Last May John O. McGinnis and Russell G. Pearce wrote about the “great disruption” in an article published in the Fordham Law Review. They began by stating that, “Law is an information technology–a code that regulates social life.” They concluded that “the disruptive effect of machine intelligence will trigger the end of lawyers’ monopoly and provide a benefit to society and clients as legal services become more transparent and affordable to consumers, and access to justice thereby becomes more widely available.” They also noted that,
“The market for electronic legal services is at a relatively early, yet significant, stage in terms of the disruptive effect of machine intelligence in undermining lawyers’ monopoly. As machine intelligence in lawyering develops exponentially, it will take an increasingly larger role in five areas of legal practice: discovery, legal search, generation of documents, creation of briefs and memoranda, and predictive analytics. Eventually, machine intelligence will prove faster and more efficient than many lawyers in providing those services.”
McGinnis spoke about these ideas a couple of weeks ago at the first CodeX Speaker Series event held at the Stanford Law School this year. He also explored changes in legal search, the increasing capability of machine intelligence and its impact on jurisprudence.
“If we think that law is itself a kind of information technology, which it ultimately is, it informs people of the standards that we expect from them and tries to take information from the world, it shouldn’t surprise us at all that a revolution in information technology, which is what the computer is, is also necessarily a revolution not only in the legal profession but in legal jurisprudence.”