Lawyers

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
22%
risk level
POLLING
35%
Based on 5,725 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
9.6%
by year 2032
WAGES
$145,760
or $70.07 per hour
Volume
731,340
as of 2023
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
8.1/10

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Automation risk

22% (Low Risk)

Low Risk (21-40%): Jobs in this level have a limited risk of automation, as they demand a mix of technical and human-centric skills.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some very important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Negotiation

  • Persuasion

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Originality

User poll

35% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 22% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Lawyers will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (quarterly)

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Lawyers' job openings is expected to rise 9.6% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Lawyers' was $145,760, or $70 per hour

'Lawyers' were paid 203.3% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 731,340 people employed as 'Lawyers' within the United States.

This represents around 0.48% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 207 people are employed as 'Lawyers'.

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: 23-1011.00

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Comments

Leave a comment

Jorge Ruiz (Highly likely) says
Most of the time, you contact a lawyer for small cases, when you need quick and effective legal advice. For these cases, a trained AI system will be just fine.
May 19, 2024 at 08:45 PM
a says
no way. honestly it would take time to develop technology to that level, especially with the quick thinking and if something doesn't go their way or what they were programmed.
Jun 06, 2024 at 02:29 AM
Phoenix5869 (No chance) says
No chance in the next 20 years. Lawyers have such a high stakes, complicated job, and I think it`s extremely unlikely they will be automated anytime soon. maybe in 30-35 years, but not 20. 20 years is honestly pretty ridiculous.
Apr 26, 2024 at 12:55 PM
Milan says
Lawyers obviously deal with the law and since the law is public information, the data to train such an AI is very accessible. Prior fillings and court opinions also provide AI with how to structure arguments. I definitely think AI will definitely be a highly effective law clerk and save time on research but there will also be plenty of restriction on it's use and jury presentation can be a bit theatrical but AI will not garnish the sympathy of jurors.
Apr 26, 2024 at 01:50 AM
u/thebigvsbattlesfan (Moderate impact) says
For legal reasons, this job may be protected from AI
Apr 20, 2024 at 04:25 AM
Alex (Highly likely) says
Transactional lawyers do a lot of writing on the basis of standardized documents and precedents. Roaming documents and combining clauses will be easily replaced by AI
Mar 08, 2024 at 11:13 AM
fimgus (No chance) says
Absolutely not in the next twenty years, at least in the US. The modern justice system has been in place far too long to immediately switch to something completely different. Even if AI was somehow better at defending people than an actual lawyer, the sheer idea of a robot being able to decide the fate of a criminal is terrifying.
Plus, a lot of lawyers have strong political connections and a lot of money and influence. No way they'd willingly allow themselves to be replaced by AI.
Dec 23, 2023 at 03:27 AM
Kyugo (No chance) says
the need to be able to feel and understand emotions is the difference between first second and third degrees of murder. if you do not understand how emotion works you might end up convicting someone with 1st degree that shaould habve gotten 2nd degree, and the poor guy who should have gotten 3rd degree may get 2nd or first degree instead.
Nov 28, 2023 at 03:48 PM
Tony (Highly likely) says
Because I already use AI to search for my legal options
Oct 22, 2023 at 06:49 AM
Tamás (Moderate) says
I reckon AI can search within law databases, can write contracts, can make due diligence, etc. However human oversight - at least to some extent - must be always present.
Oct 08, 2023 at 05:43 PM
Tobias (Low) says
Some areas in the field of law, which have a rather low impact on peoples lives, such as tourism law (damage compensation for travel defects or for flight delays) or lower fines in travel law could be taken out of the usual court business be automated completely.
Aug 24, 2023 at 08:03 AM
Boris Gaertner (Highly likely) says
Application of law is often nothing more than the application of codified rules, a process similar to doing maths. Than can be done by computers. I imagine a program similar to Mathematica (or Maple) that will do excatly this. I am at 67 now and I am quite sure that I will live long enough to see this program doing its work. Of course, laywers will try to set up legal barriers against such a development, but in the long run they will fail to upheld such barriers.
Aug 24, 2023 at 07:14 AM
d (No chance) says
It's extremely simple; there's no chance in 20 years that any judge or jury rules in favor of, or even will hear, a case presented by AI. A HUGE number of things in the justice system and the legal field could have already been automated without AI, and yet are not, because fundamentally it is not about efficiency but about trust in other humans.
Aug 23, 2023 at 08:20 AM
me (Low) says
Lawyers are modern orators, which is by definition a job that requires persuation with words, so i don't think that
Jul 17, 2023 at 03:00 PM
Seyit Nusret Öztürk (No chance) says
Implementing automation in the field of law is exceptionally challenging due to its ever-changing nature, the need for interpretation, and its close connection with other social and natural sciences. It raises the question of how one could train artificial intelligence to adapt its decisions according to fluctuating conditions. This becomes even more complex when these changing conditions are tied to a multitude of sciences, occur rapidly, and are difficult to foresee!
Jul 11, 2023 at 10:49 PM
Ismaila Ozovehe Haruna (Low) says
It is too human-centric to be automated.
Jun 24, 2023 at 03:48 PM
Ali (No chance) says
Cases are different topics, and we may be better at scientific cases with artificial intelligence, but the techniques of managing a lawyer's session, as well as the atmosphere of a court session, gathering evidence in each session, are unique to each case.
Jun 23, 2023 at 01:11 PM
George Francis (No chance) says
I struggle to see any ai that isn't already sentient being able to convince anyone of any difficult point or be able to understand the law (not just know it) and be able to apply it in a court.
May 14, 2023 at 08:49 PM
Squidward says
Could go either way depending on practice area.

