Lawyers may be the next victims of automation, and the impact on the macroeconomy could be serious. Until now, paralegals and beginning associate lawyers have seemed to be primarily vulnerable to algorithmic advances. But labor lawyer Miriam Nemeth argues that the trouble will go deeper. "Lawyers in particular may increasingly suffer from job loss as a result of automation," she said. "Everything from contract drafting to legal research appears prone to automation."

Expand chart

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: There are roughly 1 million lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants in the US, more than 20 times the number of people in coal mining. It's not clear how many could lose their jobs, but a recent study said that currently available technology could reduce lawyers' billed hours by 13%.

Glass half-full: A recent McKinsey study said that 23% of a lawyer's job can be automated. But Chris Stock, CEO at LEAP Legal Software, said earlier this week that lawyers and paralegals have time to learn new skills, and thus not become flotsam of robots, by learning how to apply automation software to improve their own productivity and remain attractive to employers.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court clears way for first federal execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled early Tuesday that federal executions can resume, reversing a lower court decision and paving the way for the first lethal injection since 2003 to take place at a federal prison in Indiana, AP reports.

The big picture: A lower court had delayed the execution, saying inmates had provided evidence the government's plan to carry out executions using lethal injections "poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain."

2 hours ago - Health

More Republicans say they're wearing masks

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Nearly two-thirds of Americans — and a noticeably increasing number of Republicans — say they’re wearing a face mask whenever they leave the house, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: A weakening partisan divide over masks, and a broad-based increase in the number of people wearing them, would be a welcome development as most of the country tries to beat back a rapidly growing outbreak.

Buildings are getting tested for coronavirus, too

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Testing buildings — not just people — could be an important way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: People won't feel safe returning to schools, offices, bars and restaurants unless they can be assured they won't be infected by coronavirus particles lingering in the air — or being pumped through the buildings' air ducts. One day, even office furniture lined with plants could be used to clean air in cubicles.