Tuesday, March 06, 2007

AI Busted for Unlicensed Practice

One of my first posts was directed to the Law Underground, a site where one can go, answer a few questions, and receive legal advice.

Apparently, judges are not as welcoming of our new robotic overlords, however...

A Wired blog post talks about a judge's ruling that a website offering free legal advice on bankruptcy law was "practicing law without a license."

I can only assume that, as time goes on, more and more of the legal profession is going to become automated. And it's not like there isn't a dearth of legal info out there for the public.

As a law student, let me do what we're taught to do best... That is, take a logical point and stretch it to the very limits of sensibility. What would happen if someone made a book, a la Choose Your Own Adventure. For each variable, you flipped to a certain page...

Do you...
Have dependents? TURN TO PAGE 45
Owe Money to the Government? TURN TO PAGE 63
Want to open the crypt of doom? TURN TO PAGE 157

Besides being ridiculously large, and just plain silly, how would this book be any different from Law Underground, or the 700law.com website mentioned in the Wired article?

Coming back to the real world, if Mr. Ihejirika was not merely an "internet entrepreneur," but a lawyer, as well? Would this type of automated program, created by him, constitute unlicensed practice, since the lawyer would actually be the person originally doing the work? i.e. is this a finding of the AI practicing law unlicensed, or Mr. Ihejirika?


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