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The End of Lawyers? Not Yet

Artificial Lawyer: “Why would a law firm, or for that matter a corporate legal team, sack a lawyer who is doing a good job? One widely mentioned reason is because the new wave of generative AI could take their role – but will it really? Now, before we get into this, some may say let’s focus on how AI helps lawyers to do a better job, rather than think in terms of replacement. That makes sense, but the challenge is that the existential question about ‘AI taking lawyers’ jobs’ is already out there and people are taking it seriously this time around. There is no point in hiding from it. So, let’s do this. Why Would a Law Firm Sack a Lawyer? Let’s say that AI tools based on LLM technology are able to resolve many of their challenges, e.g. data leakage and hallucinations, and they continue to do an increasingly good job in the blink of an eye when it comes to legal tasks based around text. In fact, many say that they are already very good at things like preparing documents, reading and reviewing them, or conducting legal research, so, figuring out the new wave of AI’s impact on jobs is a matter of when, not if. To get a sense of what people think Artificial Lawyer has been running ‘The End of Lawyers Deadpool’ survey on Twitter (see results below). As you can see, the most popular view is that we will see lawyer job losses within two years. The survey is still going, but the dominant view is clear, AI will lead to SOME lawyers losing their roles. Only a small minority said it will ‘never happen’. Naturally, this is only an indicative sample, but mostly from people who know a lot about law and technology, so although not a scientific study, it’s probably worth paying attention to in terms of gauging market expectations – and hence this piece…”

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