Such a pointed topic these days. Who will AI replace? Some of us? All of us? Although it’s certainly rattling a few industries we are starting to understand what it can and cannot do. The industries that understand this and manage to harness AI to take the tedious nature of a lot of jobs on while freeing up people to do more added value work will be the ones that get the most benefits. That’s why we’re predicting that AI won’t replace lawyers.
The start of artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models has undoubtedly taken the legal industry by storm. There are now a lot of tools that you can buy off the rack that will draft, write and re-write things for you. In fact Contract Sent has these in our coming road map. Software as a Service (SaaS) companies have been able to adopt AI-driven solutions for tasks like contract analysis, legal research, and document review. While AI has enhanced efficiency and reduced costs, the key thing is that there are simply some things that an AI can’t do. In this post, we’ll explore the reasons why AI won’t replace lawyers in SaaS companies, despite its significant advancements.
The Human Element
One of the most compelling reasons why AI can’t replace lawyers in SaaS companies is the human element of working with legal. Legal matters often require a deep understanding of context, empathy, and the ability to communicate effectively with customers when you’re trying to weight up a SaaS contract negotiation. While AI can analyze data and provide insights, it lacks the emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills that lawyers possess. Lawyers offer personalized advice and guidance that AI, no matter how advanced, cannot replicate.
Ethical and Moral Judgment
Legal decisions often involve complex moral and ethical dilemmas, especially if you are working with non-profits. Decisions made in contract negotiations may be driven by a number of reasons, a lot of which are simply beyond the scope of AI to evaluate. Lawyers bring their own moral compass and judgment to the table as well as they of the companies founders. This helps sales teams and customers navigate these complexities. AI, on the other hand, operates solely on algorithms and data, incapable of making value-based decisions.
Interpretation of Ambiguous Situations
The legal part of your sales cycle frequently involves interpreting ambiguous or contradictory information or more commonly, a lack of information at all. Lawyers excel in analyzing diverse sources, pulling out data from adjacent teams, understanding context, and making nuanced decisions. AI may struggle when presented with conflicting data, large gaps in data or data that is poorly structured, as it typically operates on binary logic. Lawyers are better equipped to handle contract negotiations with incomplete or contradictory information and provide well-reasoned arguments.
Legal Creativity and Strategy
AI is excellent at repetitive and data-driven tasks, but it falls short in terms of creativity and strategic thinking. Lawyers often need to think outside the box to build compelling ways to resolve contract disagreements or develop innovative solutions for their clients. AI can assist in research and contract data analysis, but the creative and strategic aspects of legal work require human expertise.
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AI Won’t Replace Lawyers Ability To Develop Relationships
Building strong internal relationships is extremely important to the success of a legal team in a startup. Startups seek legal counsel not only for their expertise but also for guidance, trust, and support. Lawyers build long-term relationships with senior leaders and sales teams, understanding their unique needs and concerns. AI lacks the ability to form personal connections or offer the reassurance and empathy that startups often require when it comes to negotiating contracts.
Adaptability to Evolving Laws
Laws are subject to constant change and interpretation. Lawyers are trained to stay updated with legal developments, adapt to new regulations, and understand how they affect startups, data and compliance requirements. AI can certainly help in legal research, but lawyers have the flexibility and adaptability to understand the broader implications of evolving laws and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Legal negotiations can often take unexpected turns due to new scope of customers usage, changes in your product, or changes in the team your negotiating with. Lawyers are trained to respond to these changes and adjust their strategies in real-time. AI, while efficient, may struggle to adapt to unpredictable developments.
Decision-making and Legal Responsibility
Ultimately, legal decisions are made by humans, and lawyers bear the responsibility for those decisions. Startups need someone to be accountable for the advice that is given when making legal decisions. While AI can provide recommendations, lawyers are the ones who make the final decisions, ensuring that the startups best interests are protected.
While AI has certainly transformed the legal industry, it won’t replace lawyers in SaaS companies entirely. Lawyers offer a unique combination of skills, including emotional intelligence, moral judgment, interpretation of ambiguity, creativity, strategic thinking, adaptability, and the ability to form strong internal relationships. AI can enhance efficiency and support lawyers in their work, but it cannot replace the human touch and expertise that lawyers provide. The legal profession is about more than just data and algorithms; it’s about understanding the complexities of human society and the intricacies of the law. AI may be a powerful tool, but it will remain a tool in the hands of legal professionals, not a replacement for them.