Over the years, technology has eaten deep into our system of living, changing old regimes and instituting a new order. Too, with the advent of smartphones and smart cities , the barriers to access to technology have been broken .The legal system and practice of law is not left out in these wave of change that have brought about technological reforms to the judicial system. Many law practitioners are usually uneasy and unenthusiastic with the new technological trends, because of the forecasts that artificial intelligence will take over their jobs in the future.
PRATICE OF LAW: THE TRADITIONAL WAY
Prior to the advent of technology and it’s application to the legal field, the PRATICE of law was nothing short of being laborious, tasking and exclusively manual. Even with the invention of typewriters and telephones that eased the bulk of work, the status quo didn’t change very much. The required technology that would change the face of law practice was yet to be seen.
The legal field have been somewhat reluctant in keying into the use of technology to carry out it’s duties, causing the absorption of technology into practice of law, a long walk. The technological revolution that would change the face of law entirely started with the advent of internet, computers and mobile phones. Their arrival abolished the multiple visits to the libraries, travels to gather evidence and long process that preceded dispensation of justice. Everything was only a click away with a smartphone.
THE NEW DAWN
In the last 10 years , there has been a rapid technological revolution as never seen before. Every day is met with more sophistication and better ways to solve human problems. The explosion of technologies has made the practice of law less tedious in gathering of evidences through devices, forensic reports, and research amongst others. This period have also seen a greater regime of information sharing and dissemination amongst law firms and attorneys .Lawyers are now able to focus on practicing law and providing expert legal advice for their clients, instead of being restricted by time consuming administrative tasks
Today, there is widespread automation of tasks that are time consuming, costly and presently performed by humans. Also, the priferation of online non-legal service providers have changed the face of law practice and is gradually erasing some of the administrative jobs of a law practitioner. The future even promises more.
THE FEAR OF TECHNOLOGY
The threat of artificial intelligence to the traditional lawyers has caused technological advancement to become a nightmare. The fear of loss of jobs and relevance due to the exploits of these innovations has caused many legal practitioners become weary of technology. There are also doubts, that artificial intelligence can sufficiently replace lawyers in the courtroom and in dispensation of justice.
Technologies have no doubt changed the method of law practice especially in the last decade and many more changes are expected in the future. Amidst the gains it has brought, there are also fears that there will be a total takeover of the system by artificial intelligence. However, the key to future success as law practitioners involves being able to identify the specific layering areas where AI can replace and those in which they cannot replace lawyers. Also embracing the use of AI tools as well as delivering legal service values that machines cannot provide will be the edge for a successful lawyer.