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Will ChatGPT Replace Lawyers?

published January 28, 2024

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Will ChatGPT Replace Lawyers?

In recent times, news sites have been inundated with articles about ChatGPT, the AI bot that is making waves in various industries, from programming to law.

Amidst all the buzz, both legal professionals and clients are raising the question: could AI replace lawyers?
In this context, we will introduce you to OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company behind ChatGPT, shed light on the notorious chatbot, and explore the implications of its development for the legal profession.

What is OpenAI?

OpenAI is an artificial intelligence (AI) research and development company focused on creating "highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work." They aim to advance the field of AI in a way that benefits humanity. OpenAI has developed various AI models, and one of their notable creations is ChatGPT, a language generation model. Users can access ChatGPT for free, although at times, high demand may result in limited access.

What is ChatGPT?

Indeed, ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI, capable of providing detailed responses to open-ended text queries. Its training involved reinforcement learning from human feedback, where AI trainers engaged in conversations as both users and AI assistants. The trainers then ranked chatbot responses to guide the model in generating appropriate and contextually relevant answers.
On March 14, 2023, OpenAI introduced GPT-4 as a successor to ChatGPT. GPT-4 is a large, multimodal model that not only processes text but also accepts image inputs. It has demonstrated human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks. For instance, in a simulated bar exam, where ChatGPT performed in the bottom 10%, GPT-4 excelled and scored in the top 10% of test takers.
As of now, GPT-4 is not available to the public, but those interested in gaining access can join the waitlist for future availability.

How do you use ChatGPT?

Certainly, using ChatGPT is straightforward and convenient. Users can interact with ChatGPT by typing in their requests directly on the ChatGPT website or through the WebChatGPT Chrome plugin. Additionally, for those using iPhones, there is a ChatGPT iOS app available.
The tool is versatile, allowing users to ask for a variety of outputs, such as writing a poem, receiving an answer in Shakespearean English, or solving complex math problems. After making a request, users will receive a unique and often surprisingly accurate response directly on the same website or platform they used for input.

What ChatGPT offers lawyers

While ChatGPT is still in the research phase, legal professionals are naturally curious about how it can assist lawyers.
There's no denying that ChatGPT presents opportunities for law firms. It can be employed for various tasks, from generating legal marketing content to drafting legal documents. With the right prompts, the potential benefits of automating writing with AI seem vast.
Furthermore, companies are already exploring the use of GPT technology to support legal clients. For instance, Harvey AI is an AI tool specifically designed for legal work, demonstrating promising results. These developments underscore the role that AI can potentially play in the legal system, although the exact nature of that role is yet to be fully defined.
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Challenges ChatGPT poses for lawyers

Beyond technical limitations, such as the use of electronic devices in the courtroom, ChatGPT faces additional hurdles in the legal sphere.
Firstly, the technology is still in development. Despite its eerily accurate responses, ChatGPT is not a human lawyer.
Furthermore, it is not always accurate, and users have reported receiving incorrect information from the chatbot. ChatGPT has access to information only up until 2021, which contributes to its limitations. Competitors that crawl the web in real-time, like Google Bard, also face the risk of pulling inaccurate information published online.
Lacking the nuance required to consistently produce accurate responses, let alone craft complex legal arguments, it is safe to conclude that—at this stage, at least—ChatGPT is not positioned to replace lawyers.
Indeed, a lawyer's ethical obligations will always take precedence over convenience.
Using AI to argue cases raises ethical considerations, and issues of security, client privacy, and privilege can emerge through data transmission between a law firm and ChatGPT. The storage of personal and conversation data by the chatbot introduces additional concerns. Therefore, lawyers must thoroughly familiarize themselves with ChatGPT's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use before incorporating the service into their practice. Ensuring compliance with ethical standards and safeguarding client information remains a paramount responsibility for legal professionals.

Embracing technology—responsibly—in your law firm

While we have discussed some of the ethical challenges associated with using ChatGPT in a law firm, it's important to recognize that the enthusiastic adoption of technology can have positive effects on a law firm's business performance, as highlighted in the 2020 Legal Trends Report. The incorporation of multiple technologies can have a compounding impact on business performance, influencing both the overall volume of casework and revenue collection.
In essence, the adoption of technologies that streamline routine legal tasks, save time, and allow legal professionals to focus on tasks of greater importance is advantageous for any law firm. However, it is crucial to assess and implement technology responsibly to ensure compliance with ethical obligations and to safeguard the interests of clients. Striking a balance between technological innovation and ethical considerations is key to the successful integration of technology in the legal field.

Will AI replace lawyers? Final thoughts

Indeed, only time will reveal the precise role that ChatGPT may or may not play in the legal profession.
Nevertheless, one thing is certain: adopting technology responsibly can contribute to saving time in managing law firms and has a measurable impact on law firm performance.
With a broad spectrum of over 200 integration partners, legal professionals can create a customized experience tailored to the unique needs of their firms. This diversity of integrations offers the potential to enhance efficiency and streamline various aspects of legal practice, contributing to improved overall performance.

published January 28, 2024

By Author
( 10 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.