top of page

The Battle Of AI And Lawyers, Who Will Win At The End?

In 2020, a news article reported the introduction of the online app called Amica which uses artificial intelligence to help separating couples make parenting arrangements and divide their assets. As an application, Amica asks its users (the individual and their partner) questions about themselves, so it can create agreements which work for both parties. The app was praised by several users, even such that the Australian government backed its use by saying how exceptional it is, that the chatbot uses AI to make suggestions for how splitting couples can divide their money and property based on their circumstances. But, Amica wasn’t the only tool of this kind in the legal field. Several other AI- powered family legal services were used in Australia, including Penda and Adieu. Penda, provides the victims of family violence by providing free legal and safety information. The application’s AI chatbot provides online legal advice and information without requiring any face-to-face meeting with a legal attorney. On the other hand, Adieu enables couples to achieve amicable financial and parenting agreements via its AI chatbot component. This chatbot itself refers couples to mediators, counsellors, lawyers and financial advisers, if required.

When these applications were released, back in 2020, these tools seemed to be a saviour for the legal system. For instance, the Australian family law system was already overburdened, resulting in long delays for families in the court system. Moreover, court proceedings were also expensive, implying not every party could access help through legal measures. The presence of these tools allowed for resolving problems in a much faster and cheaper way.

Moving on, another article in 2021, highlighted the greater presence of AI in the legal system. The article spoke about the growing branch of artificial intelligence in the legal sphere, also known as machine learning. In its entirety, the article gave a glimpse of how lawyers’ jobs are unsafe.

While the above were the articles from the past, we are now in 2023, and yes, we can certainly agree that the demand for lawyers has witnessed a downfall, especially during the end of 2022, but to say that lawyers will completely vanish, and that their jobs would be taken up by AI lawyers, is not true at all.

It is certain, AI lawyers can carry out most of lawyer duties. There robot lawyers can perform tasks such as conducting research and analysing legal problems. Adding the touch of technology, they can perform these activities with minimum to absolutely no error.

Since inception, the legal industry has been aligned to the concept of adopting technology in this sphere. Even when AI was originally introduced, conservative legal practitioners had one major concern, that it will replace the fine traditions of law. But AI was here to stay, if there was any doubt regarding this, the COVID-19 pandemic proved this statement.

Now, lawyers should focus on viewing AI as a tool than a potential replacement. Let us understand this with the help of AI chatbots.

A computer program, AI chatbots deploy language models and natural language processing, to answer queries of different levels of sophistication. As of now, AI chatbots do not have a major role in law, but with the amount of presence they now have, we can speculate that their role will not just be limited to providing legal advice, but also advocating for lawyers.

As a legal attorney, we have to understand that every potential client who approaches us is not looking for a lawyer’s service, but rather advice, and we as lawyers, have too much on our plate already to give time to each of these clients individually. Here comes one of the biggest advantages of AI chatbots. It understands our concern that there are far more people who need legal advice than there are lawyers to provide that advice. Chatbots provide a good job of providing basic information, particularly in response to commonly asked questions. But just like every coin has two sides, one of the negatives of applying this technology to the practice of law is that it might be unreliable or flat-out wrong.

Even after all of this, the question of AI replacing lawyers can never be raised. Of course it is true that chatbots ease most of the lawyers’ burden by solving clients’ queries, but there lies a big difference between providing general legal information and legal advice which is tailored to an individual or entity’s specific circumstances. Law is a social construct, and machines rely on language models which cannot understand these constructs. The same downfall was also found in Amica. Even though the platform was successful in making parental arrangements, it did not find any use if cases of domestic violence or sexual harassment were present. Even though chatbots are good at building on what has already been done, they certainly do not have the creativity and abstract thinking to fully address many legal needs.

Finally, we can ask ourselves, what the future holds for lawyers? We can be sure that the future of the legal system relies deeply on client relationships. We can no longer treat our clients just as walking legal problems, we should rather focus on personal relationships. We need to focus on developing such relationships with them that shows we have our best interest in them. If in any case we act like robots, with no empathy for our clients or potential clients, then we also cannot expect ourselves to any difference with machines.




Follow Global Lawyers Association for more news and updated from International Legal Industry.




bottom of page