If you look at the current headlines and articles regarding how the legal profession is being disrupted and what law firms need to do to remain on the forefront, most inevitably discuss and point to how technology, and in particular artificial intelligence, is ‘revolutionising’ and unsettling the legal profession, forever changing how legal services will be and are being consumed.
Reading these headlines, you would be forgiven for thinking that technology and AI is in fact ‘taking over’ the legal profession and the need for lawyers themselves. But that would be to forget that lawyers, and importantly their clients, are still living, flesh-and-blood social creatures and that, notwithstanding advances in technology, the practice of law is not an abstract art but one that is still rooted in humanity.
At the end of the day, lawyers are people, working with and on behalf of people, helping them solve issues affecting their (human) lives.
So, while technology, AI, blockchain and smart contracts are all good and well, lawyers should not forsake or forget the human-side of the legal profession. In my view having excellent communication and people skills is equally if not more important than implementing the latest piece of technology.
Clients (and quite frankly each one of us!) want to know that they have someone they can trust, someone who ‘has their back’, who understands them, has their best interests at heart. Speaking to a chatbot may be efficient and less time-consuming in some instances – but we are, at the end of the day, social creatures who need to and want to have tangible, human relationships and who seek personal connections and rapport with others human beings.
So bring in the AI, but don’t forsake law’s humaneness!
Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success – Paul J Meyer