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30 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 501 (2017)
Can Robots Be Lawyers: Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law

handle is hein.journals/geojlege30 and id is 519 raw text is: 






                                ARTICLE




Can Robots Be Lawyers?
Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law


DANA REMUS* & FRANK LEVYt

                                   ABSTRACT

   We assess frequently advanced arguments that automation will soon replace
much of the work currently performed by lawyers. In doing so, we address three
weaknesses in the existing literature: (i) an insufficient understanding of current
and emerging legal technologies; (ii) an absence of data on how lawyers divide
their time among tasks; and (iii) inadequate attention to whether computerized
approaches to a task conform to the values, ideals, and challenges of the legal
profession. Combining a detailed technical analysis with a unique data set on
time allocation in large law firms, we estimate that automation has a measurable
impact on the demand for lawyers' time, but one that is less significant than
popular accounts suggest. We then look ahead to future developments through a
series of three questions. First, what is the likely path of technical innovation and
diffusion in an unregulated market? Second, what are the benefits and adverse
consequences of such a path? Third, to what extent can regulation reduce the
adverse consequences of new technologies without reducing their benefits?
Throughout the discussion, we ask how computers are changing-not simply
replacing-the work of lawyers.


  * Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law. © 2017, Dana Remus & Frank Levy.
  t Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and Research Associate, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School.
  The authors would like to thank: Jeanne Anderson; Andrew Arruda; David Autor; Kate Bartlett; Regina
Barzilay; Joseph Blocher; Bernie Burke; Jill Burstein; David Curle; Randy Davis; Stuart Elliott; Bruce Elvin;
Kathleen Engel; Bill Freeman; Ron Friedmann; Ken Grady; Maura Grossman; Dan Gutfreund; Eddie Hartman;
Nathalie Hofman; Dan Jackson; Jim Jones; Jonathan Kash; Boris Katz; Scott Krowitz; Ruddick Lawrence; Nick
Lemann; Maggie Lemos; Matt Levitt; Alex Levy; Main Levy; Ryan McClead; Matthew McCubbins; Kyla
Moran; Jean O'Grady; Steve Obenski; Ross Pascal; Christina Patterson; Joe Propcopio; Bob Rowe; Dan
Rubins; Craig Smith; Jim Spohrer; Robin Toone; Doug Ventola; Jim Wagner; Noah Waisberg; Heathcoate
Wales; Vern R. Walker; Ed Walters; Jessica Watts; Brad Wendel; Keith Winstein; Yuan Zhang; Pat Ziegler; and
all participants of the 2015 Stanford Legal Ethics Schmooze, the William & Mary Faculty Law School
Workshop, the Wake Forest Law School Faculty Workshop, and the MIT CSAIL/Economics lunch series and
the MIT Sloan School IWER Seminar. We are particularly grateful to Consilio's Sky Analytics for their
generous provision of data and to the Spencer Foundation for supporting Frank Levy's work.

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