If you don't want your role in the legal profession to be automated away by artificial intelligence, you need to follow these three guidelines to "A.I.-proof" your career.
Cultivate Hard-to-Automate Skills
The first step in A.I.-proofing your job is to develop skills and provide services that artificial intelligence can't do.
"Artificial intelligence" is not "artificial strategy" or "artificial creativity." A.I. software learns by example and is competent to automate a lot of legal grunt work, like reading and classifying documentation, or composing agreements from a library of boilerplate language. What A.I. can't do is generate novel contract language or offer non-standard or creative legal advice. (And, no, "creative" in this context does not mean illegal or unethical legal advice. If anything, there is plenty of precedent for legal fraud on file that could be used to teach A.I. to commit malpractice better and faster than any human ever could.)
If you want to get ahead of the A.I. curve, focus on the strategic aspects of law, rather than the rote administrative functions. The days of padding billable hours with boilerplate contracts and routine document preparation are coming to an end.
Embrace A.I. First
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. One of the best ways to get in front of the A.I. replacement of legal staff is to be one of the first legal professionals on your team to adopt A.I. tools. Once you see what automated contract analysis or A.I.-assisted redlining can do, you'll know what it can't do, and can focus your skill-development on the areas of law and legal work that A.I. can't offer.
Meanwhile, your own productivity will get a boost from artificial intelligence, meaning that, when A.I. starts forcing a reduction in headcount, you'll be one of the high-productivity legal staffers the company wants to keep.
Become an A.I. Thought Leader
Perhaps the most irreplaceable skill for surviving the legal A.I. revolution is an expertise in legal-centric artificial intelligence tools. If every practice is going to need A.I. to compete in the near future, then becoming a legal professional that understands what legal A.I. tools can do and how to use them is the best way to A.I.-proof your career path.
Don't just use A.I., advocate for A.I. in your practice or on your legal team. That way, when artificial intelligence comes to your workplace, you'll be one of those leaders making decisions on how A.I. is used and whose jobs it affects (or eliminates).
Artificial intelligence is already in wide use in law practices and in-house legal teams across the world -- and that adoption is only going to accelerate in the coming months and years. Ignoring A.I. won't make it go away, but pretending A.I. isn't coming may lead to the end of your job. By understanding what artificial intelligence is, what it can and can't do, and how A.I. is going to impact the legal profession, you can prepare yourself -- and adapt your career -- to the technology that is going to remake the practice of law both now and in the near future.
If you're ready to automate your contract analysis process -- and start prepping your company and your career for the legal A.I. revolution -- contact LinkSquares today.