Into the new era of Law: why should you care about the evolution of AI and legaltech?

Dr. DiMatteo offered invaluable insight into how legaltech and AI are transforming the practice of law.

On October 26, IE Law School hosted the Practitioner Workshop, “Lawyering in the Age of the Acceleration of Technology” in partnership with Lawtomation JMCoE and the IE LawAhead Hub.

The workshop was led by Prof. Dr. Larry DiMatteo, a Huber Hurst Professor of Contract Law at the University of Florida and renowned legal scholar on international business law, and moderated by Francisco de Elizalde, director of the Lawtomation JMCoE.

Dr. DiMatteo noted that legally-oriented AI tools are already revolutionizing legal practice as well as the court systems. They do so by generating and reviewing documents, automating online legal advice systems and even serving as substitutes for lawyers. Dr. DiMatteo gave an example of AI’s success: the DoNotPay app, the world’s first robot lawyer. This application allows customers to fight corporations, beat bureaucracy and sue anyone at the press of a button.

“AI not only will you do your job faster, you will also do it better; you can’t look away anymore.”

Although AI’s disruption of traditional legal practice can be a daunting result, Dr. DiMatteo’s intent was not to instil anxiety. Instead, he focused on highlighting both the benefits and risks of AI. He conveyed that as a lawyer, it is crucial to understand the technology applicable to your field so you can anticipate the changes, challenges and opportunities that tech brings to Law.


Moreover, Dr. DiMatteo introduced legaltech’s power to enhance lawyers’ work. He asserted that with such technology, “not only will you do your job faster, you will also do it better; you can’t look away anymore.”

Regarding buying and using AI tools as a lawyer, he urged, “If you don’t do it, your competitor is going to do it. He or she is going to offer services for a lower cost.” Legal software can conduct legal research on your behalf and save you hundreds of hours. AI can also generate more precise and robust law contracts.

However, with any significant change comes risk and danger. AI will widen the gap between large and small law firms—bigger firms have massive data sets as well as more money to invest in AI. This technology also poses certain ethical issues: duty of competence, duty of confidentiality, malpractice and the threat of algorithms replicating human biases. Dr. DiMatteo urged that lawyers take into consideration privacy and taxation laws when dealing with AI.

When asked his opinion on legaltech taking over traditional lawyer tasks and provoking conflict, Dr. DiMatteo responded, “Technology is disruption. In the future, the nature of law firms has to change. They must have both lawyers and technicians.”

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