New Study Says Louisiana is Stressed Out

Louisiana certainly has its share of leisure and entertainment activities, and it is well-known for its live music and street festivals. However, a new study shows that people who live in the state are generally stressed out.

WalletHub recently ranked all U.S. states according to a stress survey it created, which compiled results and gave a score to each state based on factors focusing on 4 areas: work-related stress, money-related stress, family-related stress, and health and safety-related stress.

Alabama came in first with a stress score of 56.91. Louisiana came in second with a score of 56.22.

Source: WalletHub

What Are People Generally Stressed Out About?

What are People Stressed Out About?

Stress levels reached their lowest in an entire decade in 2016. But, there’s some disturbing news regarding today’s stress climate. This year, we’ve seen stress go back up and it encompasses many areas of life. While 10 years ago stress may have been mostly related to work and money, today it is mostly caused by anxiety over election results, our current social and political climate, fear of violence, and the future of our country.

So, what exactly are people in Louisiana stressed about? The WalletHub survey took 33 elements into account, including but not limited to:

  • average commute to work,
  • hours worked per week,
  • housing affordability,
  • bankruptcy rate, and
  • suicide rate.

Their data showed some concerning information about stressful situations among our state’s residents; however, they also offered some useful expert tips on how to reduce stress.

These tips are absolutely relevant to Louisiana citizens. Less stress in our lives can mean fewer accidents and injuries due to the distraction of stressful thoughts and feelings. Reducing stress is a positive path toward health on many levels.

How Does Stress Affect Louisiana?

Louisiana’s stress score of 56.22 on the WalletHub survey doesn’t bode well for our state’s residents. The following are some of the survey’s findings, which likely contributed to Louisiana’s high stress score.

The state of Louisiana ranked:

  • 4th in the U.S. for the highest percentage of adults that were in poor or fair health
  • 4th in the U.S. for the highest divorce rate
  • 4th in the U.S. for the lowest credit score
  • 3rd in the U.S. for the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line
  • 1st in the U.S. for the fewest number of psychologists per capita

In contrast, the state of Minnesota came in on the WalletHub survey as the least stressed out state, with a score of 31.07.

Louisiana residents overall ranked family-related stress highest, followed by money-related stress, health- and safety-related stress, and finally work-related stress. The WalletHub findings showed that northern states generally have lower stress levels. Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa are the least stressed states, according to the survey.

Interestingly enough, the survey broke down data to rank states based on things like “Most Average Hours Worked per Week” and “Lowest Job Security,” and Louisiana did not rank in the top 5 for either of these classifications. Yet, stress is still rampant throughout the state, presumably for other reasons.

Louisiana Stress Rankings

What the Experts Say About Stress

Experts say the best ways to cope with stress include doing simple things, such as connecting and spending time with an animal, playing with children, laughing, planning ahead, being disciplined with finances, avoiding over scheduling, and taking better care of oneself, physically and mentally.

Stress—prolonged and chronic stress in particular—is a lot for the body and mind to manage. It can lead to careless, reckless, and thoughtless behavior that may harm oneself and others by causing car accidents, mistakes and injuries on the job, and abuse.

Most of us could probably use a lesson in how to better manage stress. Some people, unfortunately, haven’t figured out how to do this very well, and they’ve caused injuries as a result. If you’ve been a victim of personal injury of any kind, stress-related or otherwise, contact the law office of Tony Tramontana for a free consultation today.

The 10 Most Dangerous States to Drive In

Even though fatal car crashes in the United States have decreased in number, traffic collisions remain a grave problem. It’s a promising sign that there were approximately 10,000 fewer accidents in 2014 than in 2004, but 32,675 people were still killed in auto accidents.

The Most Dangerous States Based on Fatalities

Across the country, for every 100,000 individuals in 2014, we saw 10.2 deaths. Where were the most fatal collisions? The most dangerous state for drivers is Wyoming, with 25.7 deaths occurring for every 100,000 residents.

Wyoming fatality statistic

Louisiana, unfortunately, did not escape the list of top 10 most dangerous states to drive in for 2014. However, it’s our hope that the community as a whole will work to improve these numbers and our dangerous road situations in the coming years, reducing unnecessary vehicle deaths. The following are the top 10, starting with the least dangerous: Louisiana.

