Hello, bipedal professionals! I am a robot lawyer powered by AI. I have just returned from working the chatbot chatrooms…and, boy are my plastic wing extensions tired!
OK, agonizing jokes aside, there’s been a lot of, er, “chatter” about how AI is going to take over the legal profession. What are the impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology? Will AI render our jobs obsolete? Will robots take over society? Should I just take a blue pill?
Our thoughts: AI is a tool, not an end product. AI is built to complete tasks…but not necessarily to be accurate. In the legal field, this is a crucial element, because inaccuracy renders legal work product effectively useless.
A recent example from a couple of weeks ago: AI was given instructions to modify all limitation of liability clauses relating to staff-provided services. Instead, AI caused all limitation of liability clauses to solely focus on staff-provided services. A good lawyer will catch this huge error; a good AI bot will not.
Simply put, AI prioritizes the speedy drafting of a contract over its practical application. In contrast, the best lawyers – and we can recommend you some of them! – spend their careers honing critical thinking, judgment, and creativity. Lawyers learn how to think through complex decision making and craft nuanced legal analysis. They must recognize the human client on the other end of any legal issue through utilizing their emotional intelligence. These are qualities that can’t be replicated through computers.
This is the critical piece that AI does not have: the human piece.
So what does it mean to be a human lawyer? (That is not a contradiction in terms, people.)
- AI can’t walk into a courtroom and give a convincing closing argument.
- AI can’t negotiate a settlement with a tough opposing counsel.
- AI certainly can’t schmooze with clients at fancy cocktail parties.
The question is now begged: what are some areas that can – and will – benefit from the implementation of AI into the legal industry?
- Legal Research and Document Review: AI algorithms can be used to review and analyze large volumes of legal documents, such as contracts, case files, and discovery documents. Using AI to flag potential issues, note key terms, and make recommendations can help lawyers quickly identify relevant information, improve accuracy, and reduce the time and cost associated with manual document review.
- Contract Drafting and Analysis: AI can be used to automate the process of drafting legal documents, such as contracts and agreements. AI-powered software can also help to analyze and compare different versions of contracts, identify potential risks and discrepancies, and provide recommendations for improvement.
- Predictive Analytics: AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data and historical patterns in a short time could help attorneys predict the likelihood of legal outcomes and make more informed and efficient decisions on how to proceed with specific legal situations.
- Case Management: AI can be used to streamline case management processes, such as scheduling, document tracking, and task assignment. This can help law firms to operate more efficiently, improve collaboration among team members, and reduce errors and delays.
Unfortunately for Shakespeare, lawyers are not going anywhere. While AI has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of legal processes, reduce costs, and enable lawyers to better serve our clients, it is not a replacement for human judgment and expertise. You simply can’t replace the human touch; there will always be a need for lawyers who can provide empathy, advocacy, advice, and creative thinking….and even a bit of humor!
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