Stephanie Hamon Flags Gen AI FOMO as Legal Innovation’s Toughest Test

In this post:

  • Stephanie Hamon, Head of Legal Operations Consulting at Norton Rose Fulbright, reflects on her journey creating the first-of-its-kind legal ops consulting practice.
  • From non-existent to pioneering, Hamon discusses the transformation of legal operations and predicts a surge in demand for strategic partnerships.
  • Hamon identifies the biggest hurdle in legal innovation as the fear of missing out on the generative AI wave, urging a balanced approach.

In a candid interview with Artificial Lawyer, an online platform, Stephanie Hamon, the visionary Head of Legal Operations Consulting at Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), delves into the evolving landscape of legal operations and the challenges posed by the relentless hype around Generative AI.

Hamon’s journey began four years ago when she introduced the Legal Operations Consulting group at NRF with a mission to empower in-house teams globally. Reflecting on her trajectory, she highlights the challenges faced by legal teams—more for less, tech adoption, and defining the ‘lawyer of the future.’ Drawing from 15 years in private practice and four in-house, Hamon envisioned a consulting approach rooted in firsthand experience, aiming to position legal teams as strategic business partners.

Generative AI and the legal innovation terrain

Over the past five years, Hamon’s role evolved from non-existent to trailblazing. She emphasizes the increasing trend of General Counsels (GCs) and in-house teams rebalancing priorities toward strategic partnerships. Looking ahead, Hamon anticipates a surge in demand driven by two key trends: the use of data and the critical role of change management.

As the legal industry grapples with innovation, Hamon acknowledges the recent acceleration but sees it as evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The recent buzz around Generative AI, particularly with ChatGPT’s announcements, has intensified the pace of change. But, Hamon cautiously observes that the industry is still evolving, urging a measured approach to avoid overlooking foundational elements in the rush to embrace AI.

Addressing the role of law firms, Hamon emphasizes client needs as the compass guiding the industry’s trajectory. She foresees a natural expansion of services by law firms to meet the evolving demands of GCs and in-house lawyers dealing with increasingly complex challenges. The shift includes offering multi-disciplinary skills and support for strategic elements of their roles, such as digitalization and talent retention.

The challenge of Gen AI FOMO

Hamon identifies the prevailing challenge in legal innovation as “FOMO,” the fear of missing out on Generative AI advancements. Amidst the noise surrounding Gen AI, teams may rush into adoption without laying the necessary foundations. Hamon underscores the risk of prioritizing the ‘fancy stuff’ over the foundational elements crucial for reaping the benefits of technological advances. In the quest for innovation, she advocates for a thoughtful approach, emphasizing the need for a strategic foundation that aligns with the core values of legal operations.

While recognizing the transformative potential of technology in the legal industry, Hamon underscores the significance of managing implicit knowledge—how individuals apply their knowledge in day-to-day operations. Balancing tech-driven knowledge harnessing with effective management of ways of working and relationships will define efficiency and client experience, creating a sustainable advantage. This dual focus, Hamon asserts, is essential for navigating the complexities of legal innovation and ensuring long-term success in the ever-evolving legal landscape.

Empathy in change management

In her final message on achieving successful change management, Hamon emphasizes “empathy.” Change management, often overlooked or simplified, requires a deep understanding of users’ needs. Hamon stresses continuous engagement, especially with skeptics, co-designing solutions, and persistent communication to ensure the change is embraced and owned by the stakeholders.

Stephanie Hamon’s insights offer a nuanced perspective on the evolving legal ops landscape, cautioning against succumbing to Gen AI FOMO while advocating for a balanced and empathetic approach to change management.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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