There is little doubt that the legal sector is entering a period of technological revolution. But what exactly is AI – how does it work, and how much does it matter? This Fox Rodney Search thought leadership piece explores the future of the legal market as it enters the high-tech era.
What is AI and why does it matter?
AI refers to the development of technological systems able to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. In many ways, the legal sector is perfectly suited to the application of AI systems because at its core the law is a framework of rules – something computer programming is particularly adept at handling. In the context of a law firm, AI entails programming computers to process those rules in order to complete tasks historically performed by lawyers.
AI doesn’t change the nature of legal work – it enables lawyers to focus their efforts on creating legal content (e.g. planning a legal argument or crafting a bespoke contract) rather than manually completing rote work. This is particularly relevant at the junior end, where AI can be used to replace associates and paralegals conducting (often un-billable) commoditised work. Many such tasks, including document drafting, due diligence and legal research, are actually better suited to computers than humans. Computers are not only able to handle this work much more efficiently than human lawyers, they also complete it more accurately.
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