London student moves into Mark Zuckerberg’s old house to develop tech that will ‘take down’ the legal profession

The 20-year-old wants to automate lawyers out of existence

A computer science student has moved into the house Mark Zuckerberg used to rent to spend his days trying to “take down” lawyers with artificial intelligence (AI) bots.

Joshua Browder is the brains behind ‘robot lawyer’ DoNotPay — a programme which helps users with the likes of travel delay compensation and parking tickets. Stanford University student Browder, then 19, told Legal Cheek at the time of its launch: “Lawyers all over the world should be very scared of this technology.”

Now 20, Browder’s confidence in his free lawbot service shows no signs of waning. In a tell-all interview with the Sunday Times, he said:

No one can stop me in the world.

Browder, from Hendon, London, is hoping the next few months will see him raise venture capital — the next step in his plan to automate lawyers out of existence. He is working through the profession one sector at a time: divorce, train ticket refunds, council tax and criminal defence all get a name check in the piece. Browder noted:

I want to be the go-to platform for all legal help.

Whether you think it’s ambitious or ridiculous, it’s hard to deny Browder’s busy schedule. He spends nights drinking Diet Coke and “vile” food replacement liquid Soylent to get through his coding. The computer whizz admits his Stanford studies have become a “side project” and that he has considered dropping out.

AI aside, the print interview also gave readers an insight into Browder’s less than typical family history.

Not only is he the great grandson of former Communist Party head and double US presidential candidate Earl Browder, his father, Bill, is a big name too.

Stanford graduate Bill is the Chief Executive Officer of a top investment fund, Hermitage Capital Management, and a fierce critic of Russian corporate governance. After being expelled from the country, he wrote a book about Russian corruption and the death of his former lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who Bill claimed: “was murdered as my proxy. If Sergei had not been my lawyer, he would still be alive today.”

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19 Comments

Anonymous

I agree that all lawyers should be wary of AI and budding lawyers should consider their practice areas carefully.
BUT I doubt legal AI will be free for long

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Anonymous

Look at his smug little face. I would love to see his smile wiped away when he realises that he is nothing and that his ill-found dispute is destined for failure.

(9)(3)
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Anonymous

For self-help on the law why not just get a book, and for procedure use the free guides? Plus there are internet forums for consumer law, small claims and family matters, among others. Judges are very helpful to LiPs in any case.

Automating answers is likely to make the ‘advice’ worse than is already available, not better.

Now, a genuinely accurate and quick to use speech-to-text program would be useful for lawyers but that seems to have eluded the best technologists for the last forty years.

Maybe that’s why these AI dorks bore on about replacing lawyers – because they’ve already failed at the simpler task of helping us.

(11)(0)
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Anonymous

There is already plenty of decent speech recognition digital dictation software out there. Download Dragon Dictate app for free.

(1)(1)
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Josh Browder's futuer biographer whilst he rages in a mental asylum

Josh: Oh computer, who is the prettiest computer geek in the land..?

Browder’s super computer: Browder’s super computer hate self, Browder’s super computer kill self.

Josh: ‘seethes in silent fury – vows to bring down legal profession’

(14)(0)
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Interloper

I suppose Putin’s agenda pretty much matches your own – supposed (very supposed *cough*) political leanings aside..

However, as ripostes go, that is characteristically weak from you. Oh gosh, did I just accuse you of being “weak” ? This surely cannot do – you could be run out of town by your fellow acolytes… :-O

(0)(1)
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Belinda

I can tell by looking at his eyes that he a nice person. I wonder if he has a hot tub. I think he is a very handsome young man. I wonder if he likes older women.

(15)(3)
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Anonymous

I guess the lawyer brat pack will just have to invent a new law that says ‘it’s a criminal offence to call yourself a law robot if you haven’t had a funny handshake from the SRA!’

Only a slight variation on what they do already.

(2)(2)
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Anonymous

Is he actually Bill Browder’s son? I know Wikipedia states this, but having read Red Notice there’s no mention of a son this age called Joshua. There’s a son called David, but not Joshua.

(3)(1)
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Anonymous

Transactional attorneys are the only ones at risk of being replaced by IA. A bot can draft documents no problem. Litigation attorneys will never be replaced by IA. He’ll never be able to create an AI bot that can litigate a jury trial.

(2)(1)
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Anonymous

“A computer science student has moved into the house Mark Zuckerberg used to rent ”

What on earth is the relevance of his address?

Also:

“A computer science student has moved into the house Mark Zuckerberg used to rent to spend his days trying to “take down” lawyers with artificial intelligence (AI) bots”

I guess you learn something new about Zuckerberg every day.

(1)(1)
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