The 59th Annual John R. Coen Lecture "Is Law a Driverless Car? Assessing How (or Whether) the Data Analytics Revolution Will Transform the Legal Profession" featuring Professor Eric L. Talley, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, on Thursday, March 17, 2016.
In this lecture, Professor Talley considered how - and to what extent - the data analytics revolution now underway is changing the human face of law. He argued that while analytics will continue to transform the profession in profound ways, those changes are more likely to emphasize - not diminish - the importance of human judgment, skill, and professionalism. Not only is the continued vitality of such traits desirable on their own merits, but the very nature of legal evolution unavoidably requires the capacity and flexibility of human judgment. This is no less true, and is most likely amplified, in a world where algorithmic analysis can be helpful for law. The lawyers of tomorrow will be different from those of today. They will perform different tasks, and face different questions and problems. They will need at least some different skill sets. But the critical role they have always played in our political and civic lives will not shrink; it will evolve.