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AI conundrum: Replacing experience with value?

If artificial intelligence can help junior lawyers handle more complex tasks and satisfy their millennial appetite for quality work while meeting client demand for speed and cost savings, where will that leave senior solicitors, wonders Professor Joan Loughrey

26 June 2017

The impact that new technologies will have on the legal services market has attracted much debate of late and emerged as a key theme during a Leeds Law Society conference earlier this month. A vital question to consider is whether artificial intelligence will replace lawyers, or whether it will add value to what they do.

Most would agree that the days of assigning routine tasks to paralegals and other junior lawyers are numbered. Usually this is attributed to pressure from clients for speed and cost savings, as Georgina Powling, a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said during a panel discussion, with clients asking ‘Isn’t there an app for that?’ But pressures will also come from within firms who will find it hard to retain their millennial fee-earners if they are not offered quality work.

Rather than replace lawyers, artificial intelligence (AI) was more likely...

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