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AI Lawyers Making Work for the Rest of Us

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on February 11, 2019 2:56 PM

Herman and Lara are "AI lawyers," the newest breed of specialists in the law.

They work for AirHelp, a company that helps airline passengers resolve legal claims for refunds and damages from cancelled flights. Herman reviews travel claims, and Lara handles more complex cases.

The thing is, they are robots. If that makes you nervous, relax. It's not like you wanted their jobs anyway.

AI Works

The arrival of robot lawyers is a little scary, especially since they already can do 23 percent of a human lawyer's work. Herman has handled 35,000 claims, and Lara makes correct legal recommendations 96 percent of the time.

For attorneys who are afraid of losing their jobs to AI lawyers, however, there is a bright side. These robots also helped create jobs for real lawyers.

AirHelp employs more than 40 attorneys, and is still hiring. That's because there are some things a robot just can't do.

Carolyn Elefant, who blogs about small firm practice, says AI could change entire practice areas. It's not just legal research, eDiscovery, and small claims.

More Than eDiscovery

Elefant says AI could transform class actions, data breach cases, disputes with online merchants, and more. AI has the ability to aggregate hundreds and thousands of claims.

"That's where the magic happens -- and suddenly once unviable, one-off claims are into a pool of new work for lawyers," she says. "This is where the future lies."

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