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A.I. Is Doing Legal Work. But It Won’t Replace Lawyers, Yet. - The New York Times
By STEVE LOHR MARCH 19, 2017

An artificial intelligence technique called natural language processing has proved useful in scanning and predicting what documents will be relevant to a case, for example. Yet other lawyers’ tasks, like advising clients, writing legal briefs, negotiating and appearing in court, seem beyond the reach of computerization, for a while......Highly paid lawyers will spend their time on work on the upper rungs of the legal task ladder. Other legal services will be performed by nonlawyers — the legal equivalent of nurse practitioners — or by technology.

Corporate clients often are no longer willing to pay high hourly rates to law firms for junior lawyers to do routine work. Those tasks are already being automated and outsourced, both by the firms themselves and by outside suppliers like Axiom, Thomson Reuters, Elevate and the Big Four accounting firms.....So major law firms, sensing the long-term risk, are undertaking initiatives to understand the emerging technology and adapt and exploit it.

Dentons, a global law firm with more than 7,000 lawyers, established an innovation and venture arm, Nextlaw Labs, in 2015. Besides monitoring the latest technology, the unit has invested in seven legal technology start-ups.

“Our industry is being disrupted, and we should do some of that ourselves, not just be a victim of it,” John Fernandez, chief innovation officer of Dentons, said.....Artificial intelligence has stirred great interest, but law firms today are using it mainly in “search-and-find type tasks” in electronic discovery, due diligence and contract review,
artificial_intelligence  automation  contracts  corporate_investors  Dentons  e-discovery  IBM_Watson  law  lawtech  lawyers  legal  NLP  start_ups  Steve_Lohr  technology 
march 2017 by jerryking
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