Monday, November 27, 2017
Benjamin Alarie (Toronto), Anthony Niblett (Toronto) & Albert Yoon (Toronto), How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect the Practice of Law:
Artificial intelligence is exerting an influence on all professions and industries. We have autonomous vehicles, instantaneous translation among the world’s leading languages, and search engines that rapidly locate information anywhere on the web in a way that is tailored to a user’s interests and past search history. Law is not immune from disruption by new technology. Software tools are beginning to affect various aspects of lawyers’ work, including those tasks that historically relied upon expert human judgment, such as predicting court outcomes. These new software tools present new challenges and new opportunities.
In the short run, we can expect greater legal transparency, more efficient dispute resolution, improved access to justice, and new challenges to the traditional organization of private law firms delivering legal services on a billable hour basis through a leveraged partner-associate model. With new technology, lawyers will be empowered to work more efficiently, deepen and broaden their areas of expertise, and provide more value to clients. These developments will predictably transform both how lawyers do legal work and resolve disputes on behalf of their clients. In the longer term, it is difficult to predict the impact of artificially intelligent tools will be, as lawyers incorporate them into their practice and expand their range of services on behalf of clients.