Will AI replace lawyers? If you're a legal professional or you're part of the legal system in any way, you might be curious about the impact of artificial intelligence, namely ChatGPT. In this article, we outline information on legal technology and the role of machine learning, and how it will impact legal professionals around the world.
The Impact of AI on the Legal Industry
Across industries, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is becoming increasingly popular. Gradually, machines are integrating themselves into the workplace and taking the place of humans as they provide more consistency and high work quality at a fraction of the cost. While initially, AI was only associated with clerical and routine work, more studies show that artificial intelligence can perform on the same level, if not better, for various complex human work.
Human lawyers are tasked with mapping a legal strategy, creating legal documents, and conducting legal research, but robot lawyers are starting to infiltrate law firms around the world.
Even though legal services will likely not be completely replaced by AI technology, they will continue to aid lawyers with various legal tasks. A ChatGPT lawyer, for example, can assist with drafting legal documents, reviewing contracts, and finding relevant articles to the discovery process. It can even provide legal advice and increase the speed of the legal process. Despite the emergence and integration of AI tools and the accompanying benefits, they are not ready to replace attorneys for good. Consider the ethical considerations as well as the lack of understanding to understand the rationale behind the decisions made and the opinions expressed.
Here are some examples of how AI is being used in the legal field:
- Machine learning (ML) and the legal field: Many lawyers work with ML for tasks such as reviewing contracts, contract drafting, and finding errors that might have otherwise been missed by a human lawyer. The discovery aspect of legal work is simplified as it's easy to identify and streamline the documents related to a particular topic. The right AI tool can also be incredibly beneficial when it comes to conducting legal research. Some can even analyse draft arguments to better understand insights or find relevant authority that was previously overlooked, helping to save time along the way.
- Judge bots: A robot lawyer is also being used for predicting legal outcomes. For example, they can accurately determine how likely a successful outcome is for any given lawsuit. This helps lawyers advise clients and can provide further insights into how a case will end up. Some people who practice law are even using judge-bots to help them determine whether they should take on a particular case. More concerningly, judge bots are also being utilised to advise judges on bail and sentencing decisions. As you can imagine, there is a lot of debate around this topic as it's difficult to determine the fairness or accuracy behind these decisions.
- Automated legal scholars: In addition to generating content with natural language, AI can also analyse it. As AI approaches creativity in a fundamentally different way than humans do, the end results for your law practice might be drastically different and beneficial. This is referred to as "emergent behaviour." This could unveil new paths and strategies that could improve your legal marketing content, express new ideas in different ways, or improve other content for your law firm.
What Is ChatGPT?
As we've mentioned, ChatGPT is transforming the practice of law and even replacing lawyers in certain aspects, but do you know what it is? This is a chatbot variation of artificial intelligence and is a variant of GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3) that was founded by a company called Open AI. This is a cutting-edge language model that is designed to take open-ended questions and provide paragraph responses in a short amount of time. As you can imagine, there are many potential benefits of ChatGPT. It gives lawyers and even those in law school the ability to ask questions and gain access to fast answers without having to research to find the same information.
From researching information for a blog post to helping lawyers who need fast answers to questions when they are putting together legal documents, ChatGPT has advanced capabilities that are valuable to legal professionals at all stages of their careers. The results are fast, accurate, and relevant and can save time for law firms who are willing to utilise this tool. Automating these more mundane tasks such as analysis, summarization, and retrieval allows lawyers to focus on other aspects of their legal services.
How Can Lawyers Use Chat GPT?
As we mentioned above, ChatGPT has taken the legal profession by storm. This AI-powered technology helps streamline time-consuming tasks such as tedious research or content generation. In addition to freeing up more time, ChatGPT can also assist when it comes to compliance with professional and ethical guidelines that lawyers must follow. For example, this technology can quickly generate content on professional conduct, making it an invaluable asset that will be used both in the near term and in the future.
ChatGPT for Research and Discovery
The research and discovery process applies to nearly any lawyer. ChatGPT allows lawyers to access large volumes of data and provides the user with relevant results in a few clicks. On top of that, this AI-powered technology is capable of understanding and processing natural language, meaning no matter the idea or topic that lawyers are searching for, they will get accurate results. From locating legal documents to fact-checking before a court case, ChatGPT saves precious time. Lawyers are also responsible for copious amounts of writing which can be time-consuming and tedious. On top of research and discovery, ChatGPT can also be used as a writing aid for legal documents. It allows lawyers to accurately generate summaries and draft documents to improve efficiency and accuracy during the litigation process.
ChatGPT for Lawyers Content Writing
Research and discovery are only one aspect of content creation with which ChatGPT can assist. It operates using a prompt-based system that allows lawyers to put together accurate legal content in a short amount of time. This includes anything from legal marketing content to even drafting documents for businesses in a short amount of time. ChatGPT has access to a large volume of data and quickly analyses it to accurately predict words or phrases that will be the most impactful in any given situation. As a result, lawyers can assemble accurate and persuasive content that can be used in various situations including on their websites or in their briefs, allowing them to stay ahead of their competitors.
ChatGPT for Lawyers: Challenges and Concerns
Despite all the positives and impressive tasks that this technology can accomplish, it's important to explore the challenges ChatGPT poses. On a basic level, there's no way that technology can keep up with how complex the law is. Even though automated responses and simple legal questions are no problem for ChatGPT, it isn't yet capable of understanding complex topics or interpreting dynamic cases the same way that a human can. Law firms who trust ChatGPT for these types of tasks put themselves at risk of passing along incomplete or simply inaccurate information to their clients.
Although it can handle the basics of compliance and ethics, ChatGPT isn't capable of providing nuanced guidance in this realm. Many ethical considerations should be factored in as well; should a non-human entity be providing advice in such an important profession? Even though it is a technology, there are still unfairness and biases to consider. Even internet sources have built-in biases when it comes to expressing viewpoints and preferences, and these could impact the outcome of certain law cases. The last thing that legal professionals want to do is to jeopardise their ethical reputation only to save time.
Finally, consider the practical considerations associated with AI tools such as ChatGPT. Its content has the potential to impact data privacy and security laws compared with human-generated content.
Will AI Replace Lawyers?
Those involved in the legal profession should know that they will not be replaced by artificial intelligence at any point in the near future. Even though this technology offers many benefits to improving various legal tasks, it is not capable of fully replacing the careful guidance of a lawyer. However, law firms are continuing to embrace AI for assistance in areas such as content writing, discovery, research, data compilation, and more.
Despite the upsides, AI simply isn't refined enough to replace lawyers and their expertise. Legal decisions still require the expertise and nuanced opinions of lawyers and judges.
Can Chat GPT Replace Law Practice Management Software?
ChatGPT helps provide insights into certain topics, but it can't replace lawyers or legal practice management software. With Smokeball, we are proud to offer practice management software to assist with your daily operations including time tracking, integrations, identifying opportunities, and so much more.
We encourage you to speak with a Smokeballer to better understand how our software can help you build a more profitable law firm.