How will AI, machine learning, and big data affect the legal system as technology improves? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Christian Haigh, Co-founder, Legalist, on Quora:
For a long time, lawyers believed they couldn’t be replaced by machines.
It’s true: the legal industry over the past decade has amassed a graveyard of failed attempts to innovate and few large exits. It’s also true that legal arguments can be highly case-specific and not necessarily conducive to automation.
But asking whether individual lawyers can be entirely replaced by machines isn’t asking the right question. Rather, can one lawyer, augmented by machines, perform the same work that five lawyers used to do?
Easily. It’s already happening.
When Curtis, our General Counsel started his career, he and other associates at his law firm would physically go to the offices of the defendant and take evidence for discovery. When he started his law firm, he owned his own servers. E-discovery did not exist. The cloud was not widely used. You needed teams of associates just to go to the law library and do research.
As a business, you needed a lawyer just to draft incorporation documents.
Change rarely comes in the forms that we would expect. Companies like LegalZoom provide free legal resources. Axiom provides remote lawyers on demand. At Legalist, our engineers supplement our business team and allow us to punch above our weight compared to every other litigation funding company in the industry. That’s because of our technology.
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