Is it time for a legal bot?

What is a bot?

A bot is a software application that performs an automated task, such as setting an alarm, telling you the weather or searching online. Think Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. 

Why are bots useful?

Bots allow us to automate our lives and get answers and information quickly. They can automate and perform tasks much faster than humans. So isn’t it time we got a legal bot? Well, I found one:

Of course, there are limitations to bots. They are still fairly new-ish. They are nowhere near as bright as we are. They are good at repetitive, easily defined tasks and patterns, where a few decisions have to be made. Life and law, of course, are much more complex than that.

So how can legal bots help lawyers and clients / consumers?

Legal Bots for Lawyers

Lawyers who know what questions to ask can get responses quickly without searching through thousands of search results. For example: what is the statute of limitations for a breach of contract claim in California? These are simple, straightforward questions a bot can answer.

Legal Bots for Non-Lawyers

Non-lawyers may get answers to legal questions as well if they do not involve complex analysis (which most legal questions do). For example, what is the penalty for running a red light in San Francisco?

We’re a long way off from having all our legal questions answered by a bot, but the possibilities are endless.

If you know of other bots, or you’ve built your own, share them with me here.

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