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AI: A Legal Jobs Bloodbath or an opportunity to innovate?

The recent analysis by Goldman Sachs has sparked widespread discussion in the legal community, suggesting that the evolving field of legal artificial intelligence (AI) could greatly transform the profession.




The report projects that nearly 44% of legal tasks in the U.S. could be automated by generative AI, a form of artificial intelligence capable of generating new, creative content.

While these statistics were largely undisputed, industry experts have differing opinions on their implications and the future role of legal AI in the sector.

Jay Edelson, Founder and CEO of Edelson, a plaintiffs firm based in Chicago, has been a forerunner in implementing generative AI in his firm's operations. According to Edelson, the impact of generative AI in the legal profession is likely to be profound, potentially leading to substantial job losses. "Generative AI is a game-changer," said Edelson, cautioning that job losses could outweigh new opportunities created by the technology. However, he acknowledged that AI's capabilities have limitations, particularly in areas requiring human judgment, emotional understanding, or creativity.

TE Connectivity's James Michalowicz, on the other hand, believes generative AI will ease the burden on overloaded legal teams rather than replace them entirely. "AI will enhance our productivity by taking over repetitive, low-risk tasks," he said.

Bennett Borden, recently appointed Chief Data Scientist at DLA Piper, advocates embracing the disruption caused by AI. He encourages legal professionals to understand and harness AI's capabilities, believing that the skills and jobs it could create may offset the lost positions.


Mary O'Carroll, Chief Community Officer at Ironclad, agreed that generative AI would significantly disrupt current working patterns. However, she emphasised, "It's not necessarily about job losses, but job transformation." She anticipates that AI will automate parts of everyone's jobs, freeing up professionals to focus on more complex tasks.

Finally, Bobby Malhotra, a partner at Winston & Strawn, shared a balanced perspective. He agreed with the report's findings that several legal tasks could be automated, but he insisted that jobs requiring human insight, empathy, and creativity would remain indispensable.


Drawing a parallel with the introduction of calculators, he argued that AI would supplement and improve human work in the legal industry, not replace it entirely.

In conclusion, the report's findings have sparked a lively debate about the future of AI and law. While it's clear that legal AI will significantly influence the sector, the exact nature and scale of this impact remain subjects of ongoing discussion.


This article is a Chat-GPT 4 adaptation of an article that originally appeared in law.com: https://www.law.com/legaltechnews/2023/03/30/legal-industry-reacts-to-goldman-sachs-generative-ai-report-keep-calm-and-panic/?slreturn=20230512093536#:~:text=Specifically%2C%20the%20report%20estimated%20that,also%20be%20automated%2C%20it%20stated.

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