Over the next decade, artificial intelligence “is going to be a huge challenge” for law firms, said Robert Grammig, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Tampa, Fla.
As the technology improves, “we’re going to need a lot less associates because the initial drafting is going to be automated, I’ve got to believe,” said Grammig, who leads the firm’s corporate, M&A and securities practice group, in this week’s Drinks with The Deal podcast. “You’re already seeing that in litigation, in the discovery process. That’s going to affect everyone’s business model.”
From a client perspective, there has been some push back already involving the use of junior associates, he said, adding that with technology “partners can do more.”
Grammig has seen considerable evolution in legal practice since he started his career in the early 1980s. Holland & Knight initially expanded in Florida, and like many firms experienced challenges as it grew nationally.
One key lesson, Grammig said, is avoiding debt, which gives potential lateral hires a sense of financial stability. Having a structured process by which a firm can integrate new hires is critical and was a key part of Holland & Knight’s merger last year with Thompson & Knight LLP, a firm based in Texas, he added.
Grammig, who has been a director of the Florida Chamber of Commerce since 2011 and was its chairman from 2017 to 2019, also discussed his work with MarineMax Inc. (HZO) on its Aug. 9 agreement to buy Island Global Yachting LLC for $480 million and with Sila Realty Trust Inc. last year on the $1.32 billion sale of a 29-property data center portfolio to Mapletree Industrial Trust.
Here’s the podcast with Robert Grammig: