The use of robots in the legal profession is closer than you could expect, but they are hardly going to take away your job.
Last week I wrote about how law students and junior lawyers have to embrace the existing technological advances in order to stand out and improve their practice.
An article in the New York Times , based on a paper by the SSRN, discussed the implementation of this kind of new technology in law firms and the automation of the lawyers work. According to the article, 23% of the lawyers work can be automated and this will have several implications:
1. Inevitably, law firms will reduce then number of attorneys or at least hire fewer people (probably increasing the technical staff to maintain the technology systems behind all the legal work);
2. Legal services will become cheaper because of the requirements of less "attorney" hours working on the matters;
3. Profitability of the firms may go up because of the fewer lawyer requirements and the more matters that they can handle at the same time.
Michael Mill, lawyer and chief strategy officer of Neota Logic (a legal technology startup) said that the law firm partner of the future will be the leader of a team, "and more than one of the players will be a machine". Some players will also be non-lawyers and the attorneys work will be limited to the higher intellectual and detail oriented parts of the transaction.
Technology advancements in the legal practice is a fascinating development that will affect everyone. I'm looking forward to seeing what it can bring us!