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Will AI Make Law Productive?

This is my third and final installment summarizing the arguments in my draft article The Cost of Justice at the Dawn of AI. In the first, I reviewed Baumol’s cost disease’s implications for the legal sector. Baumol recognized that if the productivity of any sector improved less than the productivity of the economy as a whole, the goods or services from that sector would become more expensive. In the second, I assessed whether the legal sector has stagnated in this way. This turns out to be difficult or impossible to measure conclusively, because it’s hard to assess whether legal work is improving in quality. But crude measures like consumer price indices suggest stagnation. Rapidly decreasing trial rates provide further evidence. It should not be surprising that fewer cases, civil and criminal, make it to trial if legal process is getting more expensive.