Four Futures of Legal Automation

UCLA Law Review Discourse, vol. 63, pp. 26-48, 2015

U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-25

24 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2015

See all articles by Frank A. Pasquale

Frank A. Pasquale

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Glyn Cashwell

Vistronix

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Simple legal jobs (such as document coding) are prime candidates for legal automation. More complex tasks cannot be routinized. So far, the debate on the likely scope and intensity of legal automation has focused on the degree to which legal tasks are simple or complex. Just as important to the legal profession, however, is the degree of regulation or deregulation likely in the future.

Situations involving conflicting rights, unique fact patterns, and open-ended laws will remain excessively difficult to automate for an extended period of time. Deregulation, however, may effectively strip many persons of their rights, rendering once-hard cases simple. Similarly, disputes that now seem easy, because one party is so clearly in the right, may be rendered hard to automate by new rules that give now-disadvantaged parties new rights. By explaining how each of these reversals could arise, this Essay combines technical and sociological analyses of the future of legal automation. We conclude that the future of artificial intelligence in law is more open ended than most commentators suggest.

Keywords: document review, document coding, future of lawyers, AI, artificial intelligence, eresearch, ediscovery, automation, regulation

Suggested Citation

Pasquale, Frank A. and Cashwell, Glyn, Four Futures of Legal Automation (2015). UCLA Law Review Discourse, vol. 63, pp. 26-48, 2015; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652772

Frank A. Pasquale (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
410-706-4820 (Phone)
410-706-0407 (Fax)

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Glyn Cashwell

Vistronix ( email )

11091 Sunset Hills Rd
Suite 700
Reston, VA 20190
United States

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