Will robots replace Lawyers and Paralegals?

Will robots replace Lawyers and Paralegals?

First it was the downturn in the economy that threw a monkey wrench into the the legal profession, now Business Insider reports that all signs point to humans becoming obsolete in the workforce.

That’s bad news but the really bad news is that Lawyers and Paralegals are among the next 9 jobs projected to be replaced by robots. Really?

“As IBM’s Watson proved on Jeopardy, robots are becoming smarter than people. They also make fewer mistakes and they don’t get bored.”

Smarter than paralegals? Really? Parlegals get bored? Well…maybe.

“By 2013 there will be 1.2 million industrial robots working worldwide — that’s one robot for every 5,000 people, according to Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works and author of Robotic Nation.

“Robots are currently analyzing documents, filling prescriptions, and handling other tasks that were once exclusively done by humans.

The areticle explains why Lawyers and Paralegals could be replaced:

Instead of paying an army of lawyers and paralegals to review documents, software can do the job in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost.

The New York Times reported that Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, CA provided software that helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000.

“From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,” Bill Herr, a lawyer, tells the New York Times. “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t.”

It’s true that robots don’t require much office space (if any), don’t collect benefits or go on vacation. But where does the human contact come in for clients? For that, no one can replace Lawyers and Paralegals.

Now I’m wondering…do you think you’ll be replaced by a robot?