The jury is out on artificial intelligence

NOV 08, 2021

Survey shows a mixed reaction to its uses

Advances in technology have fuelled predictions the legal industry will have a very different look in the coming decades.

Much of the hype centres around artificial intelligence (AI) and how this can reduce legal costs and improve the quality of services for clients.

AI-based services aimed at smaller solicitors’ firms, allowing them to save time in the construction of legal documents such as wills, separation agreements and recovery claims, have been around for several years.

Large corporate law firms have also been investing in AI to, among other things, assist with high-volume document review.

But with these advances have come predictions of considerably less employment in the sector.

A report by an initiative of the Law Society of England and Wales earlier this year predicted a “savage reduction” in full-time jobs by 2050 and, in the more immediate term, the end of the partnership model, the deskilling of the legal profession as AI takes over and a dramatic drop in remuneration levels.

Just how realistic those predictions are remains to be seen.

But the AI issue is certainly grabbing the attention of solicitors.

A question about AI drew more comments than any other in the Best Law Firm 2022 survey.

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