Let AI be the Judge
Judge D puts overworked paralegals out of work
Yesterday’s announcement by hallowed law firm Samwell Booth Collander (SBC) shook the US legal community to its core. Judge D, as its in-house legal AI program is referred to, passed the bar of all 52 states in one day. With this achievement, the partners changed the rules of the firm: All legal opinions must now be either written by Judge D or vetted by ‘the Judge.’
At the same time, the partners at SBC announced they are no longer looking for fresh graduates to fill its offices. On the contrary, the partners are selling the firm’s 20-story building in Washington DC and relocating to the open vistas of Wyoming.
Back in 2020, using AI programs as a support tool for trawling through thousands of pages of legal opinion, research documents, and judgments was a welcomed help to overworked paralegals and graduates fresh out of law school. Little did they know that in just seven short years, a new generation of AIs would replace them. Says John Samwell III: “We had hopes that Judge D would shorten our research time and eliminate any errors and omissions in our opinions and case prep. But it soon turned out that it was superior to even our best legal minds. To date, Judge D’s legal opinions have not lost a single trial!”
Samwell continues: “Judge D not only saves us time in court, it even eliminates the need for our clients to go to court at all. Their opinions are so well written and complete that the opposition usually takes their analysis as the ruling.”
While some lawyers raised concerns about losing the human touch in the legal profession, their corporate clients are all for it. One CEO and client of SBC we spoke to, on condition of anonymity, expressed her joy at getting a court case solved in hours as opposed to the year-long battles of old. She was delighted with the associated monetary and reputational savings of a quick settlement.
With the legal community embracing AI at an ever-increasing rate, the Department of Justice has started analyzing whether the law or the constitution prevents AIs from being appointed as District Court Judges. This move has angered civil rights activists, who argue that “machines should never rule over humans!”
Links to related stories
- Artificial intelligence and its impact on legal technology - Thomson Reuters
- The advantages and disadvantages of AI in law firms – VentureBeat, 6 April 2022
- 7 Ways artificial intelligence can benefit your law firm – American Bar Association
- Mindbullet: No lawyers required (Dateline: 23 January 2020)
- Mindbullet: We’re all criminals now! (Dateline: 9 August 2020)
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