There is no doubt that technology is making great strides in all sectors, although companies are still trying to work out how to harness this to effectively promote growth and efficient work.
It's been said that the legal sector is slow on the uptake of artificial intelligence (AI). However, law firms are starting to adopt AI systems to help manage case files and pick up routine office tasks, arguably negating the need for humans and saving money. Although this could lead to job losses in the sector, the adoption of AI by the legal profession is in the early stages. For many law firms, this is still the elephant in the room.
Lawyers should not be quaking in their boots just yet because one thing is certain: AI does not have the capabilities to replicate the creativity, knowledge and understanding that human lawyers possess. However, the time has come to acknowledge and embrace this technological tidal wave or law firms face a wipe out in the future.
Law firms, which tend to be owned by partners, have been slow to adopt technology. Their traditional and profitable model involves many low-paid legal staff doing most of the routine work, while a handful of equity partners earn about £1m a year. But since the 2008 financial crisis, their business model has come under pressure as companies cut spending on legal services, and technology replicated the repetitive tasks that lower-level lawyers at the start of their careers had worked on in the past. “The 2020s will be the decade of disruption,” says Professor Richard Susskind, co-author of The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts. He believes there is growing demand from executives who control corporate legal budgets to cut costs by taking advantage of the savings offered by technology.