Sunday, October 23, 2016

Several experts opine on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on law practice

Some predict the effect will be to usher in a new "skills renaissance" in law practice for those with coding experience while others suggest "AI" may render the need for some attorneys as obsolete. Legaltech News has the story:

Will AI Rush in a ‘Skills Renaissance’ in Law?

There’s a technology revolution underway in law. This week's AI roundup explores, what does the future hold for the lawyer?


What’s the deal with young people these days? Well, in the context of lawyers, the young are leading the way with technology. A recent Reuters blog pegs the innovators’ age range between generations Y (born mid-70s to early 2000s) and Z (the 90s – 2000s), within which lie the individuals that are transforming the future of legal services.


And nothing looks to impact law more significantly in the coming decade than artificial intelligence (AI). The real-world benefit of its application is “continuing to explode,” Reuters’ Westlaw product management senior director Erik Lindberg said in the blog. Using it, attorneys stand to “make more informed decisions and have more confidence.”


However, not everyone is on board with the change, and age for some can be an indicator of stance. Veteran attorneys, Lindberg says, have up until now “been successful without cognitive computing or artificial intelligence, so they may question, why change?”


In fact, now may actually be a great time to be a younger lawyer, especially if you grasp technology. In a Legal Cheek Q&A, Luke Scanlon, head of Pinsent Masons’ “fintech propositions,” said that for junior attorneys, “AI will mean more of a focus on interesting work for lawyers and less time spent on mundane tasks.”


At the same time, this could have considerable implications for the typical job description of the lawyer. According to Scanlon, law students with “coding or data analysis skills are going to be in high demand, because these are areas where the legal profession has an opportunity to build on what it currently offers.”

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