Could Artificial Intelligence Make Law Firms Obsolete?
They may have a case. AI’s threatened to replace everyone from janitors to journalists, but the legal profession guards its human capital like dusty law books. Even so, automated services that speed legal scut work — and even evaluate lawyers’ performance and predict case outcomes — are growing and reshaping the law-firm business model into a more freelance-based industry. Don’t expect a speedy resolution, however: One expert found automation is replacing humans at the rate of 2.5 percent a year, meaning we’re a long way from smartphones standing up for us in court.