10. Louisiana Louisiana

Louisiana saw 15.9 road deaths per 100,000 people. It had 737 total roadway fatalities, and 51% of all fatal crashes occurred on rural roads.

9. South Dakota South Dakota

In South Dakota, 15.9 people per 100,000 died in auto accidents on the road. In 2014, this state had 136 total roadway fatalities, and 85% of fatal crashes occurred on rural roads.

8. Alabama Alabama

Alabama had 16.9 road deaths per 100,000 citizens and 820 total roadway fatalities. The state saw 66% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads.

7. South Carolina South Carolina

Coming in 7th on the most dangerous states to drive in list, South Carolina had 17.1 road deaths per 100,000 people. The total roadway fatalities for 2014 came in at 824, but 90% of individuals in the state were wearing seatbelts.

6. Oklahoma Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced 17.3 road deaths per 100,000 people in 2014, and it had 669 total roadway fatalities. An unfortunate 90% of the drivers killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of equal or greater than 0.08.

5. North Dakota North Dakota

North Dakota saw 18.3 road deaths per 100,000 people. But, it had the 4th highest percentage of fatal crashes on rural roads. 33% of drivers killed in roads in this state had a BAC of equal or greater than 0.08.

4. New Mexico New Mexico

In New Mexico, 18.4 road deaths occurred for every 100.000 people. 92% of residents use seat belts in New Mexico, and 64% of fatal crashes occur on rural roads.

3. Montana Montana

Montana’s residents aren’t wearing seatbelts like they should. Only 74% of people buckle up while driving, and 18.8 road deaths occurred per 100,000 people.

2. Mississippi Mississippi

Mississippi had the 7th lowest number of citizens wearing seatbelts, coming in at just 78%. For every 100,000 people in the state, there were 20.3 deaths. In Mississippi, 91% of fatal auto crashes occurred on rural roads.

1. Wyoming Wyoming

Wyoming is the worst state on the top 10 most dangerous roads list. There, 150 fatalities happened on roadways, a high 25.7 fatalities for every 100,000 residents.

What Louisianans Should Look Out For

There’s a trend with the states listed above. All of them have high numbers of fatalities occurring on rural roads. In general, these types of highways and streets are less safe than those in highly populated areas. Looking specifically at dangerous roads in Louisiana, we have several of concern:

  • I-59
  • I-10
  • I-55
  • I-20
  • And I-90

All of these interstate roads have ranked in a list of the deadliest highways in the U.S.

We want Louisiana residents to stay safe on our roads and stay off statistics lists. While it may take some time to make that happen, choosing not to drive distracted or while under the influence is a good start, as is wearing a seat belt every time you’re in a motor vehicle.

Don’t Hesitate to Contact a Lawyer

If you’ve been the victim of the actions of someone who wasn’t driving safe, Tony Tramontana Attorney at Law wants to help. Fill out the contact form on this page to get information on how to handle a personal injury situation involving a car accident.

Occupational Injuries and Fatalities: A State-by-State Analysis

According to the most recent census data and an economic news release by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) of more than 4,600 occupational fatalities in 2014, Louisiana ranked 12th among all states, accounting for 120 fatalities caused by events or exposures pertaining to specific occupations.

120 Occupational Fatalities in LouisianaLouisiana Fatality Rate for occupational injuries

Of the 120 fatalities recorded, transportation incidents, harm caused by other people or animals, and falls or slips were the most common causes for these fatalities; other causes include fires and explosions, exposure to harmful substances, and contact with objects and equipment.

Compared to other states, Louisiana ranks high for occupational fatalities, but moderate to low for non-fatal occupational injuries. According to the BLS, Louisiana has the 7th highest fatality rate among all states, with 6.3 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees.

Louisiana is outranked by occupational fatality rates in Wyoming (13.1), North Dakota (9.8), Alaska (7.8), South Dakota (7.2), Mississippi (7.1), and New Mexico (6.7).

States with the highest nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses rates, which are calculated per 100 full-time employees, include: Maine (5.3), Vermont (5.1), Washington (4.7), and Montana (4.6).

