Don’t Scapegoat Robots to Protect the Lawyer Monopoly on Services

The US should reform UPL laws to broaden access to legal help, which can include responsible use of AI, say Stanford Law School’s Nora Freeman Engstrom and David Freeman Engstrom. You may have heard the recent travails of DoNotPay, the embattled Silicon Valley company that claimed to use artificial intelligence to help people win cases in traffic court. The company’s showboating CEO, Joshua Browder, boasted that he built “the world’s first robot lawyer,” and that his customers could win traffic cases simply by wearing the company’s special AI earpiece to court. It all came toppling down when investigations revealed that Browder had overhyped his technology. Litigation has begun against Browder and DoNotPay, fueling comparisons to Elizabeth Holmes as an all-too-familiar cautionary tale of Silicon Valley hubris.



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