A.I and its effect on lawyers?

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ZEALTeam6

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A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby ZEALTeam6 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:15 pm

We're entering a new age of tech with all these huge advances of technology so I was wondering what graduates and professionals alike thought about AI? To make things clear, AI and automation are very different.

Automation alone could only get so far such as automating menial tasks, doc review, etc but could never replace things like negotiating with F500 companies, interaction with clients, relationship building, etc. Many people believe AI, on the other hand, might be able to replace lawyers as a whole so I wanted to get your opinion on this.

Let's say we weren't talking about minor parts of law like a robot that could fight traffic tickets or could scan documents better than you, how long do you think lawyers have before being entirely replaced by robots?

Would someone entering the workforce in the next decade have to worry about automation in their career?

Do you believe law to be one of the earlier or last things to be done by AI?

Will the job of a judge ever be done by AI or is the human aspect too important in this field?

In a world where almost every job is done by AI, would we just live off basic income and have a ton of free time or do you believe more jobs will exist in the future that we can't think about right now and the cycle will continue?

cavalier1138

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:36 am

Are you considering going to law school? Or are these just general questions?

ZEALTeam6

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby ZEALTeam6 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:31 am

cavalier1138 wrote:Are you considering going to law school? Or are these just general questions?


I'm interested in going to law school after my business undergrad and doing something like M&A law. My school has on-campus recruitment for top financial firms and many people are saying not to consider law and instead pursue something like IB or consulting because most transactional work in law is the target for AI automation among other things.
To me this doesn't make sense since IB is most likely just as hard to automate as law but nonetheless, but you rarely see articles online about bankers or consultants having AI introduced into their workplace. Most of the time I see stuff like "Robot does what lawyer took ... hours to do" or "Lawyers may be the next profession to be automated" and such.

I'm also more interested in the transactional side than litigation which is why I'm slightly worried since most people say being a litigation lawyer is extremely safe but I don't hear much about the transactional side.

I wanted to get the inside scope on what graduates/professionals thought of this.

ZEALTeam6

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby ZEALTeam6 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:19 pm

In a business undergrad and currently considering law school into something like M&A law. Many people are saying to head into tech-related fields as they will be the strongest thing to come out of automation and AI. I've had people tell me finance/business and legal professions would be done by AI in less than 50 years which is why I'm wondering.

Also, while many people say that litigation lawyers are "automation proof", I never hear much about transactional lawyers which makes me a bit unsure of how lawyers will be affected by AI development.

QContinuum

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby QContinuum » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:28 pm

IMO, AI will primarily chip away at the bottom rung of legal work: Doc review (lit) and due diligence (transactional work). This is work that used to be done by BigLawyers, but has already largely been outsourced to cheaper service providers because clients refuse to pay BigLaw rates for it. AI is increasingly making inroads on the cheaper service providers' turf, and I think that trend will continue and accelerate.

We also see inroads being made by AI in other low-value legal work, like basic wills, personal taxes, and accident settlements. You have companies putting out estate-planning software that effectively does, for a fraction of the price (and perhaps greater accuracy), what a local solo practitioner would otherwise do.

But at the high end, you aren't going to see AI negotiating billion-dollar transactions, at least not in any reasonably foreseeable future. (And even at the not-so-high end, you aren't going to see Watson cross-examining a witness in court.) You'd need something like Data in Star Trek - basically, you'd need to go beyond "mere" machine learning and straight into outright sentience.

tl;dr For the complex tasks, AI will help lawyers become more efficient (much like how legal research that used to require days of poring through dusty tomes in the library now takes hours or less using Lexis/Westlaw online), but won't replace them.

ZEALTeam6

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby ZEALTeam6 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:32 pm

QContinuum wrote: You'd need something like Data in Star Trek - basically, you'd need to go beyond "mere" machine learning and straight into outright sentience.

tl;dr For the complex tasks, AI will help lawyers become more efficient (much like how legal research that used to require days of poring through dusty tomes in the library now takes hours or less using Lexis/Westlaw online), but won't replace them.


Seems about right and who knows when we'll reach AI that can be close to our sentience. Could be 100+ years from now.

This is pretty reassuring, thanks a lot!

Npret

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Re: A.I and its effect on lawyers?

Postby Npret » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:57 pm

These annual reports usually talk about automation. Part of the issue is law firms aren’t going to invest enough to develop solutions. That doesn’t mean other groups won’t independently develop it. A certain low level of secured financing is very cookie cutter stuff - ask any 1st or 2nd year. I know nothing personally about AI.
https://www.privatebank.citibank.com/iv ... visory.pdf



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