After transitioning from general counsel to CEO, I realized why some of my legal advice and observations as a GC had been disregarded in the past. It was because terms like “revenue” catch a CEO’s ear quicker than “risk,” and CEOs prefer concise, actionable insights over lengthy philosophical musings.
Tailoring business communications is one of many ways lawyers can use generative AI for more engaging and unambiguous client interactions. Below are three ways to tap into generative AI’s power to craft clear, concise communications that avoid misunderstandings. Using them can help CEOs and other business stakeholders better understand the legal implications of their decisions and actions.
Ask AI To Suggest Alternate Phrasing
Need help finding just the right word? Not sure how to convey the urgency of an issue in a way that will resonate? Ask AI to give you some ideas. Input a draft email into an AI tool and ask for language that emphasizes revenue over risk. AI will generate several alternatives, giving you options to zero in on specific words and images that convey your messages in ways executives understand and, most importantly, follow.
Could a personal writing coach help you? Get generative AI to analyze your previous communications and suggest areas for improvement. Get personalized recommendations for better overall communication in the future.
Summarize Documents With AI
Lawyers spend mind-boggling amounts of time reading, digesting, and summarizing lengthy legal documents such as contracts and regulations. To alleviate some of the burdens, you can use AI to generate summaries that target your specifications.
In the email example above, you might ask AI to highlight only the most urgent points relevant to the specific context and organize the remaining info into a brief list or paragraph.
Also, explore different ways of telling AI to generate summaries that provide actionable insights. For example, if a CEO is considering launching a new product or entering a new market, use generative AI to summarize the relevant laws and regulations in lay terms and business-friendly language. Experiment with various ways to prompt AI until you land on results with clear, concise language.
Use AI To Automate Communication Tasks
In addition to its language analysis and generation capabilities, AI can help you automate communication tasks such as email drafting and document review. For example, AI can learn your communication style over time to auto-suggest and auto-generate many of your day-to-day communications in real time. This helps you save time and reduce errors every day.
AI tools can also analyze large volumes of documents and provide insights to inform legal strategy. To make your legal advice more relevant and actionable for business leaders, try prompting AI to tailor your advice based on the specific situation. Then ask AI to describe real-world examples that help you illustrate legal concepts and make them more relatable to business leaders’ needs and goals. It’s crucial to provide the essential context without divulging confidential details. Doing it well takes forethought and practice.
AI Supplements; It Doesn’t Substitute
AI is helpful but not a replacement for human communication skills. Generative AI tools should supplement, not substitute, our efforts. Relying solely on generative AI would result in communications that lack your personal understanding of your clients’ needs and preferences. As always, we must balance our technology use with purposeful face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions to build strong personal relationships.
But don’t hesitate to explore the possibilities with generative AI. You can unlock new ways to communicate more effectively and creatively to demonstrate your expertise and provide actionable insights that help executives make better decisions.
Olga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.