Can AI Replace Lawyers: A Case Study


In our daily lives, we are seeing increased interference from artificial intelligence (AI). AI is being used increasingly for the creation of content, answering questions, and fulfilling commands within seconds. Moreover, even though this technology holds excitement for innovations, it also scares many in various industries. One of the significant fears of AI take-over is the loss of legal jobs within the legal sector. Moreover, these fears have increased due to advances in AI technologies like ChatGPT and Harvey AI. Not to mention this technology’s ability to ace Bar Exams. But can AI replace lawyers? The answer is no, but AI will soon simplify lawyers’ tasks. In this article, we will discuss the scope of AI within the legal industry.   

AI's Stand Currently Within the Legal Industry

AI is primarily known for its ability to mimic functions usually conducted by humans, like speech recognition. According to the 2022 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 12% of lawyers and legal professionals have stated their usage of AI-based tools within their law firms.   

Moreover, legal professionals use AI-based tools to simplify daily tasks. This includes automating tedious tasks like legal research, contract analysis, and document review.   

On the other hand, we can see that most legal professionals need to use AI tools. But what is holding them back from using AI?   

When the survey asked what the barriers are regarding the adoption of artificial intelligence, the study suggested the following:   

  • 36.4% noted that the accuracy of technology is the primary barrier,   
  • 34.2% said that the cost of implementation of AI technologies is one concern, &;   
  • 33.8% are concerned about the reliability of information presented by AI-based tools.   
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using AI within the Legal Industry

Innovation in any technology, including AI, has benefits and downfalls within the legal industry. We have mentioned some of the advantages and disadvantages of AI in the legal sector discussed below.   

Advantages of AI in the Legal Industry

AI has a lot of scope for improving the lives of legal professionals in the long run. AI usage can benefit lawyers if used correctly. Here are some of the perks of using AI for law.   

AI can save time

If you’re a lawyer, you’ll know legal work can be repetitive and mundane, and that quickly fills up the whole day. It might be researching laws or searching through a big pile of documents. Moreover, AI can automate these tasks and complete them within a fraction of a minute.   

The result? You, as a lawyer, have the time to focus on tasks that really matter. This will lead to increased job satisfaction, improved bottom lines, and elevated client relationships.   

AI promotes greater productivity

AI is widely known for its capacity to streamline processes for lawyers to increase their efficiency at work. eDiscovery is one such example of an AI. Similarly, its algorithms are trained with machine learning to identify patterns within vast amounts of data, analyzing data within a fraction of a second. This will help lawyers to finish their tasks at a faster pace effectively.   

Legal professionals can make use of sophisticated AI-based tools to augment their work. These tools are known for their ability to assist in tasks like drafting legal documents, conducting legal research, and analyzing contracts.   

Moreover, AI can document automation through various legal software solutions. This will speed up routine tasks and allow lawyers to focus on higher-level work that requires human judgment. These include negotiation, counseling, and advocacy.   

Every technology has its downfall, which affects the credibility and reliability of the same. Here we are mentioning some of the disadvantages of using AI within the legal industry.   

AI commits mistakes

AI has been widely accused of misusing source material and providing factual errors in the information that is being presented. Moreover, compounding this challenge is a more significant issue.   

For instance, ChatGPT does not provide the source from which its information is collected. Due to this, many lawyers need help understanding whether the information is factually correct or not. So, it allows lawyers to use AI-based tools cautiously when conducting legal tasks.   

AI makes strategic work challenging

Lawyers are skilled at arguing cases and challenging the outcomes in a way machines can never replicate. For example, a lawyer from experience will understand whether their client withholds information. Similarly, they can quickly probe deeper to acquire the needed information to make the case according to their client’s best interests.   

Even though AI has the capacity to identify or analyze data, it does not have the capacities like emotional intelligence or critical thinking skills. These are vital skills required for lawyers to read people. Finally, humans have the skills to work with incomplete information, and AI cannot do the same.   

Verdict of Using AI in Law

It is doubtful that AI will replace human lawyers. Technology cannot solve complex challenges, think critically, or possess empathy to develop client relationships.   

It is said that there are some areas where AI is beneficial for the legal industry. Such as automating tasks to increase billable hours. This is where the true power of AI stands for in the legal sector.   

The Future of the Legal Industry With AI

Just like AI will continue to augment and not replace what lawyers do daily, AI will also reshape the legal industry’s future.   

Moreover, as we look into the future, here are some predictions for how AI will continue to shape the legal industry in the coming years.   

Change In Regulatory Landscap

With AI becoming increasingly prevalent within the legal industry, there will be a greater need for new rules and regulations. This is mainly to ensure that AI-based technologies are used ethically, safely, and effectively.   

As a result, we will see execution of legal statutes and regulations for ethical use of AI in the legal industry. Due to this, if you’re a lawyer, you’ll have to be diligent in being aware of the current regulations and follow up with the ones that shall come up in the future.   

Priority to Access to Justice

AI-powered legal tools will have the scope to increase access to justice by making legal services accessible and affordable. Moreover, this reduces the time to conduct tasks, allowing law firms to pass the savings to their clients.   

On the other hand, there are also speculations and concerns that AI might increase the existing inequalities and widen the justice gap. This will occur due to the inherent bias of the datasets.   

Structure Of Law Firms Will Change

AI is expected to restructure law firms as the way of working, with the smallest ones having the ability to use the same AI-powered tools as the established and large firms. This could contour the arena, making legal services for many more people cheap and effective. It can also lead to the emergence of new forms of legal service providers who provide AI-integrated legal services.  

Final Thoughts

Since it can change the rules in lawyers’ work, AI is not expected to get rid of lawyers.  

On the contrary, automatons cannot perform manlike tasks that necessitate human decision-making, such as the litigation process before a jury, planning, counseling, and establishing long-lasting relationships with customers.  

But that will not strip off lawyers’ jobs, as AI rather will be a value-added tool to make a job more high-quality. Properly applied, it enhances a lawyer’s productivity while he makes fewer mistakes and can concentrate more on legal cases. In brief, when marketers use SEO strategy, it’s easier to stand out from the stiff competition.  

The legal industry will always be a matter of constant change as the AI sector gains momentum. Hence, the legal professionals must keep themselves updated about the recent developments in AI and prepare to face the challenges of the markets. The best way to meet the current industry demands is to stay on top through training and education. 

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