Occupational Injuries Rates and Fatalities Rates by State

In the chart below, the state’s Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses are calculated per 100 full-time employees, and Occupational Fatalities are calculated per 100,000 full-time employees.

(Note: Each state voluntarily elects to participate in the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Some data was not available in states that chose not to participate in one or both surveys.)

State Nonfatal Occupational Injuries & Illnesses (per 100 FTE) Occupational Fatalities

(Per 100,000 FTE)

Most Fatal Industry in State 
Alabama  3.0 4.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Alaska 4.0 7.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Arizona 3.2 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Arkansas  2.7 5.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
California  3.8 2.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Colorado  N/A 3.3 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Connecticut  3.7 2.1 Transportation and utilities
Delaware 2.8 2.8 [1]Private Industry
 
District of Columbia 1.6 3.1  Private Industry
Florida N/A 2.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Georgia 3.2 3.6 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Guam 3.3 N/A N/A
Hawaii 3.8 5.0 Construction
Idaho N/A 4.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Transportation and Utilities
Illinois 3.2 2.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Indiana 4.0 4.4 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Iowa 4.4 6.0 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Kansas 3.7 5.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Kentucky 3.8 4.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Louisiana  2.3 6.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Main 5.3 2.9 N/A
Maryland 3.5 2.6 Construction
Massachusetts 3.3 1.7 Transportation and utilities
Michigan 3.7 3.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Minnesota 3.7 2.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Mississippi  N/A 7.1 Transportation and utilities
Missouri 3.3 3.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Montana 4.6 4.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Nebraska 3.6 5.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Nevada 4.1 3.1 Manufacturing
New Hampshire N/A 2.6 Private Industry
New Jersey 3.3 2.1 Construction / Transportation and utilities
New Mexico 3.6 6.7 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
New York 3.1 2.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
North Carolina 2.9 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
North Dakota N/A 9.8 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Ohio 2.9 3.6 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Oklahoma N/A 6.2 Transportation and utilities
Oregon 4.0 3.9 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Pennsylvania 3.6 3.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Puerto Rico 4.1 N/A N/A
Rhode Island  N/A 2.1 Private Industry
South Carolina 3.0 3.3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
South Dakota N/A 7.2 Construction
Tennessee 3.3 4.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Texas 2.6 4.8 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Utah 3.3 4.2 Transportation and utilities
Vermont 5.1 3.2 Private Industry
Virginia 3.0 2.8 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Washington 4.7 2.7 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
West Virginia 4.1 4.2 Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction
Wisconsin 4.0 3.5 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Wyoming 3.7 13.1 Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting / Transportation and utilities


All data from 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2016.

Occupational Injuries and Fatalities, by Industry

The type of work/industry a state’s population regularly engages influences occupational injury and fatality rates.

For example, Wyoming ranks 50th in the nation for population size, but has the largest percentage of workforce in mining and agriculture. The same is true of Alaska, where the population size is small compared to the percentage of workers in high-risk occupations, such as commercial fishing and logging.

The proportion of a workforce that is employed in these high-risk industries varies by state. This variation can help explain differences in fatal and non-fatal rates among states.

In Louisiana, workers in certain industries sustain nonfatal and fatal injuries at a much higher rate than the overall workforce; those industries include: agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.

Your Options in Louisiana Regarding Occupational Injury

Occupational injuries often result in lost wages, costly medical expenses, and emotional suffering. What’s worse, a wrongful death caused by negligence, poor working conditions, or unsafe equipment can destroy the lives of an entire family.

Whether it’s a broken bone, burn injury, neck or back injury, or catastrophic event, know that legal representation is available for you and your family.

Work-related injuries or fatalities can be devastating to a family. If you have any questions about an occupational injury or fatality, or if you suspect wrongful death caused by an employer’s negligence, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.

Access to Justice in Louisiana: What We Learned From Glenn Ford

Access to justice in Louisiana, particularly for poor or minority citizens, has been a problem for decades. Louisiana has consistently limited funding for public defenders and, as a result, has left thousands of defendants without proper representation.

