In my last post, I explained my worries as a female law school applicant entering the legal profession. But I neglected to mention how one invention may change nearly everything about how the job market functions.

I think the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) will require us to completely rewrite how the economy, and everyday society, works.

There are few aspects of our world that aren’t affected by technology and the Internet. Communication and transportation are becoming increasingly more dictated by advanced coding and an absence of the human worker.

The Wall Street Journal projected that, “If AI can improve the fraud-detection system at a credit-card company by 1%, that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.” However, the  Journal also recognizes that for a small to midsize company, AI may not be the most economically feasible option. Like any new technological development, AI is expensive and will take some time.

While that time could be decades, I think we will see AI’s effect on entry-level positions and even professional positions, much sooner than expected.

The Washington Lawyer, a District of Columbia Bar resource, says the legal profession is experiencing a transformation to which attorneys must adapt. The blog hints at AI, arguing, “The leading edge of that future is already visible: paper pushing and data management long practiced by lawyers are making way for computers and robots, international boundaries are more legally porous than ever, and economic forces are refashioning law practices. Consumer trends such as do-it-yourself legal services and legal smartphone apps are now ubiquitous. And clients are playing a larger role in managing their legal portfolios.”

That’s scary. And exciting.

What that shift towards AI means for me is that I’ll likely be one of the few lawyers at my firm who is able to adapt to that drastic change. As a Millennial, I know how social media is intertwined with people’s lives and I embrace the digital shift. I saw my Motorola Razr transform into the iPhone 6. I experienced the portability of my Sony Walkman and the advent of Spotify. My generation is accustomed to change and we like it.

While I can’t singlehandedly stop the accessibility and affordability of the Internet and other technologies from taking some aspects of my future job, I can embrace the opportunities that AI will afford.

Some jobs taken by technology won’t return and we must accept that. But if we can offer the training and education for people to create new technologies and a way to work with technology, we will survive–and possibly thrive.


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