In what may become a landmark moment for the legal profession, a New York District Court Judge has issued an opinion—the first of its kind—approving the use of “computer-assisted review” by law firms in an upcoming case. The decision allows both sides’ lawyers to use computer programs to scan through large amounts of data relevant to the case. The traditional methods, manual document review and keyword searches, can be extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive (hence expensive). If this technology is approved for wider use, smaller law firms that lack the armies of paralegals and assistants heavyweights deploy to do this work will be able to compete in covering major cases.Industries like travel, healthcare, and lately education are already going down this road. Law, evidently, is the next sector up for an automation-driven revolution. This may be bad news for law students, who will have to compete for increasingly scarce entry-level jobs in order to pay off ever-higher tuition costs. But bad news for aspiring lawyers is good news for the rest of us—especially individuals and small businesses worried about being bankrupted by legal fees.