As AI takes over most of the basic work previously handled by associates, law firms will become smaller and lawyers will be more intensely focused on providing high-level legal advice to clients. Lawyers who wish to future-proof their careers should seek to strengthen their technological and management skills but should also strive to enhance their language and negotiation proficiencies.
The emergence of new practice areas
The legal world is undergoing the initial stages of what will be a dramatic transformation, driven by emerging technologies relating to machine learning, evolutionary computing, social and emotional robotics, and other forms of artificial intelligence.
One aspect of this transformation is the appearance of new areas of legal practice. As societies embrace things like self- driving automobiles, smart homes, surgical robots, companion robots, automated workplaces, and algorithmic decision- making by businesses – and as laws and regulations struggle to keep pace with those changes – there will be a growing need for lawyers who have subject-matter expertise in those areas. For lawyers in Europe, this will resemble the way in which the evolution of the EU and growth of its international regulatory regimes has created entirely new spheres of legal expertise over the last 20 years.