The rise of SocialHuman Lawyer

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September 28, 2015
Artificial intelligence to dominate Legal practice within 15 years
September 28, 2015

The rise of SocialHuman Lawyer


The use of AI in the legal ecosystem is already widespread and the world already has robot nurses, robot waiting staff, robot receptionists, robot saleswomen and humanoids. It’s therefore inevitable that robots will infiltrate the legal world, and much sooner than we may like to believe or imagine.

The rise of SocialHuman Lawyer

The businesses of law are increasingly relying on NewTech to bring about legal efficiency – a term I coined to describe the culmination of cloud-based systems software, cognitive computing, artificially intelligent machine systems and robots – and cannot be under-estimated or understated in relation to its likely impact, for better or worse. This trend is only going to continue and amplify as we advance into a Robotic Age with AI technology and legal businesses becoming ever more tightly connected. Accordingly, with all this NewTech take-up, AI in play, avatars, iCyborgs lawyers and Robot Lawyers in the wings, we need to concern ourselves with what it means to be ‘human’ and what our role(s) will be.

The roles that I envisage ought to be here now, and are likely to evolve very soon – read here if you wish to learn more – are roles that I have been espousing since 2009 that require creativity, imagination and EI – the talent realm of the ‘pure blood’ SocialHuman lawyer. Until AI evolves to harness EI and creativity (which I have no doubt it will within 30 years), these two things will be the human lawyer’s domain and unique selling points; 2009 -2045.

What the profession and clients regarded as top lawyerly talent in the past is not the kind of talent required or expected currently or in future. Lawyers will need to be creative about who, what, where, when, why and how they provide legal services and products. For example, this means being creative about how you market yourself.

I shared these views in at least three articles in Managing Partner magazine, the first as far back as 2011 titled iCyborg Lawyer; then Robot Law (Feb, 2015) and finally Machine v Human (Apr 2015)), along with my musings in The Naked Lawyer (2009) and then Tomorrow’s Naked Lawyer (2014) that the relentless march of industrialisation, wearable technology, AI and robotics will push the boundaries of what it means to be human, social and a lawyer in the next 30 years.

The entrepreneurial lawyer ‘David’s’ woke up to the potential threat of the machine back in 2010/11 and gradually throughout the next four years the small and mid-size firms began, slowly, to take note too, albeit piece-meal; usually individual lawyers taking the bull by the horns for themselves rather than the firm investing in them – with some exceptions.

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