How will ChatGPT impact the work we do as lawyers?

a person holding a cell phone with a chat app on the screen
Photo by Sanket Mishra on Unsplash

This is the burning question on all our minds, so we asked ChatGPT how it ‘thinks’ it will impact the work we do.

Here’s what ChatGPT said:

‘Chat GPT has the potential to impact the work of lawyers in several ways:

  1. Legal research: Lawyers spend a significant amount of time conducting legal research to find relevant case law, statutes, regulations, and legal precedents. Chat GPT can assist in this process by providing quick access to vast amounts of legal information. Lawyers can ask questions in natural language and receive relevant legal information, which can help streamline the research process and save time.
  2. Document drafting: Lawyers often need to draft various legal documents, including contracts, agreements, pleadings, and letters. Chat GPT can aid in this task by providing suggestions, templates, and examples. Lawyers can interact with the model to generate initial drafts or review and edit existing documents, leveraging its language generation capabilities to improve efficiency and accuracy.
  3. Legal advice and client communication: Chat GPT can provide lawyers with a tool to communicate with clients, answering general legal questions or providing preliminary advice. While it’s important to note that AI models cannot replace the expertise and nuanced judgment of human lawyers, they can offer initial guidance and help clients understand legal concepts in a more accessible way.
  4. Due diligence and contract analysis: Lawyers often conduct due diligence investigations and review contracts to identify risks, obligations, and legal implications. Chat GPT can assist by analyzing contracts and highlighting key provisions, potential issues, or legal considerations. It can aid lawyers in efficiently reviewing large volumes of documents, extracting relevant information, and identifying potential red flags.
  5. Training and professional development: Chat GPT can serve as a valuable educational tool for law students, junior associates, and even experienced lawyers. It can provide interactive learning experiences, offer hypothetical scenarios for legal analysis, and assist in practicing legal arguments or negotiation techniques. This can contribute to ongoing professional development and legal knowledge enhancement.

While Chat GPT can offer significant benefits to lawyers, it’s important to note that it should be used as a tool to augment our work, rather than replace human judgment and legal expertise. Ethical considerations, data security, and the need for human oversight remain crucial aspects of integrating AI into the legal profession.

In short, ChatGPT doesn’t think it will replace lawyers (yet!), rather it will be used as a tool to improve the way we work and the quality of our output (phew!). Currently, it is far from perfect and its responses can be problematic at times, though it is available for free and always learning. Although it is trained on large amounts of data, we have to ask ourselves whether we can be confident that the information it churns out is the most up-to-date or relevant to the legal issue.

In addition, as lawyers, the work we do and the advice we give is largely dependent on our own experiences and personal judgement, which is what helps us deliver the best possible service and advice to our clients. As it stands, ChatGPT cannot replicate our knowledge, personal/ethical/moral judgement and experiences, and therefore its uses are currently limited. Crucially, it also lacks the ability to understand the nuances of our client’s businesses and the industries in which our clients operate. That’s not to suggest it isn’t and won’t be useful as there is very little doubt that it will continue to enhance the efficiencies and effectiveness of the tasks we perform over time, helping to compliment the work we do as legal professionals and not replace us entirely.

The emergence of tools like ChatGPT makes legal services a really exciting space to be. It’s likely we will see a range of tools that will support us to be more efficient and we’re interested to see how the technology develops over the coming months and years.

Tend Legal