Robot, Esq.

3 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2013

See all articles by Josh Blackman

Josh Blackman

South Texas College of Law Houston

Date Written: January 9, 2013


In the not-too-distant future, artificial intelligence systems will have the ability to reduce answering a legal question to the simplicity of performing a search. As transformational as this technology may be, it raises fundamental questions about how we view our legal system, the representation of clients, and the development of our law.

Before considering whether we can develop this technology, we must pause to consider whether we should develop it? Will it actually improve conditions for attorneys, non-attorneys, and the rule of law?

There are three important issues inherent in this change. First, what are the ethical implications of this technology to the traditional attorney-client relationship? Second, what are the jurisprudential implications of non-humans making and developing legal arguments? Third, how should we, or not, develop the legal and regulatory regimes to allow systems to engage in the practice of law?

This article opens the first chapter in this process, and sets forth an agenda of issues to consider as the intersection between law, technology, and justice merges.

Suggested Citation

Blackman, Josh, Robot, Esq. (January 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Josh Blackman (Contact Author)

South Texas College of Law Houston ( email )

1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States

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