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Will AI Replace Lawyers?

Artificial intelligence has disrupted various industries for years, and the legal sector is no exception. As we move further into the 21st century, the intersection between law and technology continues to grow.

The latest addition to the field is Harvey, an innovative AI platform designed to help lawyers perform legal tasks more efficiently.

This article will explore its benefits, limitations, and potential impact on the legal industry. Will AI replace lawyers? Should you worry?

Find out below!

Technology’s Progress in the Legal Industry

Over the past few decades, technology has made life easier for lawyers with natural language processing tools. They no longer need to spend hours flipping through dusty law books to find relevant precedents. Instead, they can ask questions in plain English, and the AI will quickly provide answers.

However, the next step is to teach these AI models how to navigate different sources of law, from the Constitution to local ordinances. The ultimate goal is to create a legal system where anyone can ask questions and get responses without requiring specialized expertise.

Introducing Harvey

Harvey is a super-intelligent computer program that helps lawyers do their work better and faster. The developers used some of the latest technology, including Open AI models.

The tool helps lawyers understand their legal tasks through simple instructions without manual legal document editing or research. It uses large language models to understand the user’s intent and generate the correct output.

Harvey can answer questions related to legal matters in plain English, such as the differences between an employee and an independent contractor or whether a clause in a lease violates the law.

One of the biggest law firms in the world, Allen & Overy, is now using Harvey to help its lawyers. It can do a lot of different legal tasks, like looking at contracts, checking to make sure everything is legal, and predicting what might happen in a case.

Harvey works efficiently using big data and complex algorithms, but a human lawyer still needs to check everything it says. Nevertheless, the people behind the startup think that technology like this can help improve the legal industry.

Harvey AI was one of the first four investments of the Open.AI Startup Fund – it offered Harvey AI $5 million for continued development. They explain the product provides an easy-to-use platform for all legal procedures using advanced language models.

It helps lawyers with tasks such as research, drafting, analysis, and communication by utilizing AI technology.

How AI Technology Impacts the Legal Industry

The role of technology is crucial for the success of law firms. For instance, a legal trends report shows that lawyers using cloud-based legal practice management software reported increased personal and professional satisfaction, better relationships with clients and colleagues, and overall job performance.

Moreover, clients also reap the benefits of such technology. The same report showed that lawyers who use cloud-based legal practice management software had more satisfied clients, with responsiveness being a significant factor.

The findings demonstrate that AI technology, like legal practice management software, can streamline tasks, reduce response times, and minimize the time spent on routine tasks, allowing lawyers to provide top-notch service to their clients.

Harvey’s Benefits

So how good is Harvey? Will AI replace lawyers as it becomes more sophisticated?

Although it may seem like Harvey could replace lawyers by generating legal arguments and filing drafts, the tool only aims to assist lawyers.

1. Increased Efficiency

One of the main benefits of using Harvey is its ability to improve efficiency. Lawyers can use the platform to automate repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex legal work that requires human expertise.

Using Harvey can help lawyers work faster and more accurately, which leads to happier clients.

2. Improved Accuracy

Harvey can help improve the accuracy of legal work by analyzing large amounts of data and identifying patterns that human lawyers may miss.

It can help reduce errors and improve the quality of legal work, ultimately leading to better client outcomes.

3. Better Access to Justice

Automating specific legal tasks can help law firms cut their expenses, making legal services more affordable for low-income individuals who might be unable to pay for legal representation.

Harvey’s Limitations

Law is an incredibly high-stakes field. Lives and livelihoods rest on accurate outcomes. While AI has come a long way in recent years, errors can occur – if not checked for accuracy by a human, this could cause irreparable damage to numerous lives and represent a miscarriage of justice.

In addition, most legal disputes are highly sensitive, so lawyers and law firms may desire to avoid giving an AI program like Harvey access to their case documents.

AI has also been known to develop prejudices based on the datasets it is trained on. The U.S. legal system already has a difficult relationship with racial and sexual discrimination, and AI’s limitations could exacerbate this.

Will AI Replace Lawyers?

The most likely outcome is that current AI legal technology will keep the legal industry’s business model the same, especially in top-tier law firms.

For one thing, tools like Harvey AI and ChatGPT are still undergoing testing and may only sometimes provide accurate information. Law firms risk their reputations by adopting unproven technology and will likely be extremely cautious in implementing AI.

Apart from that, ethical concerns are also involved, including security, client privacy, and privilege. Therefore, if you’re considering using AI tools in your law firm, you should carefully vet potential AI vendors and consult your state’s Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure you follow the legal and ethical guidelines.

Ensure you review and verify content carefully before presenting it to clients or using it in legal proceedings. Incorrect details could have significant consequences.

What Do the Experts Say?

Milan Markovic—a law professor—does not believe robots can replace human lawyers. He wrote an article back in 2019 where he explained that people do not fully understand what lawyers do, and robots cannot replace them.

However, the recent developments in AI technology have brought back the debate about machine learning, ethics, and the future of work in fields that people thought were not automatable.

Many still think that AI lawyers could someday give legal representation and advice. However, others, like Markovic, remain skeptical and believe ethical issues are the factor.

The “Humanity” of Lawmaking

Professor Michael Livermoresaid in an interview before a conference that making laws is a human process. He believes computers will unlikely be able to completely replace human lawyers in writing legal opinions within the next decade.

Although computers may be able to provide information on whether a state’s ban on abortion is legal, they cannot engage in a complex discussion, for example.

Key Takeaways

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help lawyers to serve more people and provide better access to justice. Many low-income Americans require proper legal help, which is even more severe in specific areas.

AI can help lawyers working with such people improve their services, which can positively impact society.

However, some think AI will replace lawyers entirely, which the current landscape suggests is false. A.I. can reduce the workload of entry-level lawyers, but experienced lawyers will still have the upper hand in providing the best services to big clients.

Also, the clients of these big firms may want something other than do-it-yourself law, so AI technology may not be helpful for them.

Law firms will likely integrate AI more in administrative processes and case reviews. However, we’re unlikely to see a chatbot appear in place of a qualified lawyer any time soon.

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