JordanFurlong + robolawyers   7

The lucrative days of document review are over | Precedent
When I speak with Ben Alarie, a law professor at the University of Toronto, he offers a bleak analogy. “Document and contract reviewers are like Uber drivers,” he says. “With Uber investing in self-driving cars, those drivers are looking at a short career. The same thing is probably true of lawyers who review documents. It will only get easier to automate large parts of their work, so it’s hard to see how those jobs are sustainable.”

Over at Blakes, Glover concedes that, going forward, there will be fewer partner-track associates at big firms. But she’s an optimist at heart. She thinks that as law firms become more efficient, they can generate more business. And she predicts that the ongoing upheaval in Big Law will spawn new types of legal jobs that no one can foresee. “Look, I’m a partner at a big downtown law firm and I’m doing something I never would have expected,” she says. “It’s true that the old business model doesn’t work. So we have to change. And change scares people. But it also creates opportunities. To me, that’s really exciting.”

This story is from our Spring 2017 issue.




Illustrations by Sébastien Thibault

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robolawyers  laterals  it  firms  process  innovation 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Practice Engineering for 21st Century Legal Services Firms (Part 3)
What a modern law firm needs is a Chief Engineer, with the training, skills, responsibility, and authority to:

Map the entity as the single but complex organization it is;
Direct the integration of practice functions in accordance with the principles of systems engineering;
Manage analysis of the optimum level of vertical integration, practice by practice and matter by matter; and
Advance the effective use of effective technology to improve delivery of legal services.
I will speculate that alternative legal services providers, unhindered by tradition and partnerships, get closer to the systems engineering model and to the business organization necessary to achieve it.
robolawyers  engineers  knowledge  km 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
JPMorgan Marshals an Army of Developers to Automate High Finance - Bloomberg
The program, called COIN, for Contract Intelligence, does the mind-numbing job of interpreting commercial-loan agreements that, until the project went online in June, consumed 360,000 hours of work each year by lawyers and loan officers. The software reviews documents in seconds, is less error-prone and never asks for vacation.
robolawyers  roboclients 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Global firm deploys robots to slash time spent on legal processes - Legal Futures
A global law firm is deploying robotic process automation (RPA) software in its high-volume legal practices, in some cases reducing the time taken to complete tasks from 35 minutes to just four minutes.

But it told Legal Futures that its aim was to improve efficiency, not replace people.

US-based Seyfarth Shaw, which has more than 900 lawyers in nine offices across the US, plus one office each in London and Shanghai and two in Australia, has brought in RPA software already in use in other industries to its immigration and other practices.

The software, developed by the company Blue Prism, which provides artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies to blue chip clients including IBM, Nokia, Siemens, Westpac and Zurich, promises to operate as a “digital workforce” that automates “high-risk, manual, rules-based and repetitive tasks and radically improves agility, efficiency, accuracy and compliance”.
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Law Factory: An Industrial (Legal) Revolution for Law – Medium
The delivery of legal counsel shares much in common with the early auto industry. Legal services are scarce — luxuries afforded mostly for businesses, wealthy individuals, or people with subsidized access to counsel.
A new generation of lawyers are thinking about how to improve the process of lawyering — to increase quality, reduce waste and to reduce the risk of error. This kaizen for law looks to industrial processes to create a new era of abundance for legal advice, to make better legal counsel available to more people at lower prices.
Abundance of legal services could help liberalize legal services, making them more accessible to more people at lower prices. The assembly line in the automotive industry was learned from meatpacking. Can we learn industrial processes for legal services from the automobile industry?
automotive  standardization  robolawyers  access  innovation 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
RoboLaw: A Q&A With Littler’s AI Practice Leader Garry Mathiason |
Mathiason: This is far more complex than it appears on the surface.  The simple answer is to place liability on the producer of the AI.  Yet, AI does not operate in a vacuum — there are potentially several organizations that work with the software — often modifying the original programs.  There are integrators, end users, and subcontractors.  With machine learning, the AI may have made modifications that are unknown or beyond the knowledge of the original programmers.  There is a difference between a closed system coming from a producer and open systems that are easily modified and supplemented.
december 2016 by JordanFurlong
Do Not Fear Robot Lawyers—Fear Robot Clients – Slaw
As you can probably see by now, it’s not really about robot clients. It’s about clients using machines and automation to structure their affairs to reduce complexity and ambiguity. Which are the two main sources of living for lawyers.
A common example of automating a transaction to eliminate complexity and ambiguity is a vending machine. It is a rare exception when something is in dispute with a vending machine. If the mechanical and payment parts work (and they usually do), the machine is guaranteed to dispense the product after you deposit your money. People who write about “smart contracts” like this example.
robolawyers  roboclients  it  litigation 
september 2016 by JordanFurlong

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