Artificial Intelligence and the [Dubious?] Future of Law Firms

Legal Futures features excerpts and analysis of a report by Jomati Consultants stating, among other things, that advances in artificial intelligence will lead to the demise of many law firms and a complete revolutionization of the legal industry: "Civilisation 2030: The Near Future for Law Firms."

The report’s focus on the future of work contained the most disturbing findings for lawyers. Its main proposition is that AI is already close in 2014. “It is no longer unrealistic to consider that workplace robots and their AI processing systems could reach the point of general production by 2030… after long incubation and experimentation, technology can suddenly race ahead at astonishing speed.”

By this time, ‘bots’ could be doing “low-level knowledge economy work” and soon much more. “Eventually each bot would be able to do the work of a dozen low-level associates. They would not get tired. They would not seek advancement. They would not ask for pay rises. Process legal work would rapidly descend in cost.”

The human part of lawyering would shrink. “To sustain margins a law firm would have to show added value elsewhere, such as in high-level advisory work, effectively using the AI as a production tool that enabled them to retain the loyalty and major work of clients[.]"

Instructions for obtaining a copy of the full report can be found on the Jomati Consultants website.