For many years now there has been a concerted push towards automating a number of different aspects of the legal field. The digital age has transformed the profession, with menial tasks such as trawling through physical documents and records that would previously have been relegated to first-year graduates now being unnecessary with the advent of electronic databases and search-engines. While automation carries a number of positive aspects, it is important to keep in mind the limitations and risks that the practice can carry as well.
Take for example automated legal systems document systems. Their use is nowhere more prevalent than in business and investment structures such as companies and trusts, where they are regularly used to prefill deeds or contracts. While these robotic systems may be perceived to save time and money, in reality they can have serious professional repercussions for businesses when not used correctly.
Generally, such systems are essentially template legal documents that are filled in by the computer based on an algorithm or branching logic system. They are usually sold by online-only providers that generally do not offer physical assistance. What assistance they can provide is unlikely to be even specific to a client's needs or situation. This further complicates the ability of businesses or individuals using these programs to respond to difficult situations in a timely and effective manner.
Such complications can arise out of any number of issues with these programs, beginning with the initial possibility of substandard legal templates being used by such programs. The individuals operating these systems will often lack the detailed knowledge and...