My Article On “Robot, Esq.” Is Quoted On CNN Money

March 28th, 2014

My article, Robot, Esq. was quoted in an article on CNN Money, titled “Here come the Robot Lawyers.” Here is the intro:

The law profession is being reshaped by new automation technologies that allow law firms to complete legal work in a fraction of the time and with far less manpower. ThinkIBM’s “Jeopardy!”-winning computer Watson — practicing law.

“Watson the lawyer is coming,” said Ralph Losey, a legal technology expert at the law firm Jackson Lewis. “He won’t come up with the creative solutions, but when it comes to the regular games that lawyers play, he’ll kill them.”

That means potentially huge cost savings for clients, though it’s not so promising for law school graduates looking for work.

The good news for lawyers is that no one thinks the profession can be automated entirely. But lots of legal work is already being computerized by some firms, including the drafting of simple contracts and the search for evidence in reams of documents.

And here’s me:

In a paper released last year, Josh Blackman, an assistant professor at South Texas College of Law, wrote that artificial intelligence programs will “in the not-so-distant future” have the ability to advise on whether to file a lawsuit, predict how it might be resolved and even draft portions of legal briefs.

But computers practicing law isn’t necessarily a good thing. For instance, Blackman wonders who is responsible if clients get bad advice. …

As law firms weigh the pros and cons of using algorithms instead of lawyers, technology might even render some of the firms themselves moot.

“A person could download the app, explain his or her problem, and listen to possible remedies — that may or may not involve paying a lawyer,” Blackman wrote in his paper. This technology, he added, “would improve access to justice.”

Busy day today!