Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) – in the past few years, especially – are making their way in almost every business domain, including the legal profession.
Speaking specifically of AI and corporate compliance insights in the legal profession, there are two key aspects to consider:
Understanding the role of AI in improving corporate compliance and how, in turn, it can identify risks and effectively monitor the use and implementation of AI.
Will AI Replace Lawyers Completely?
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While the question may seem threatening to many, it’s not.
There is no denying that AI in law can lead to a better understanding amongst lawyers and streamline some of the mundane tasks.
But let us first clarify: the onset and development of AI technology will not, in any way, replace the lawyers or work carried out by them.
At most, AI robots will replace entry-level lawyers, but they cannot deal with clients, critically analyze the law, and argue in courts.
Put simply, there is a wide range of skills that are required in the legal profession that AI simply cannot replace or emulate. Some of these are discussed below:
1. Negotiation Skills And Conflict Resolution
Humans possess a deep understanding of the complexities of legal processes and their unique ability to improvise and judge.
As such, we are better equipped to manage negotiations and deal with conflict resolution situations that AI or robots can never do.
In addition to this, humans can read into orders, cases, and statements to assess and extrapolate the priorities and true intentions of different parties on either side of a legal argument.
2. Emotional Intelligence And The Ability To Empathize
While technologies such as AI can recognize faces in images, they are still not capable of successfully reading the feelings depicted by those faces.
On the contrary, humans are capable of doing accurate analysis of emotional subtext, can make appropriate use of language, and can effectively navigate the application of intuition.
All these abilities allow humans to accurately judge a person’s feelings and make sense of whether legal proceedings are going fine for that individual or not.
Further, unlike AI, humans can also tell if, during a legal proceeding, someone is lying or being manipulated – some of the most important skills needed in a legal profession.
When it comes to the legal profession, not everything in terms of ethics and conflict is entirely black and white.
There is much more to it, and it is affected by and determined with only the human sense of judgment – the art of distinguishing right from wrong.
Robots or AI can never replace this kind of logical reasoning based on judgment, which is arguable an integral aspect of the legal domain.
Although there are certain sides in every legal argument that can be factually or legally correct, there are many other conflicting situations in which irrationality and emotion are involved.
For instance, both sides of a legal case may not proceed rationally or may have hidden motives that won’t be foreseen to others involved.
4. Robots Cannot Think Like A Law Professional
Humans are some of the greatest thinkers of our time!
While machines can process a lot of data and know almost everything about the law, they can never be given high-level tasks that require the kind of deep thinking that comes so naturally to us.
This isn’t just because they can’t do it, but also because clients would always be hesitant to trust them enough to put such important matters in the hands of a robot.
This is especially true for high-profile clients who want to have the best possible brains to put up a defense for them.
5. Vision And Imagination
One of the other important qualities required by legal professionals is vision and imagination. And a robot or AI does not possess that.
AI currently works in the legal industry by taking existing data, processing the same, and making logical inferences based on specific parameters.
But imagination and having a vision are some of the skills that are not programmable. And lawyers have a distinct advantage over technology (AI) in this field, which isn’t going to change any time soon.
6. Ability To Employ Mind Management
Founded on excellent counseling skills, the ability to employ mind management is essentially the ability to support the recovery of people in distress arising from varied problems or interpersonal relationships.
It is one skill possessed by legal professionals that can never be replaced by AI and are extremely important for lawyers in the workplace.
7. Effective Problem Solving
Regardless of how advanced AI technology is, it cannot yet be programmed to solve specific problems in the same way that a human mind can solve.
Unlike humans, AI is not capable of responding to failures, navigating obstacles, working from experience, and understanding the reasons behind the problem in the first place.
8. Strategic Thinking
The ability to think creatively and to come up with a strategy is unique to humans.
In the legal profession, we’re beginning to see a lot of automation of legal practices, which can be huge time-savers. But they are just the automation tools.
They cannot provide you with the overall strategy needed to add a certain meaning and relevance to individual legal tasks.
This is one reason why the legal profession that requires strategic thinking can’t be replaced entirely by AI, and improving your skills in this area can be instrumental in making your job secure.
As legal enterprises expand in terms of geographies and functions, it becomes difficult to monitor compliances. And such non-compliances come with heavy fines and a bad negative reputation for business.
While AI technology is making rapid headway in the legal profession by automating many legal tasks, the need for the human mind to effectively navigate such compliance issues can never be replaced.
However, to streamline the processes, tools such as corporate compliance software can be used to track your compliances.
In the end, the most important thing for legal professionals is to constantly re-skill themselves to remain relevant in today’s technologically advanced times and avoid being uni-dimensional in their approach.