawyers at all career stages."
    • Tell the platform what they want it to do: "Discuss the four most important considerations when communicating with a client."
    • Describe the desired output: "I want the post to be two paragraphs long, in simple, engaging language."
    • Iterate and modify what it gives you, approaching it like a conversation and requesting tweaks: "I like points one and three, but can we make the others shorter and avoid overusing the word direct." 
  • Remember that everything is regulated–be knowledgeable about your country's legislation and laws, your firm's policies, and your client's restrictions and guidelines surrounding the use of these tools. Record your prompts and how you reach your final product for evidence and compliance purposes. 
  • Always keep the human in the loop. AI aims to please, and therefore users must proofread, check citations, and be ready to accept responsibility for the product. This extends to overseeing your team and knowing if they use these tools correctly. 
Delegates also heard from Stephanie Wickouski (Locke Lord), Jerry Fang (Zhong Lun), and Ricardo Pellerano (Pellerano Nadal) about elevating their networking and relationship-building skills. 

Elevating Your Networking and Relationship-building Skills
  • Large networking events are not always beneficial. Consider attending smaller, more nuanced events where you are more likely to connect with like-minded people and your ideal clients—like WLG Practice & Industry Group meetings and Regional Conferences
  • Learn about the individuals with whom you are working to build relationships. Find common ground to strengthen the connection and return to it in conversation when your paths cross again.
  • Have no expectations regarding timelines. A connection may not bring you business immediately, but growing meaningful relationships over time could bring forth fruitful opportunities in the future or lead to mutual connections and more opportunities. 
  • Finally, we were joined by Matthew Olsen, Director of Business Development at Hunton Andrews Kurth, Nikhil Bodade, General Counsel at American Industrial Partners, and Dustin O'Quinn, Shareholder at Lane Powell PC, who spoke to their experiences balancing and nurturing client–firm relationships.

Bridging Industry Needs and Law Firms 
  • When clients question what forms of technology you are using, remember that companies spend a lot of money on good lawyers to mitigate risk. Tech advances quickly, but the law has been slow to adopt it due to heightened risk. Use technology to expedite what makes sense and is in the client's best interest. 
  • Lawyers face a highly competitive market and must differentiate themselves to get hired. Personalized service can be the key to this. Try to get to know your clients, their industry, expectations, and how they like to receive information and demonstrate your knowledge whenever possible. 
  • Do not underestimate the powers of kindness, please, and thank you. Clients hire who they like. 
  • Be a blinking light. The more you talk and pitch, the more likely you are to build your business. Be sure to stay in touch with clients and potential clients as well. Check-in and remind them you're there–failure to stay in touch is always a mistake. 
  • Finally, always request feedback to learn from your clients and apply it to future situations.