Saturday, March 18, 2017
The American Interest, The BigLaw Massacre Approaches:
Bad news for the tens of thousands of newly minted lawyers who pass the bar every year and hope to get associate positions at big law firms sorting through documents for corporate clients: Robots are taking your jobs[,] Blommberg reports [JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours]. ...
The new technologies aimed at automating the discovery process don’t mean that high-flying lawyers will be put out of business. In fact, it’s possible that the firms that own these technologies could get more wealthy than ever before. But they do probably mean that the huge flow of cash into the legal sector every year will be somewhat reduced, and middling firms and lawyers will be in trouble.
In the long run, however, this will be good for everyone. Firms can redirect funds that would otherwise be spent on legal fees into research and development, leading to better products. And a loosening of the legal labor market will mean lower rates, and more access to legal services for people who need them but haven’t been able to afford them in the past.