AI & Law: Dehumanizing Of Lawyers

Lance Eliot
6 min readFeb 21, 2022
Will AI dehumanize lawyers or maybe humanize them?

by Dr. Lance B. Eliot

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Key briefing points about this article:

  • There are a lot of jokes about lawyers and for which oftentimes are quite over-the-top
  • And yet people tend to relish and respect an attorney once they have a personal need for one
  • The advent of AI-based legal reasoning systems could shake-up the perception of attorneys
  • One expressed qualm is that AI will lead to human lawyers being treated as though automata
  • Dehumanizing of attorneys and the legal profession could be a sour outcome accordingly


Jokes are in the eye of the beholder.

I’m sure that most lawyers can take a joke as much as anyone else can. That being said, there are certainly quite a lot of rather abrasive jokes about lawyers. These allegedly funny jibes arise in movies, on TV shows, and sometimes make their way into the everyday news. For some lawyers, they let the remarks flow off their backs like a duck in water, while other attorneys find themselves weary and altogether disgusted by the tiresome ribbing.

Jokes about the cutthroat nature of lawyers are abundant and often are told with an expectation of uproarious laughter following the punch line. These “humorous” quips are often expressed with a raising of the eyebrows and a knowing wink, as though everyone realizes the veracity of the underlying witticism that stokes the wisecrack with its hilarity.

Meanwhile, when non-lawyers find themselves in need of a lawyer, things turn quite serious. The assumption is that their lawyer will in fact go to the ends of the earth to try and argue their case. Tossed to the wayside are those qualms about lawyers being overly zealous. A person employing a lawyer wants that attorney to be a powerful thunderstorm of legal lightning and thunder.

For those of you that might remember the famous comedian Rodney Dangerfield, he used to lament…

Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.