Technological developments have left no industry untouched in the past 50 years, but one area that has consistently provoked interest is the world of law, which is seen as a very traditional industry that functions on manpower.
Areas Touched by Tech
Technology is having an effect on several areas of the world of law, including how its workforce operates how labor is divided how skillsets are utilized how lawyers are trained how customers expect their cases to be handled, and even the culture of firms.
Many lawyers deny the impact of technology for a simple reason – law is traditionally a very labor- and paper-intensive line of work, with long hours poring over papers romanticized in firm cultures and mass media. However, in a marketplace where lawyers have to interact with consumers and entrepreneurs all the time, the way the public uses technology has to influence the legal world to some degree.
In a technology-driven world, law schools are slowly implementing the skills needed for lawyers to excel. As practicing as a lawyer doesn’t always involve working on one job in a large firm anymore, budding lawyers are now trained in the basics of business, understanding the way technology is used and might be used in the future, and understanding how it can help legal delivery and legal management. Software that provides whole litigation management system solutions is becoming increasingly relevant, as is the growing importance of AI.
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AI and machine learning are already having an impact on the law, as software that utilizes it can save an overwhelming amount of time. Whereas before, paralegals would have to spend months tackling a particularly large case file to look for important and relevant documents, AI can scan through files at an incredibly fast rate, selecting documents that have similar characteristics to relevant documents that are pre-selected as examples. AI is also shining as a way of conducting due diligence, by quickly confirming both facts and statistics that might be contentious, or by conducting thorough background checks for clients. There are limitations to this, however, that need to be kept in mind.
AI is becoming increasingly relevant in contract review as a way to test contracts are watertight and identify any potential risks. When you send a contract through an AI software designed to test contractual issues, it will highlight risky clauses and even edit contracts on demand. AI-enabled solutions can even be used to automate common contracts like divorce contracts – turning a settlement process that could cost an incredible amount of money into something quick, easy, and manageable.
The New Role of Lawyers
The advancements in new technology may have some lawyers worried about obsolescence in some areas, but experts predict that while there will be a large degree of automation, lawyers will still be needed to interpret and work with AI and machine learning software. This may consume 100,000 jobs by the mid-2030s, though, and make the field of law even more competitive.