Since the beginning of the rise of AI in the legal industry, there have been concerns of computers replacing, or diminishing the need for, attorneys and other litigation support professionals. While there is not universal agreement about the potential impact of AI on future legal employment, the increased use of AI and adoption by courts and legal entities across the world certainly brings to light the question of what effects AI may have on the legal industry. With the efficiency gained through leveraging AI technology, the questions must be asked: Will first-pass review by contract attorneys be a thing of the past? Will billable hours diminish or even disappear with the need for a new law firm billing structure? Will more automation of eDiscovery and reduced burden lead to courts allowing broader discovery?
While the answers to these questions are yet to be determined, there is no doubt that we can expect increasing reliance on AI to assist with a number of basic and time-consuming tasks, such as highly targeted collections, early data assessment, relevance and privilege review, issue categorization, and quality control. As the use of AI continues to expand, attorneys and their clients will increasingly have to decide: embrace the technology or be left behind.