The people of Darwin can just about take the law into their own hands, with a new legal firm going lawyer-free.
The business will use an artificial intelligence (AI) system instead, with technology its developers say will revolutionise access to legal services.
Once where a lawyer may have sat behind a desk at the law firm, is a user-friendly system called Ailira, which is short for Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.
It can help clients with consumer legal advice from wills to business structuring and asset protection, as well as tax professionals for tax law research.
With a few clicks of a button, a client can enter their details and will then be asked a few simple questions by Ailira, before the robot generates a fully certified will.
“It was really easy, just putting in basic details and it does the whole thing for you, so really good,” client Logan Turnbull said.
“Probably only took about 15 mins for each will, so really speedy.”
It is technology you might expect to see in Silicon Valley or big cities, but the service was set up at Coolalinga, in Darwin’s rural area.
“People who really need access to justice are the people who can least afford it,” developer and lawyer Adrian Cartland said.
“Why not bring a law firm without lawyers right to people who would expect to get this in 10 years time?”
Mr Cartland said it costed a fraction of the price of seeing a lawyer and could be accessed online, anywhere in the world.
The lawyer said linking up with legal aid organisations that service remote areas was in the pipeline.
“People in low socioeconomic areas, people who can’t afford to see lawyers or who have limited resources, they’re the people who we want to help the most,” Mr Cartland said.
“There is a huge untapped demand for legal services, and by reducing price and bringing access to justice, we can both benefit the consumer and benefit the legal profession.”
The quick, easy and relatively cheap technology does not spell the end for real-life lawyers, Mr Cartland said.
“Empathy, creativity, contextual reasoning, that’s what humans are good at and what we enjoy doing and people are happy to paying when they get that,” he said.
“Robots can do the same thing again and again really well, but what they’re less good at is thinking outside the box and coming up with something totally new.
“Which is why we integrate with human lawyers, so if you’ve got a question that’s really difficult, Ailira can go off to a human lawyer and find that answer.”
Next up for the AI legal assistant will be a system that will handle domestic violence cases.