Artificial intelligence (AI) has ventured into virtually every field in the world. May it be healthcare, manufacturing, BPO, or vehicles. It has made its mark and brought disruption. Though the wave of disruption has not impacted much yet, but many fields have been issued an alert on potential job cutting. AI will put an axe on many mundane or low paying jobs in various fields. Investors, venture capitalists, and owners see AI as an opportunity to generate considerable value to their businesses. However, the advancement in AI would not be favorable for employees. It has not spared lawyers in the open court of the world and it will substantially eat up their jobs as well.
Deep research, extensive study of the case, and complex arguments have been at the center stage of livelihood of lawyers from ages. But advancements in technology will bring disruption in their work methods. Law school graduates will undergo different way of training to become legendary lawyers as they need to learn to implement technology efficiently to win or settle cases.
Analysts have been informed the world about the impact of AI on various fields. McKinsey, a consultancy group projected that AI would eat up 23 percent of tasks of lawyers and 35 percent tasks of law clerk. Though there will be major shifts in businesses of law firms and career adjustments, it is obvious that human lawyers won’t be replaced completely.
AI-powered document discovery tools marked a major advancement in the field of law. It enabled lawyers to find appropriate sources needed to craft a case. These tools train millions of existing documents with the help of machine-learning algorithm to help lawyers find necessary sources within seconds. For instance, JPMorgan announced that it has been implementing a software known as Contract Intelligence (COIN) to perform document review work in few seconds. Lawyers and paralegals took 360,000 hours to perform this work successfully.
The research work in legal firms involves going through huge pile of law books and case files. This work is performed majorly by paralegals. However, AI has stepped up for this work, so paralegals, who do not generally have law degree, must find a way to work alongside technology. AI has not overtaken their responsibilities completely yet, but they have eased up their work to great extent.
Young lawyers will get less opportunities to train and they need to adapt to ways in which technology can be utilized efficiently. CaseMine, a legal technology firm in India has been implementing document discovery software, CaseIQ. It suggests changes on the uploaded brief to make it authoritative along with offering additional information to strengthen lawyer’s arguments. CaseMine’s founder, Aniruddha Yadav outlined that this will help lawyers learn faster and become more prolific. The company signed up many clients across Asia and the U.S. It has been planning to open its stores in the U.K.
Law schools have recognized this trend and taking necessary steps to adapt to it. They have been recommending students to opt for new programs that teach students about how to use AI platforms and interact intelligently with people developing those. The Harvard Law School, the one of the most prominent law schools in the world with the history of many presidents of the U.S. being its alumni, began offering courses in legal innovation and programming for lawyers. Students have expressed their concerns about the software being imperfect, but they also outlined that it reduces time spent on document review enormously.
Though there are many obstacles in the implementation of AI in law, but the adoption has been rampant across the world and there will be time when AI would become an irreplaceable component in law practice.