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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

9 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

11 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.