Why AI Could Never Substitute A Lawyer

While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever live to see a doomsday scenario like with Skynet in Terminator or Deus Ex Machina from Matrix, the fact is that AI is going to change our everyday lives—and very fast. Some predictions say that 30% of jobs that exist today won’t be requiring human help by 2030, while others say that there will be other jobs for humans to perform. Most administrative jobs simply won’t require human interference, as computers can do a better and a faster job at a cheaper price.

In this article, we’ll cover some predictions that lawyers will be completely replaced by AI—and why we think that they won’t.

Machines Will Partially Affect Lawyers

There’s no denying that some elements of lawyering are going to be heavily affected by the development of AI. Just take a look at the software developed by JP Morgan that can save humans months of hard work. With technology advancing like this, lawyers will be moved to more strategic tasks, ones that require emotional intelligence and advanced problem-solving skills—ones that no machine (in their current state) can ever perform. In law, there are many gray areas that require interpretation. Any AI would struggle with these gray areas as there’s no definitive answer to what’s right or wrong.

Robots Will Help Lawyers, Much Like Autopilot Helps Pilots

During the 1940s many pilots were afraid that they’d lose their jobs due to the rise of autopilot technology. That didn’t happen though, as even 80 years later we still have pilots operating the airplanes even while autopilot helps them immensely. This is how it’s probably going to be with lawyers as well, as most tasks that can be automated will be, while anything requiring advanced decision-making and responsibility will still require a human lawyer. Technology can help with the tasks no one enjoys doing, while humans will be left with all the good elements of a job.

Lawyers Hate the Drudge Work

The truth is, no one goes to law school to spend years and years reviewing NDA’s and similar tasks. Lawyers are smart people, they enjoy the real work—work that puts their brains to the test. The more the machines can help with the drudge work, the better it will be for the lawyers; they’ll get home earlier and get to enjoy the work that they do the next day. No one enjoys having to deal with loads and loads of paperwork, and that’s an area that can be automated and sped up by the robot lawyers.

Lawyers Are Smarter Than Most People Know

Lawyers have one of the highest average IQ’s of all job categories. They’re a smart bunch and they need the intellect in order to be able to read people well. While machines are extremely dependable when it comes to administrative tasks, they can’t perform any tasks that require emotional intelligence and they are more likely to do a poor job when it comes to assessing people. From statistical analysis to legal research, machines can do a lot of good work for the lawyers, but when it comes to actual counseling and courtroom, there’s no replacing a human lawyer.

We’re Likely to Have More Lawyers in the Future

Contrary to popular belief, it’s likely that more people will get a job related to the law than ever before. The rapid development of technology started well over two decades ago, and during that time more jobs were created than ever before. The reason for this is that technology itself is creating a lot of jobs, but we’ve also created new branches of law that require new people to be employed. From family law specialists to cyberlawyers, it’s likely that we’ll see a worldwide increase in lawyers in the years to come.

Robots Can’t Think Like a Lawyer

One of the most important things a lawyer is taught in law school is to think like a lawyer. While machines can know everything there is to know about the law and access it within a second, they can never be trusted with the high-level tasks. This isn’t only because they are unfit, but also because people just won’t trust them enough to put their lives in their hands. Not to mention some high profile clients who want to have the best possible defense they can get. If they get a robot, that’s a lawyer anyone can hire.

Bottom Line

While it’s true that many professions will change in the next ten years or so, it’s more than likely that there will be enough work for most people. With the rise of AI, humans will be left with more time to do more creative tasks, ones that require emotional involvement and advanced decision-making. This is also true for lawyers, who are going to feel the change that comes with the technology advancement. But we believe it’s going to be a good change—one that leaves lawyers with more time to do the tasks they actually enjoy.

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