Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Lawyers and Their Reservations About AI

Rene Büst, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Arago, recently spoke at a “Legal Tech Meetup” in Frankfurt. Legal Tech Meetups bring lawyers and technology entrepreneurs together because companies today expect their legal counsels to be prepared to face the challenges and understand the opportunities of the digital transformation.

“Artificial intelligence is not intended to frighten off legal advisors, but to help them improve their work”, Büst stated. Therefore, the meetup’s goal is to open up new perspectives and reduce prejudices towards new technologies. “Lawyers should rethink their work processes and begin to think outside the judicial box”, the IT expert added.

Legal counsels often maintain a negative attitude towards so-called Legal Tech, even though many new technologies have proven to assist the lawyers in their work – e.g. with due diligence – and ultimately achieve efficiency gains. A recent study from the Soldan Institute showed that one in two lawyers fears that developments in digitalization and the arrival of new entry providers will lead to their legal services becoming obsolete.

This is not the case, assures Büst. Even if Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used in legal firms, the core business will remain in the analogous conversation between lawyers and their clients. Ultimately, even though machines can support lawyers by processing information and showing possible solutions at a much faster rate, the underlying information on the case and the legal advice will continue to lie in the hands of a human legal counsel.

Moreover, Büst points out that the opportunities of AI in the legal field are broad: optimization of customer loyalty or the prevention of knowledge loss – and revenue – in case a lawyer is unable to work or changes his or her place of employment. Self-learning machines are able to prevent this by ensuring that clients’ records are regularly updated. However, the information for the records will still need to be provided by a human counsel. The successful implementation of new technologies such as AI is therefore based on a close relationship between the man and the machine.

Arago Redaktion 20. June 2017

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