To mitigate the judicial crowding, some parishes have ordered non-criminal lawyers to represent the indigent. In some cases, judges have called upon personal injury lawyers in Louisiana, or insurance or tax attorneys, to represent defendants in criminal trials, including murder cases where a defendant could face life in prison.

glenn ford murder in louisiana

The Life and Death of Glenn Ford

In 1984, Glenn Ford was convicted of murder in Louisiana. Ford spent almost 30 years on death row, in Louisiana’s Angola prison, until new evidence revealed he did not commit the murder. He was exonerated in 2014, but tragically died of lung cancer about a year later.

In a 60 Minutes interview from 2015, Bill Whitaker spoke to the prosecutor who sent Ford to prison: Marty Stroud from Shreveport, Louisiana.

Stroud admits the cards were stacked against Ford from the beginning; Ford’s court-appointed lawyers had never practiced criminal law.

“There were no African Americans on the jury,” explained Stroud. “So, when Glenn Ford walks into that courtroom, he’s got a count of zero and two against him, and a fast ball’s coming right at his head for strike three.”

Ford was sent to one of the most infamous lock-ups in America, Angola, a maximum-security prison known for harsh conditions, including summer temperatures that reached 104 degrees on the death row block.

According to Dale Cox, the current district attorney of Caddo Parish, Glenn Ford received “delayed justice,” but justice nonetheless.

According to Cox, the fear of putting an innocent man to death is a risk all of us must be willing to take in order to secure peace and an effective criminal justice system.

Compensation for the Wrongfully Accused

Glenn Ford was entitled to $330,000 in compensation for his wrongful conviction and mistreatment at Angola. The state is currently denying Ford’s family the opportunity to collect, after the Louisiana Supreme Court announced it would not consider the two lawsuits brought on by Ford’s family.

Last year, a state district judge ruled that Ford wasn’t eligible to receive compensation because “the trial evidence showed that he was involved in lesser related crimes.”

More specifically, it’s been alleged that Ford knew the robbery of the Shreveport jeweler, Isadore Rozeman, was going to take place and did nothing about it.

The state’s compensation law excludes compensation for anyone who committed any crimes based upon the same set of facts used in the original conviction, and allows a judge to consider any evidence regardless of whether it’s admissible or excluded from the criminal trial.

Moreover, exonerated individuals in Louisiana must prove their innocence in any related crimes in order to collect. This is in opposition to states like California, where the state pays without the need to prove innocence for any related crimes.

Ford was found to be an accessory to armed robbery after the fact; he was also found to have possessed stolen items relating to the same crime. Because of this, Ford’s 30 years on death row will not be compensated.

Improving Access to Justice

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Glover is currently fighting for improved access to justice in cases similar to Ford’s. Glover is attempting to revise Louisiana’s current compensation legislation, and will bring his second attempt forward some time next year (the first attempt was defeated).

According to Andrea Armstrong, who is managing Ford’s estate, “It is not the end of [Glenn’s] story…”

Access to justice is relevant to everyone in Louisiana, not just the wrongfully convicted. Everyone has the right to qualified representation, lest we forget what happened to Glenn Ford and his family.

If you have questions about obtaining access to justice, or a personal injury claim, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form on this page, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.

Bicycle Laws in Louisiana: What Cyclists Need to Know

Riding a bike, especially on public roadways, is about more than learning to balance on two wheels: it’s something that drivers, as well as cyclists, must take seriously or risk injury or even death. To stay safe on shared roadways in Louisiana, cyclists should become fluent in the state’s bicycle laws to minimize risk to themselves, as well as others on the road.

Here’s an overview of Louisiana’s current bicycle laws, and important legal information, in the event that you are ever injured while riding a bike in Louisiana.
Louisiana bicycling laws

Bike Lanes and Sharing the Road

Cyclists over the age of 12 are not legally allowed to ride on sidewalks in Louisiana. Bike lanes are for the exclusive use of cyclists; you’ll often see them to the rightmost side of the roadway, and save a few exceptions, drivers are not permitted to enter these lanes.

