Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Wall-E and C3PO Enter the Legal Workforce

future of lawIf you’ve been worried that robots may soon be coming to take your job, guess what? They’re already here.

The international law firm Seyfarth Shaw has started using software robots that are trained by humans to move information between computer programs, according to this press release.

The robots will be used from everything to client billing to contract analysis.

“We’re excited about the opportunity this creates to free our lawyers from some of the more mundane legal tasks so they can focus on helping our clients solve their most complex business issues,” said a Seyfarth spokesman. “In testing various use cases, we’ve already seen how [the] software can help us create exponential gains in productivity, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities.”

The firm told American Lawyer that its software robots have already helped reduce the firm’s client on-boarding process from 35 minutes to four minutes. He also expects the robots to be used to extract client data, review contracts and manage work flow.

Not Exactly I, Robot

If the idea of robots in the law office conjures images of Wall-E, C3PO and Ex Machina, you’re a bit off base. This technology is more like an app on steroids.

The software operates by automating processes where people have to go back and forth between more than one computer program. The robots weave all of those applications together, which saves time, money and manpower.

The 900-lawyer Seyfarth firm has licensed the technology through the digital workforce company Blue Prism. This marks the first time robot software has been tailored and licensed specifically for the legal industry.

The launch was announced in a press release confidently headlined, “Seyfarth Shaw and Blue Prism Bring Robotic Process Automaton to the Legal Industry.”

“At its core, this is about arming lawyers with the best technology, and software robots are the latest evolution,” says a Blue Prism representative.

Longer-term plans call for developing “robotic centers of excellence” – whatever the heck that means.



About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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