AI could replace one in five legal jobs within 20 years, Law Society researchers forecast

updated on 06 November 2017

Some 20% of current legal roles are likely to be lost to the progress of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) over the next 20 years, the Law Society’s research unit has predicted.

Some legal jobs are already being lost to technology, with large firm more likely to be early adopters of AI tools and other forms of automation replacing paralegal and support staff. However, the one-in-five figure could be somewhat offset by growing demand for legal services from other areas of the UK economy where the effectiveness of algorithms as a replacement for human interaction remains limited.

As Legal Futures reports, the Law Society has also produced a shorter-term forecast warning that firms’ expected growth in turnover as a result of a ‘Brexit dividend’ (ie, an upsurge in work relating to the United Kingdom’s impending exit from the European Union) is likely to be lower than expected.