Predictive Litigation Software: O.W. Holmes’ Vindication?

Wasn’t it Oliver Wendell Holmes that stated that a lawyer’s basic responsibility was to predict the outcome of potential litigation? Even in the transactional legal context, a client presumably wants to know what a court would actually rule if a particular dispute were to arise. It now seems that the predictive litigation software being touted as the wave of the future may make these “predictions” into a highly analytical, data-driven (and nearly uniform?) product. Is much of the work lawyers threatened by this? To the extent that it isn’t, are some attorneys going to be transformed into clerks or data analysts?


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