Welcome to the Answering Legal Blog, where we help attorneys and law firms stay ahead of the curve with the latest legal technology and industry trends. In today’s post, we’ll be discussing how ChatGPT, a powerful language model developed by OpenAI, can revolutionize the way lawyers work.
As the legal industry becomes increasingly digital, attorneys and law firms are looking for new ways to streamline their workflows and deliver better outcomes for their clients. ChatGPT is one tool that can help them do just that. With its advanced natural language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can understand and respond to complex legal queries, conduct legal research, and even draft legal documents with remarkable accuracy and efficiency.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the specific ways that ChatGPT can benefit lawyers and law firms, from improving client communication and collaboration to enhancing the quality and speed of legal research and drafting. We’ll also discuss some of the potential limitations and challenges associated with using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT in the legal industry, and offer some tips and best practices for making the most of this powerful technology.
So if you’re a lawyer or legal professional looking to stay ahead of the curve and leverage the latest advances in legal technology, you won’t want to miss this post. Let’s dive in!
Before Moving Forward… We Have A Confession
We did not write the introduction to this blog. To illustrate our point, we asked ChatGPT to write an intro to a blog in our style and added that copy, unedited, to this post. Overall, it’s a decent introduction. It introduces the reader to the subject of the blog, provides context for why that discussion is important, and tells the reader what the blog will be covering.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. For an introduction, it’s way too long. When creating content, the introduction is used to give the reader a taste of what’s to come in order to entice them to keep reading. Spending too much time on the introduction can cause you to lose readers before the blog ever really begins.
And, funny enough, even though ChatGPT does mention its own “limitations and challenges”, it doesn’t go into nearly as much detail on that subject as it does its positive qualities. And, it isn’t actually possible to draft legal documents on the publicly-available build of ChatGPT, at least not without some clever prompting loopholes.
Overall, we’d give the introduction a B-. It’s not perfect, but with some editing and a little rewriting, it could be a decent introduction to a blog. It is an impressive start, at the very least.
Why are we spending so much time criticizing the ChatGPT’s intro to this blog? It wasn’t just a way to play a little prank on our readers. It’s a test case illustrating guidelines for your own usage of ChatGPT. Like other technology, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for a law firm, but it requires oversight. If managed correctly, ChatGPT and future AI tools can be a way to save a lot of time.
What Can ChatGPT Do For Lawyers?
In early 2023, OpenAI announced that their next model, GPT-4, passed the bar exam in the 90th percentile. This prompted a legion of articles from tech journalists, declaring that AI was coming for attorneys’ careers. In the legal world, it spawned a considerable amount of worry.
Fear not; it isn’t actually possible to ask ChatGPT for legal advice. The program turns your query away unless worded very carefully. In fact, the AI recommends seeking out a legal professional when you prompt it to provide legal advice. It won’t be replacing actual attorneys any time soon.
If it won’t be replacing attorneys, then, what can ChatGPT do for lawyers? In this next section, we’ll be covering just that.
Applications Of ChatGPT For Lawyers
It’s worth noting that GPT-4 is not the model used in the publicly available build of ChatGPT, as of the writing of this blog. That model scored in the bottom 10th percentile on the bar exam.
This means that while ChatGPT has been trained on some amount of legal knowledge, that knowledge isn’t yet the most reliable to perform complex tasks. Simple tasks, however, such as reviewing contract language and summarizing cases for legal research, are well within the language model’s wheelhouse.
Future builds, when incorporated into software that can integrate with your case management system, could save a lot of time, even over similar technology like templates. Imagine writing a one sentence prompt to an AI assistant, which would then gather all the necessary information from your firm’s database to draft up complex legal documents, all in a matter of moments. By this time next year, that may all be possible.
For now, however, there are plenty of other applications of ChatGPT for lawyers. For a while, Google deprioritized AI-written pages based on their own algorithmic detection system. Recently, however, as the quality of AI-written content has improved with the quality of AI tools, Google has changed its policy. Now, quality content of any production method can rank highly.
That means you might be able to produce quality marketing content for your website that satisfies the requirements of Google’s algorithm. Content marketing is an important part of any SEO strategy, but it’s one that attorneys often have little time for. With ChatGPT, however, it may be possible to produce quality content to help your law firm’s website rank higher on certain important keywords with a minimal time investment.
What You Should Be On The Lookout For
Regardless of what AI model you’re using, you should always be on the lookout for errors. For example, as research for this blog we queried ChatGPT to show us what a motion to compel discovery might look like in the state of Florida.
In order to do this in the first place, we had to word our query very carefully; ChatGPT rejects outright requests for legal documents. Instead, we asked ChatGPT: if someone were filing a motion to compel discovery in the state of Florida, what would it look like? The result was a six-part outline of a motion, as well as a kind of template to be filled in with applicable information.
The problem? Chat-GPT’s motion to compel discovery didn’t look anything like motions available online. Sure, the bones of a motion to compel were there, but the end result was most definitely not presentable. If you’d like to try it for yourself, try to duplicate our prompt and compare it to the motion to compel found at this website.
Of course, future models will likely outperform Chat-GPT on this front. Specialty applications of GPT-4 for the legal world are already in development, and will be able to link to your firm’s databases to produce quality legal research and documents in a fraction of the time it might have taken an attorney by themselves.
But even so, their product should always be double-checked. One easily-overlooked mistake could be an embarrassing or even costly discovery.
After all, human language is complicated. The first personal computer was developed in 1974; it has taken nearly 50 years to get computers to understand human language. Therefore, you want to make sure that the product of AI queries sounds like something a human being would produce. This goes double for legal documents, which have a specific syntax and diction all their own.
Automate Your Firm With Answering Legal
The promise of Chat-GPT for lawyers is making work a little bit easier. By bringing together different parts of a law firm under one intelligent, ever-learning program, a lot of busy work can be done in seconds. In the aggregate, even turning a five minute drafting process into one minute of generation and review will add up to a considerable amount of time saved, which means more time to spend on billable tasks or just more time to spend with your loved ones.
In the same way, Answering Legal can integrate your phone system with your law firm in ways that will save you time and secure more clients. Our system can integrate with your CRM and calendar.
Legal intakes performed by our receptionists can be immediately translated into new client fields in your CRM, eliminating the need for time-intensive, routine data entry tasks while capturing more clients than voicemail. And any appointments made with our virtual receptionists are instantly added to your calendar in pre-approved time slots. If you’d like to read more about how we can integrate with your law firm, click here for more information.
Want to make your law firm more efficient? Click here or call 631-686-9700 to sign up for our free trial. For a limited time, we’re offering firms that sign up for our service their first 400 minutes free.