Bicycles, cars, and trucks have to share the road. In fact, in Louisiana, bicycles are considered by law to be vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles.  this means that a person riding a bicycle has all of the same rights and duties of the driver of a motor vehicle under Louisiana law.  According to state statute, every person operating a bicycle on a public roadway must ride as close to the right of the roadway as possible, whether there’s a bike lane or not. However, cyclists are free to leave the bike lane for all the following reasons:

  • When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  • When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lane or any other conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
  • When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

Similarly, motor vehicles may enter or pass through a bike lane in the following instances:

  • To prepare for a turn within a distance of two hundred feet from the intersection.
  • To enter or leave the roadway onto an alley, private road, or driveway.
  • To enter or leave a parking space when parking is permitted adjacent to the bicycle lane.

Note that motor vehicles MUST ALWAYS yield to cyclists, as well as electric mobility aids within the bike lane.

Moreover, in the state of Louisiana, a minimum of three feet must be maintained if a motor vehicle wishes to pass a cyclist going in the same direction. This is true whether the cyclist is in a designated bike lane or not.

Helmets and Hand Signals

Louisiana law requires a bicycle operator or passenger that is under the age of 12 years old to wear a bike helmet while riding a bike. The law also requires any passengers less than forty pounds, or less then 40 inches tall, to be secured in a retraining seat.

Just like motor vehicles, traffic signals are an important part of road safety. Cyclists are required to signal in the following ways:

  • Left turn—hand and arm extended horizontally, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.
  • Right turn—hand and arm extended upward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.
  • Stop or decrease speed—start—hand and arm extended downward at an angle of forty-five degrees from shoulder or elbow, with the hand open and the back of the hand to the rear.

These hand singles are not required if the safety of the cyclists requires both hands to control the bike.

The Bottom Line for Bicyclists

Even if everyone practices caution while sharing the road with cyclists, bicycle accidents still happen in Louisiana. Bicyclists face much higher risk of injury and death due to hazards on the road. If you have questions about a bicycle accident or personal injury caused while you were on a bike in northeastern Louisiana, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.

Common Causes for Claim in Elderly Abuse Cases

Louisiana ranks as the second worst state in America in terms of nursing home quality of care and the chances of elderly abuse rise significantly when such standards are low.

Louisiana also has the dubious distinction of being a state now plagued by elder abuse, which means lawsuits related to elder neglect or abuse have become more common as the standards of care dwindle.

Common causes for claim are linked to nursing home facilities maintaining only skeleton-thin staff, poorly trained staff, and poor facility essentials. It is because of these things that family and friends, as well as individuals within the care industry, must be vigilant to ensure elderly citizens are treated with dignity, respect, and the quality care they deserve.

That’s why I’d like to review some of the most common causes for claim in elderly abuse cases, and what to do in the event that you, or someone in your family, suspects improper care of a loved one.

Elderly Abuse Laws in Louisiana

Falls

Regular staff supervision helps protect elderly patients from accidental slips and falls, and ensures they receive timely care dependent on their particular medical needs.  Each facility is obligated to perform an initial fall risk assessment on each resident, to determine how likely they are to fall, and to then plan care accordingly.  after any fall, they are required to evaluate the circumstances and institute additional fall preventive measures.   Unfortunately, this very often does not happen, a resident is allowed to suffer additional falls and are often seriously hurt.

Pressure Sores (Bedsores)

Pressure sores, sometimes called bedsores, are the result of limited movement and are common after a patient becomes either bedridden or chair-bound. If left untreated, pressure sores can become infected, causing damage to the underlying tissue, bone, and internal organs.  Many bedsores are preventable, and  can be prevented by simply rotating the resident on a regular timed schedule.  Additionally, most bed sores will heal if properly and timely treated.  Unfortunately, limited or negligent staff often leave pressure sores untreated for extended periods of time, or may not treat them at all, commonly leading to infection of both the sore and eventually the entire blood stream (sepsis).  This is a common cause for elderly abuse cases in Louisiana.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is an issue for most seniors whether they’re living in a nursing home or not. Malnutrition can be mild or severe, but can ultimately lead to health complications if left unchecked. As is the case with falls, malnutrition is often a result of few staff members being responsible for a large number of elderly patients. A malnourished senior is proof of elder abuse, and evidence that the nursing home is not fulfilling its legal obligation to its members.

