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Emotional Intelligence Versus Artificial Intelligence: An Optimistic View Of The Changing In-house Legal Landscape

Emotional Intelligence versus Artificial Intelligence: An Optimistic View of the Changing in-house Legal Landscape

The Artificial Intelligence wave feels like it brings an impending doomsday to modern society, business and our livelihoods. It does not come in the apocalyptic form pictured in end of the world films but the threat is nonetheless a reality and AI is most certainly here to stay. This technological advancement has been compared to the Industrial Revolution in terms of its influence and impact and a recent McKinsey Global Institute study predicted that new technology could eliminate as many as 800 million jobs by 2030. Initially, cashiers were replaced with self check-outs but now even lawyers, a highly skilled profession which requires years of training, face a similar threat. 

However, what we have found here at Mack Legal, an in-house legal recruitment specialist, is a much more optimistic outlook. A lawyer’s role is shifting with the new technological age and one of these shifts is the recognition of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence covers areas such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills all of which are core factors during negotiation, client-customer relations and interpretation of complex situations.‘With the rise of AI in the law, we are seeing an increased focus on lawyer emotional intelligence (EI), which is the more human side of lawyering1’. It is this combination between IQ and EQ that defines the role of GCs and in-house lawyers whose work moves far beyond basic conceptions of legal work. In a recent study 75% of in-house lawyers put emotional intelligence as a top 10 competency needed for the role2. Here at Mack Legal, we place it in our top 5.

Mark A. Cohen argues that lawyers who combine IQ and emotional intelligence ‘will never be replaced no matter how smart AI becomes.’3 and we share this same optimism in the face of the AI revolution. 22% of a lawyer’s job can be automated with the help of AI tools4. This is no bad thing, instead, lawyers can channel their intelligence, both intellectual and emotional, towards more complex problems and find more creative solutions, leaving the repetitive admin to a machine. And, of course, find a place to express their legal expertise to lead and collaborate within this evolving digital world. 





3.Artificial intelligence will not replace lawyers with IQ and EQ, Mark A. Cohen,





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