Regulating Automated Legal Services

Automation is placed to transform vast swathes of the economy. Lawyers and the law are not immune. New automated legal services are developing against a backdrop of broader transformation in the market for legal services. Lawyers are developing new business models and strategies that harness advances in artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning.

These NewLaw entities are adopting different approaches to the creation and provision of legal series from those traditionally delivered by the profession. For example, companies such as LegalZoom provide personal online legal solutions and documents, while Ross Intelligence deploys natural language processing for legal research, and Riverview Law seeks to deploy virtual assistants to support the delivery of legal services.

Developments in Australia have on the whole been slower to develop and less dramatic. Although NewLaw firms like Plexus and Hive Legal are moving into the market with automated process and compliance tools, while Wellspring Legal is providing automated legal advice to clients.

This project is examining the technical and regulatory barriers facing automated legal services. The project examines the limits to the delivery of automated online legal services and seek to inform the development of appropriate policy, regulation and practice settings to accommodate these developments. Findings from this project will inform policy makers, regulators and practitioners about the impact and effective management of automated online legal services and how best to increase access to delivery of legal advice within an increasingly networked society, and will provide a foundation for further projects by the research team.

Research Team

Funding

Seed Funding 2016