Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Law Firms Need Your Expertise to Make AI Tools Work

Robots may be casting a shadow over law jobs, but they are also opening doors at law firms.

Legal tech positions -- such as chief innovation officer, legal solutions architect and chief data scientist -- are in demand. BigLaw, in particular, needs people to make the tech work.

It's no secret that those tech workers have an advantage if they also know the law. The big surprise, for some, is that the robots actually need help.

Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is the beginning; machine learning is ongoing. It takes humans to teach robots.

"The technology looks incredible but it's not just a push button thing to implement and deploy," said Ruth Hauswirth, special counsel and director of e-discovery for Cooley. "It requires some expertise to get the tools to do what you want to achieve."

"NextGen" legal technologies can help lawyers with discovery, research, document review and more. Some attorneys worry that they will lose their jobs to the smart robots.

For Stephen Poor, emeritus chair at Seyfarth Shaw, it is about evolution. "It's important to think about automation not as replacing jobs, but replacing tasks; not replacing humans, but augmenting humans," he told Bloomberg Law.

Lawyer Training

Of course, robots are taking law jobs. MIT Technology Review says they are "shaking up" the industry.

A year ago, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 23 percent of a lawyer's job could be automated. Paralegals jobs -- 34 percent.

However, the report said, the evolution of robots in the legal industry "does not necessarily spell the end of the jobs in that line of work."

"On the contrary, their number at times increases in occupations that have been partly automated, because overall demand for their remaining activities has continued to grow," they said.

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