Sure, the legal industry isn't the most creative in the world. But can a robot eventually perform the job of a lawyer?
We may be about the find out.
In the burgeoning field of "quantitative legal prediction," engineers and computer scientists are creating programs that can perform some of the functions of attorneys. By combining databases with algorithms, these engineers are creating programs that can analyze case variables and identify patterns in order to predict the outcomes of a case, reports Dallas Blog.
Not surprisingly, the push to replace lawyers with robots is happening in Silicon Valley. A startup named Lex Machina started from the IP Litigation Clearinghouse at Stanford University.
The company focuses on patent litigation and it created its program based on data gathered from 128,000 intellectual property cases, along with records from 63,000 law firms, 134,000 attorneys, 64,042 parties, and 1,399 judges, spanning the past decade, reports Dallas Blog.
For a fee, the company will run its program and provide information to clients such as how much it may cost to fight a patent case, the win rates, and settlement patterns, reports the Dallas Blog.
Of course, after the program is run, the actual litigation will still be performed by attorneys ... for now.
So, will robots eventually replace lawyers? It's hard to say, but it's a possibility.
However, for now, the field of "quantitative legal prediction" and companies like Lex Machina are not out there to replace attorneys. Instead, this new field may be used as a tool to help clients determine whether they want to shell out the big bucks to hire an attorney and fight a patent litigation case in the first place.
With patent lawsuits costing an average of $5 million per case -- and the Apple/Samsung lawyers making a fortune in their case -- Lex Machina may be an invaluable tool for many technology companies
- Lex Machina raises $2M for legal Big Data (Business Journal)
- What the Apple Verdict Means for the Smartphone Industry (FindLaw's Technologist)
- The Bluebook App: A Uniform System of Citation on Your Cell (FindLaw's Technologist)