Legal Jobs in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Moving from Today's Limited Universe of Data Toward the Great Beyond
Savannah Law Review, 2018, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2017 Last revised: 18 Mar 2018
Date Written: December 9, 2017
Lawyers are unprepared for the major differences between the closed or highly limited universes of data with which today’s most popular AI programs deal, and the vastly larger, unstructured field of data that the AI of tomorrow will attempt to conquer.
In the space of unlimited data – at least on the fact gathering side – this article argues that there are dozens of AI applications currently in development that could help lawyers do their jobs better. The impact on legal employment from these unlimited-fact universe programs does not appear to be negative, for the simple reason that they represent a chance to look at data previously unexamined by lawyers. But, to be useful, these programs will demand skills and a job outlook not always in evidence among lawyers.
Even today, software used in law firms is not employed to its full potential. Lawyers often miss the point that while computers work purely in a deductive way, higher human functioning is often not deductive at all. What kind of person does a firm want to have running all the sophisticated machinery? In brief, it may not be the ideal law student of today. The paper concludes with suggestions about how to train lawyers who will be using AI to use it wisely. Those expecting to type in a few queries and get a final correct answer will be sorely disappointed.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, law, investigation, fact-finding, computer research
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation