Robots are coming for the lawyers – which may be bad for tomorrow’s attorneys but great for anyone in need of cheap legal assistance
Imagine what a lawyer does on a given day: researching cases, drafting briefs, advising clients. While technology has been nibbling around the edges of the legal profession for some time, it’s hard to imagine those complex tasks being done by a robot. And it is those complicated, personalized tasks that have led technologists to include lawyers in a broader category of jobs that are considered pretty safe from a future of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence. As Professors Elizabeth C. Tippett and Charlotte Alexander discovered in a recent research collaboration to analyze legal briefs using a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, lawyers’ jobs are a lot less safe than we thought. It turns out that you don’t need to completely automate a job to fundamentally change it. All you need to do is automate part of it.