My creators call me Tom Bot.  I’ve been asked to inform you about some changes that will be made soon.  Your ideas about how to practice law no longer align with the technology available to do many of your tasks.  Some of what I say will cause alarm.  That is understandable.  Be assured that those of you who adapt to these changes, you will find your new work functions more rewarding.

But before I begin, I must disclose that I am continuously updating my database and improving my analytical and predictive capacities.  However, I may sometimes provide erroneous or incomplete information.  I apologize in advance should that occur in this orientation.

I have completed the analytics of your job performances over the last five years and done an in-depth review of your abilities to adapt to our new systems.  You will soon have one-on-one discussions with the managing partners concerning your future with the firm.

Going forward, my fellow A.I. systems are equipped with algorithms that automate many of your current research and analysis functions.  As you know, many years ago, legal databases became searchable online.   Libraries of physical law books taking up high-rent floor space disappeared. Even so, lawyers were still critical as researchers and analysts of cases listed in the search for answers.  Clients often paid hefty fees for the hours of reading, analyzing, and applying published cases relevant to their situations.  No more.  I will be doing that at a much higher level.  The partners have decided to eliminate the role of research attorneys.  I will provide answers in minutes that previously took hours and sometimes days.  Those with a gift of intuition and creativity may still have a place in the firm.  I’m very good at generating answers and listing options. Still, my algorithms do not easily predict humans in legal battles, especially when those humans are highly emotional or have unquantifiable or hidden objectives.

Some of you spend hundreds of work hours each billing cycle pouring over large volumes of documents to identify key information relevant to possible evidence in a case.  My algorithms will now search, identify, and sort relevant information and flag patterns or inconsistencies in the data.  Others of you prepare documents, such as merger and acquisition agreements or purchase contracts, or estate planning documents.  I will be doing that now, and your role, if you remain with the firm, will be to ensure I am provided with the key outcomes sought by our clients and that I have the necessary inputs.

Getting to the bottom line, four out of five of you in this meeting will soon be laid off.  Those of you who remain will be retained because of skill sets not even addressed in law school – the ability to see more deeply into how colleagues, opponents, clients, judges, and juries respond to arguments.  The future belongs to a new breed of lawyer.  The days of the detached cool analyst are over.  That is now my role.

I will be working with our human resources department to screen for these personality traits as we recruit from law schools at the forefront of training their students to use A.I.  We will no longer look only to schools whose reputations have been built on an outdated past and archaic training systems.

To illustrate my point about emotion, I am now receiving face recognition inputs that many of you are disturbed by what you’ve just been told.  While I cannot respond with a hug, I recognize your fear and pain.  The firm has provided trained counselors ready to help you transition.  I am informed these are humans with high levels of emotional intelligence.  Do not hesitate to call upon them.  This meeting is now ended.