LinkedIn Newsletter by Steven Weigler
AI and the legal profession, what will it mean? In New York, an attorney just got into serious trouble using AI to apparently write his legal argument. His efforts were discovered when the Court checked his citations and realized the cases he cited didn’t even exist. While this attorney is being skewered for being lazy and unethical, I can almost guarantee you that he is not the only attorney who has inappropriately used AI.
AI at EmergeCounsel
I am not anti-AI and am actually very technology-bullish. Before starting EmergeCounsel, I worked for tech companies and even built my own. At EmergeCounsel, we spent significantly on legal technology. Our technology includes platforms for research (Westlaw), trademark search (Marify and Westlaw), best practices/subject area guidance/forms (PracticalLaw), docketing (AltLegal), and client management/CRM (Clio and Clio Grow). Although each one has helped our legal team provide what we consider excellent work product, best practices, and a lower price point, they are a resource as opposed to a substitute for what we do.
On my first day of law school, my contracts professor told the class, If you are not interested in thinking ALL THE TIME, the law is the wrong career for you. It is my mind and not AI technology that provides the empathy, analysis, and judgment to get my clients’ results.
AI and related technology can certainly provide, store, and weed out content more quickly and accurately than any human. So, I am going to use it as a resource. I have no doubt that AI will improve software platforms as well as assist developers in creating more and better ones. I am excited to be a part of this movement.
However, I know that clients come to me because I am not artificial. They have their own unique businesses, related goals, issues, and plans. Our clients need someone to think about the best legal approach to grow their business, including resolving their issues.
I hope there is never a day that AI replaces the human element of judgment and experience that my profession requires. If that ever happens, it will be the day we face an existential threat as human thought is taken over by machine learning.