In the film ‘Back to the Future II’, Doc Brown tells our hero Marty McFly: “the justice system works swiftly in the future now that they’ve abolished all lawyers.” Doc was referencing an imagined 2015, but in 2016 lawyers are far from being abolished. The legal profession, traditionally slow to embrace technology, is now at least partly embracing the opportunities associated with algorithm driven computer technology. At either end of the opinion spectrum there are two main schools of thought: 1) AI spells the end of the legal profession versus 2) AI provides the profession with opportunities it should embrace.
Some subscribing to the latter position have suggested AI should stand for ‘Attorney Intelligence’ and I think they have a point. AI tools need input from legal experts in order to be effective. In that sense lawyers will continue to play a key role in developing AI platforms alongside the delivery of legal services via traditional legal platforms. Here are some examples.