Artificial Intelligence – A game changer in the legal industry?
A.I. changes everything for law firms. Today’s technology allows for contract review at a speed with which a lawyer simply cannot compete. The result is a faster and more accurate work product. Law firm clients get better results for less money.
Does AI mean that lawyers will go the way of the dinosaur? Hardly. What will change though, and sooner rather than later, is historically mundane and administrative legal work will be assigned to a computer, not an associate or paralegal.
In a recent CNBC article titled “Lawyers could be the next profession to be replaced by computers” author Dan Mangan stated “The legal profession — tradition-bound and labor-heavy — is on the cusp of a transformation in which artificial-intelligence platforms dramatically affect how legal work gets done.” Automation won’t replace the need for lawyers, it just re-allocates the work higher on the value chain. What seems inevitable is a shift from low level legal administration to high level technology development and management.
According to Andrew Arruda, CEO of Ross Intelligence “I think we will see a rise of more jobs in the legal market . . . the firms where ROSS is at, we see more work being done, more clients being able to be served, and therefore not a decrease in staff, but an increase in productivity and output.”
Considering that firms of all sizes are jumping on the AI bandwagon, one can assume that the legal industry will look very different in 5 – 10 years. Perhaps we can ask Watson, ROSS or even HAL for a preview of what’s to come.
Jim Cranston is a founding Principal of LawVision where he consults with clients on revenue growth, business development and key client management in the professional services industry.