Lawyers

New Study Concludes Robots Will Not Take Lawyer Jobs Anytime Soon
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Summary: A new study states that lawyers do not have to worry about robots taking their jobs anytime soon.

A growing number of lawyers are worried that robots are going to take their jobs, and why wouldn’t they? BigLaw firms such as BakerHostetler have turned to artificial intelligence to do the functions of first-year associates and programming geniuses have created apps that can do basic legal work for clients, cutting out the middle-man, the attorney. But while technology is automating some aspects of a lawyer’s job, a new study published in The New York Times said that robots are not going to replace lawyers anytime soon.

  
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“There is this popular view that if you can automate one piece of the work, the rest of the job is toast,” labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Frank Levy said. “That’s just not true, or only rarely the case.”

Levy and Dana Remus of the University of North Carolina School of Law studied the automation threat to lawyers at large law firms. In their paper, they stated that all the new technology in place would result in an estimated 13% decline in lawyers’ hours but not replace an actual human lawyer. Overall, artificial intelligence can scan and predict what documents to use in a case, but current robots are not advanced enough to advise clients, negotiate and appear in court, or write legal briefs.

The study said that lawyers’ jobs will not be going away anytime soon and that it is more likely that robots will cut lawyers’ hours by 2.5% over five years.

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The study is consistent with one published by the McKinsey Global Institute that said nearly half of tasks can be automated but only 5% of jobs can be replaced by robots.

James Yoon, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, told The New York Times that he uses technology to aid him with legal strategy, but that the technology cannot replace his experience which gives him the ability to strategize and empathize with clients, who pay him $1,100 an hour.



“For the time being, experience like mine is something people are willing to pay for,” Yoon said. “What clients don’t want to pay for is any routine work.”

Source: New York Times

What do you think about automation? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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