The Vitruvian Lawyer: How to Thrive in an Era of AI and Quantum Technologies

101 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2020 Last revised: 26 Aug 2020

Date Written: February 1, 2020


We live in an exciting and tumultuous time as artificial intelligence (AI), and quantum technologies unleash more transformations than the agrarian, industrial, and computer revolutions combined. This new age, popularly called “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” describes the convergence of increasingly powerful and capable digital and robotic technologies.

As human-machine teaming becomes the norm, new and mid-career lawyers should actively cultivate the uniquely human personal and professional skills that machines cannot supplant. A short list of these skills includes curiosity, cognitive range (depth and breadth), creativity, and emotional intelligence. In their work as knowledge entrepreneurs and inventive problem solvers, modern lawyers must also continuously augment and leverage their education, training, and insights to spot, imagine, generate, and deliver client value.

Because designing and crafting one’s career in a time of flux presents a myriad of challenges, a role model to emulate can provide both guidance and inspiration. Five hundred years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci remains the quintessential Renaissance Man, and a study of his career yields many valuable lessons for twenty-first-century lawyers.

Vitruvian Lawyers will thrive in an era of AI and quantum technologies because they will vigorously stretch their human curiosity, cognitive range, and creativity to achieve apex imaginator status. This Article explores how to become one.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, AI, synthetic intelligence, quantum computing, legal industry restructuring, future of work, future of law

Suggested Citation

Escajeda, Hilary G., The Vitruvian Lawyer: How to Thrive in an Era of AI and Quantum Technologies (February 1, 2020). XXIX Kansas J. of Law & Pub. Pol'y 421-521 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Hilary G. Escajeda (Contact Author)

Mississippi College - School of Law ( email )

151 East Griffith Street
Jackson, MS 39201
United States

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