Artificial Intelligence in the Nigerian Legal Industry: A Threat or an Opportunity?

31 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020

See all articles by Jeremiah Ajayi

Jeremiah Ajayi

Obafemi Awolowo University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 12, 2020


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing the world as we know it.

Among the key drivers of this expeditious change is Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the enterprise adoption of deep learning and machine learning algorithms, AI disruption has affected several industries. Considering AI's exponential growth, its disruption shall likely extend to every sector in the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless, AI disruption is more of an innovation than a threat - a new gold standard era, in the legal sector. Unfortunately, the Nigerian legal industry seems unprepared for the impending transformation. Aside from its conservative nature which is a deterrent to innovation, the majority of Nigerian Legal Industry perceive AI as a doomsday, which will lead to job loss or possibly upset the status quo. When not feared, there is only much talk about AI and no action.

In recognition of the above-stated problems, this paper offers a pragmatic and fresh perspective. AI is not an apocalypse for the legal profession. Instead, AI will forever change the narrative as it would become a tool for lawyers to become extraordinaire. In the automation age, lawyers without requisite skills will "die". This paper highlights these skills and discusses how the Nigerian lawyer can develop them.

Only an innovative lawyer can survive tomorrow's legal practice.

Keywords: Nigerian legal industry, Artificial Intelligence, New Gold Standard era, AI, Conservatism, Jeremiah Ajayi, Nigerian legal sector, Skills, lawyers

JEL Classification: K30, KOO, 033

Suggested Citation

Ajayi, Jeremiah, Artificial Intelligence in the Nigerian Legal Industry: A Threat or an Opportunity? (April 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Jeremiah Ajayi (Contact Author)

Obafemi Awolowo University, Faculty of Law ( email )

P.M.B 13
Ile-Ife, Osun

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