In a world where technology is evolving at breakneck speed, the legal profession stands at the threshold of an AI-powered revolution. The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on various industries is undeniable, and the legal sector is no exception.
As we witness the dawn of this transformative era, it becomes increasingly evident that the integration of AI technologies can significantly redefine how lawyers operate, enhance their productivity, and unlock a wealth of new opportunities.
As the legal realm adapts to the ever-changing digital landscape, one AI tool has been making waves and demands a prominent spot on every lawyer’s radar: ChatGPT.
Today, we discuss ChatGPT, its use cases, benefits, and challenges in the legal profession.
Read on to understand how you can leverage ChatGPT for lawyers to create a more productive and client-oriented law firm.
What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM) created by OpenAI. It relies on machine learning algorithms to process data and generate answers to human language queries.
This tool can comprehend, process, and respond to human language. In simple terms, ChatGPT is a cutting-edge AI chatbot.
When you ask it a question, it generates a seemingly human response. But this tool offers more than answers.
ChatGPT offers many opportunities for business ventures, including law firms. It has gained widespread popularity since its introduction in November 2022.
In February 2023, ChatGPT surpassed Instagram Threads with more than 100 million users, making it the most rapid-growing consumer app in history (even though Instagram Threads would overtake it in July 2023).
Facebook took almost five years to reach this number.
Individuals use ChatGPT for web coding, develop functional apps, teach abstract ideas, and automate time-consuming workplace tasks. And this is only part of what it is capable of.
ChatGPT scored 297 in the Uniform Bar Exam in March 2023.
Even though this software is in its early stages, it’s reasonable for attorneys to wonder what the future holds for their profession.
As it advances, ChatGPT can become an invaluable resource to improve legal practice and give lawyers a competitive edge.
Will ChatGPT Replace Lawyers?
There’s a higher chance that ChatGPT will increase lawyers’ productivity instead of replacing the need for lawyers.
AI chatbots will change how businesses, including law firms, operate. ChatGPT will bring about changes just like personal computers did.
The most important thing is to learn how to utilize it efficiently.
Lawyers can stay ahead of competitors by becoming early adopters of this tool. Integrating ChatGPT can make your legal firm more efficient and profitable. It can also change your clients’ lives for the better.
ChatGPT for lawyers can boost productivity.
It can handle simple tasks like responding to emails faster. It can complete complex tasks, such as helping you draft a personal injury demand letter.
ChatGPT lets you quickly review and summarize legal studies that would otherwise consume your valuable time.
This increase in productivity means you are moving closer to increasing your law firm’s profitability.
Since AI helps you do more, you can have more free time to serve clients. You can also devote more time to high-value projects than administrative duties with lesser value.
In turn, you may increase client satisfaction by serving them efficiently. This can result in further referrals, expanding your legal practice even further.
ChatGPT for Lawyers Use Cases
ChatGPT will potentially transform the legal industry thanks to its capacity to improve law firm operations.
Here are examples of how it can improve productivity, streamline operations, and provide priceless insights for lawyers.
Draft legal documents
ChatGPT generates text in natural language and is particularly good at writing long-prose documents.
It excels at creating documents with a strict format. That means you can leverage ChatGPT to write official legal documents quickly.
But, always treat ChatGPT-generated documents as rough drafts. The tool is prone to errors, and its outputs are not 100% accurate.
A professional should proofread and edit the AI-generated document before using it for formal purposes. But this takes less time than it would to write an original file.
Review and summarize documents
ChatGPT offers more than text generation. It can fully understand the information you input and pick out the essential details.
That makes it an exceptional tool for summarizing detailed documents like deposition transcripts, discovery files, briefs, etc.
Obtaining a summary is simple. You ask the AI, “Summarize this file,” then paste that file into the dashboard.
You can request a specific kind of summary from it.
For example, you can instruct it to summarize a document in a certain number of bullet points to make it easy to read. Or you can order it to summarize no more than a specific word count.
ChatGPT can also review a document.
For example, you can instruct it to look for logical errors in your drafted brief. Or request it to check for and correct any grammar errors. You can even upload an elaborate mail and instruct it to organize it into actionable items.
The token limit is the greatest challenge when using ChatGPT for reviews and summaries.
The token limit regulates how many characters or words ChatGPT can handle at a go. If your file contains more than the token limit, ChatGPT will only summarize it up to that limit.
The free ChatGPT package has a limit of 4096 tokens, while GPT4, accessible only through the premium ChatGPT Plus package, allows a maximum of 8192 tokens.
Help with legal research
ChatGPT for lawyers can help when conducting research.
ChatGPT can identify court rulings, case law, and precedents since OpenAI trained it on extensive public data collection.
The tool could also help assess and examine such legal inquiries.
However, a significant drawback of utilizing ChatGPT for research is that it has zero access to current affairs on the internet.
It cannot access current case data or any information published from 2021 onwards. OpenAI is developing a browser plugin to enable ChatGPT to perform a web search, but this will only be available to those on paid plans.
For this reason, ChatGPT may be insufficient for legal research.
Transcribe videos and voice notes
You probably think that transcribing notes from a video or audio file is a simple task, but this is the most remarkable use case of ChatGPT.
Imagine recording yourself discussing a current legal dispute using your phone.
Then, minutes later, you get a detailed transcript of this recording alongside a bullet-list summary, plan of action, and follow-up questions.
Even better is that ChatGPT does not limit you to using your voice notes only. You can use any video or audio file with a few adjustments.
That makes it possible to access detailed transcripts of events like depositions, legal meetings, or podcasts you listen to for personal growth.
Reply to emails
Answering emails can consume so much of an attorney’s time. ChatGPT can change that.
Following the abovementioned procedures, you can copy and paste an email into this software. You can then instruct it to make a summary for you.
Afterward, you can ask it to draft a reply to that email. You may notice a decline in time spent replying to emails after developing a prompt that suits you.
But that’s only one of the ways to use ChatGPT to assist with your emails. You can simplify the process further using third-party tools.
How to Achieve the Best Outcomes from ChatGPT
Before diving headfirst into leveraging ChatGPT, beware that this tool has drawbacks.
ChatGPT for lawyers is far from perfect. The information it provides you is not always accurate.
Remember to fact-check and take its output with a pinch of salt.
AI language models tend to “hallucinate” or fabricate things. That’s why human instruction is needed to use AI tools.
You can restrict the probable results by avoiding open-ended questions in your prompts.
Providing more context about the task you want it to complete can also help. Doing this will help the tool deliver outcomes that almost meet your expectations.
The Bottom Line
ChatGPT provides an unparalleled opportunity to modernize your practice and stay ahead of competition.
Integrating it into routine tasks can increase profitability, productivity, and client satisfaction.
ChatGPT has challenges, but embracing its potential as an early adopter can significantly improve legal practice.
At PALO, we leverage the power of technology to generate high-quality case leads for attorneys.
We run highly compliant pay-per-call campaigns that ensure your office phone never stops ringing. Our primary objective is to ensure you focus on what matters most; practicing law.
Contact us today to learn how we can move your law firm to the next level.