Ministerial work like estate, wills, estate planning, corporations law, definitely.

Contract law, most likely. Use of standardized language and exploiting vague wording seems like AI forte.

Litigation, nope. Despite what people say it's about critical thinking skills. In many case its the opposite. It's creative BS'ing.

Dealing with people who are can be genuine boneheads or lazy, but may be in positions of authority or needed for your case.

Criminal Law and Family law, don'teven think about it. Both involve real stakes for people's rights and extreme emotions of those involved. Many times requiring subjective evaluation of evidence.
May 09, 2023 at 01:29 AM
Rob says
I believe many people are overlooking a crucial point. There's a common assumption that one will be able to ask an AI about the law in a particular area and then determine if their own facts apply in the given circumstances. However, the determination of facts (fact finding) is a critical aspect of litigation.

Numerous cases pivot on the attempt to convince a jury, or judge in certain cases, that your version of the facts is accurate. Furthermore, while you will be able to ask an AI about a law, it's unlikely that the AI will be able to interpret the facts from your situation and apply them to the law. This is because interpreting whether the facts of your case apply to the scope of the law often requires inherently human ingenuity and creative thinking.

Also, whether the law applies to your case, or if convicted, whether your sentence should be reduced, can often involve making appeals to morals and the specific circumstances of the case. Some argue that AI will be able to draft commercial contracts between businesses. This may be true, but it would first require someone, ideally a lawyer, to advise you on whether certain agreements you've made will increase your liability or position you more favorably in case of a contractual breach. An AI would simply write the contract, presumably more quickly and with fewer mistakes.

Finally, many seem to believe that the law is black and white. This is incorrect for several reasons and is an area where AI would likely struggle. In countries like the U.K., U.S., India, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, many areas of law are not governed by statute but created on a case-by-case basis. This can result in a lack of consistency in the law and occasional conflicting judicial decisions. Lawyers often argue that these cases can be reconciled, or that, in contemporary society, one decision is more favorable than another.

Even regarding statute law, there are usually many approaches to 'legislative interpretation' (such as textualism, structuralism, or intentionalism). At different points in time, the legal system has preferred one approach over another for certain issues. While AI might be able to explain this, I fear many will not give it the appropriate significance it deserves. This could result in individuals mistakenly thinking they have not committed a tort, traffic offense, crime, etc. due to a particular interpretation method.

Additionally, even when a certain method of statutory interpretation is preferred, a skilled lawyer could argue that a different approach should be applied due to special circumstances in the case, changing societal values, or a discrepancy between Parliament/Congress' expressed intention about the application of the legislation and how the law is currently being applied.

In terms of arbitration or conciliation, the entire point of lawyers in these circumstances is not necessarily to know the law, but to provide impartial advice from someone who isn't emotionally invested in the issue. Clients often do not think rationally due to the emotive nature of the circumstances. However, AI will likely automate 'grunt work' like finding cases, writing letters, and contracts. AI will also likely be beneficial because many commercial and property disputes may not warrant paying expensive fees for lawyers - the same goes for low-level criminal and traffic offenses.

I also don't see many people mentioning that AI itself will likely create more work for lawyers. For example, claims that an AI gave not only bad legal advice, but outright negligent advice, and whether the owner company should be liable. Issues like AI being discriminatory, privacy breaches, and the extent to which AI will be allowed to give legal information or answer legal concerns about specific facts will undoubtedly arise. There will likely be news articles about how someone was negatively affected by using AI. Unlike lawyers, it would be much harder to prove liability for the company that owns the AI. Therefore, the use of AI in relation to the law is likely to be limited - at least for public use.

Even if not limited by the government, I believe a sophisticated AI law robot would likely be locked away behind an expensive paywall that only legal firms and other companies could afford. AI might also not be proficient in law in many smaller countries for a significant period. I've noticed it often doesn't recognize the law or case I referred to, or it completely misinterprets the definition, facts, and decisions of that law or case.

A final issue with the use of AI is that it may often provide incorrect laws. Court cases in many countries refer to cases in other countries or states. Because of this, the AI might read the case name mentioned and provide a plethora of decisions from completely different jurisdictions.
Apr 25, 2023 at 02:56 PM
Max (No chance) says
Law is not just regurgitating information, but arguing about what is good. AI has no subjective perspective on human well-being and cannot argue or interpret whether law is just or unjust.
Apr 20, 2023 at 03:41 PM
Milan says
Lawyers aren't really involved in the subjective morality of laws. In jury cases, they may try to make emotional arguments but jurors are instructed to follow the law as written.
Apr 26, 2024 at 01:47 AM

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