Will "Lawyers" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is very little chance of this occupation being replaced by robots/AI. However, our poll suggests a higher chance of automation: a 39% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

Totally Safe

or 4% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

Median Annual Wage


or $56.80 hourly

People Employed


as of 2016

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 116 out of 706

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

Job description

Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

SOC Code: 23-1011

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Eliza Schuyler-Hamilton (No chance) says
Because robots can't reason.
Sep 09, 2019 at 10:43 AM
Bright (No chance) says
Robots have no emotions
Aug 30, 2019 at 03:44 PM
Gugu (Small chance) says
There is no way lawyers can be replaced by robots.
Aug 21, 2019 at 11:26 AM
Jaro Tomik (Likely) says
I truly hope that most of what lawyers do right now will get streamlined into a basic form-based drag and drop system with a simple, easy to understand language. Especially in business contracts where the vast majority of it could be auto-generated and standardised. This will significantly reduce contract negotiation times (no wording discussion) as well as future disputes due to standardised language all across the board. Therefore, not as many lawyers will be required during creation, sign off and dispute times
Aug 08, 2019 at 04:03 PM
X says
And what makes you think this is a good thing?
It's like saying, I hope instead of doing all this complicated surgery we could just drag and drop and close up the patient. Do you not care about the quality of the final product you receive?
Aug 29, 2019 at 04:36 AM
sheen (Likely) says
because dude lawyer's jobs are just to present evidence and make arguments for the legal system to work
Jul 13, 2019 at 09:55 PM
Eyal (Likely) says
Automation will lead to significant reduction in the number of lawyers required. It does not replace the need for human legal professionals but it will reduce the need for them significantly.
The foundations of the law and the artefacts produced are better structured than many other fields of human endeavors. This structure make the legal process more machine readable and understandable.
Jun 07, 2019 at 02:10 PM
Myra Bradwell (Could go either way) says
I think clients would feel better to rely on AI to come up with the best defense and feel secure in that fewer errors are likely to take place strategically and in court. They would also be without worry that their lawyer thinks them guilty. In this sense, strategically, computers may provide better support for clientele, however, I think there is also some sense of human connection vital between lawyers and their clients- just as it is unlikely for therapist's jobs to be taken by AI due to the connection felt between the patient and doctor.
Jun 03, 2019 at 05:11 PM
A concerned future lawyer (Highly likely) says
Jun 02, 2019 at 03:30 PM
Caio (Could go either way) says
A.I. is growing pretty fast
May 13, 2019 at 12:21 AM
Tia (Small chance) says
robots will not be able to legally construct accurate arguments to such a complex extent in the next 20 years
May 04, 2019 at 01:24 PM
hehexd (Likely) says
Most lawyers work on studying previous cases and sifting through previous cases to apply to current relevant cases. This can all be done by machines much faster and more efficiently than people.
Apr 25, 2019 at 03:14 AM
Victor says
Use of AI will certainly change the way Law is practiced. It will not, however, affect lawyers dramatically, nor reduce drastically the number of lawyer jobs posts. A lawyer´s practice is much, much more than memorizing legislation and court decisions. The exercise of jurisdiction is complex and requires subjective, analytical and even philosophical thinking.

The situation is very different for paralegals, whose work is often "mechanical" and non-subjectively orientated.
Apr 11, 2019 at 11:39 PM
John says
This should be split into two. The work carried out by barristers (litigation lawyers) is very different and distinct from the work carried out by solicitors (non-litigation lawyers). Presumably one or the other is more susceptible to automation.
Apr 03, 2019 at 06:15 PM
Mark says
I agree that in many countries that is the case, however the data we are using is for the US, and the United States does not draw a distinction between lawyers as pleaders (barristers) and lawyers as agents (or solicitors).

There is a separate page for Paralegals and Legal Assistants, and interestingly the probability is much higher.
Apr 09, 2019 at 12:05 PM
Anon says
John - I think you may have got things confused (unless things are very different outside the UK!). Barristers are not traditionally permitted to conduct litigation in the UK.
May 01, 2019 at 07:01 PM
bob joe says
there can be automation following the learning of law by AI, which can happen quickly and can be better than humans.
Apr 02, 2019 at 11:51 AM
Dominic says
perhaps some fields of law could be automated
Apr 01, 2019 at 07:12 PM
A concerned future lawyer says
Jun 02, 2019 at 03:31 PM

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