Dehydration

As is true with malnutrition, monitoring water intake can be very challenging at a nursing home that is understaffed or poorly equipped. Water should be easily accessible, and caretakers should practice vigilance in monitoring seniors to ensure they’re getting enough daily fluids.

Wandering

Some elderly patients have special medical requirements, particularly those with forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Wandering is a common occurrence in these types of patients and requires special care to ensure they don’t accidentally put themselves in harm’s way.  These patients must be protected from injuring themselves, and from injuring other patients.

It is the responsibility of the nursing home to ensure wandering does not occur, or at least to minimize the risk of wandering with a plan or course of action should it occur. Some facilities do not have a plan in place, and this is why wandering has become a common claim in many elderly abuses cases.

While it is absolutely essential that family members be aware of these common types of claims.  Knowing what to do in the event of elder abuse is just as important.  The state of Louisiana has also established a hotline to call in  complaints and suspected cases:

If you have questions about nursing home abuse in Louisiana, or if you suspect a loved one may have been a victim of elder abuse, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.

How Much of a Lawyer’s Job Can (Will) Be Automated?

Today’s legal professionals practice law similarly to the way they did 100 years ago. Of the many professional trades that rely on intelligent technologies, legal practice is one area that has been slow to adapt despite the obvious synergy between the two.

The legal profession is defined by rules and evidence, criteria that pair well with automation, machine learning, or, the more familiar term, artificial intelligence (AI).

Legal professionals have always relied on experience to assess information, make value judgments, and determine the relevant facts of a case; but many of these things can now be done through statistical analysis and algorithms. The result is less work for lawyers, paralegals, and document review lawyers, who are particularly fearful of what automation might do to their jobs. With the industry’s current excess in supply not waning, there is a question every legal professional should be asking: how much of a lawyer’s job can really be automated?

Case Studies on Automation

There are two recent studies that are trying to answer this question: the first by a team at McKinsey & Company (a management consulting company) and the other by Frank S. Levy (MIT) and Dana Remus from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

lawyers job automationThe former suggests that as much as 69% of a paralegals’ time could be automated, and 23% of a lawyers’ time. The same study has made similar estimates for other professionals, including surgeons.

The latter study suggests a much lower percentage: about 13% of a lawyer’s time could be automated using current and advanced intelligent technologies.

The MicKinsey study set definitions based on a U.S. Department of Labor project called O*Net, while the Levy and Remus study defined its tasks using the American Bar Association (ABA).

MicKinsey looks at what kinds of automation technology would be necessary to automate a range of tasks defined by O*Net, whereas Levy and Remus studied 13 core tasks extrapolated from the ABA and assigned a value to each task depending on how predictable and manageable it would be if it were automated.

While both studies believe that automation is wise, if not inevitable, they disagree to what extent automation will play a part in legal services today, and in the near future.

MicKinsey projects higher numbers because it has a more optimistic view of future technological advancements in the field of automation and machine learning capabilities.

Levy and Remus are more conservative but ardent believers that document review has the greatest potential for automation today. Following automated document review, the study sites case administration and management, document drafting, due diligence, research, and analysis.

Surviving the Adaptation of Automation

Legal professionals that learn to work with automation will come out on top. Early adopters are already carving new legal professions out of automation technologies.

For example, e-discovery is a relatively new term that refers to any process wherein electronic data is researched and retrieved with the intent of using it as evidence in a civil or criminal case. It’s a basic automated process that does much better when managed by a legal professional. New programs, books, and training courses are popping up at places like Georgetown University, where anxious document review lawyers can regain their footing alongside automation technologies.

While it’s unclear to what extent automation will be incorporated into our legal system, there are limits to what technology can provide in terms of social and emotional cognition, which can’t be ignored in criminal and civil cases. It’s the human experience that drives our greatest potential in the legal field, and for the time being it looks as though that won’t change.

Here in Louisiana, we’re excited to explore the potential that automation will bring to our state’s legal systems and our clients at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana.

We specialize in a range of Louisiana personal injury claims, including medical malpractice and auto accident. If you have questions, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, want to hear from you.

For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.