AI’s Impact on the Legal Industry

Date: October 26, 2023

The explosive growth in generative AI has had an impact across various industries, and the legal one is no different. AI has been both positive and negative for the legal industry, so let’s dive into what the impact looks like so far and what we can expect in the future. 

The Positive Impact of AI on the Legal Industry 

Attorneys are busy people, as you know. So the major positive impact of AI on the industry is that it can help make attorneys and firms more efficient. For example, there is AI software like Case Text which can help with document review, legal research memos, deposition preparation, and contract analysis.

AI can also be used on time-consuming tasks such as legal research, document analysis, and proofreading existing documents, saving attorneys and paralegals an abundance of valuable time they can use to help even more clients seek justice. 

Additionally, AI can be used for your law firm’s marketing efforts, including its use as a tool to help with content creation, utilizing predictive analytics, AI chatbots, and so much more!

Clearly, AI has many helpful uses for the legal industry especially in terms of increasing efficiency and productivity. While AI may seem like sunshine and rainbows, unfortunately there are some negative impacts you should consider, as well. 

The Negative Impact of AI on the Legal Industry 

As we’ve discussed all the great things AI can and is doing for the legal industry, we would be remiss if we did not discuss some of the pitfalls to be aware of when it comes to AI in the legal industry. One major setback of AI for the legal industry is the inaccuracies and false information that come with it. Did you know that GPT3, which is the free version of ChatGPT, is trained on a language model from 2021? This means that the information it is providing you is outdated by two years and counting (depending on when you are reading this article). With laws constantly evolving and changing as the years go on, this is something incredibly important you and your firm need to be aware of when incorporating AI into your operations.  

Another setback of AI is the lack of the human element. This is specifically relevant if you are using AI software such as ChatGPT or any other AI software or tool to help write content for your firm. This is key because ultimately, if you invest in law firm SEO services, while you want to appeal to a search engine so you rank higher, your ultimate audience is people. With that said, would you want to read some generic blog, or something with personality and relevant stories? The answer is clear. This is why it’s so important to use AI as a co-captain instead of letting the AI steer the ship. It’s important that you lead the charge, adding your own flavor and personality to any content produced. 

Additionally, while this may not necessarily be classified as negative with the rise of AI, specifically generative AI like ChatGPT and DALL-E, there have been a handful of lawsuits regarding copyright. In fact, the US Copyright Office has invited the public to comment on a variety of topics pertaining to AI and copyrighted works. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of this but my bet is this will likely lead to new laws and regulations that IP attorneys will need to be aware of as AI becomes more prevalent in our society. 

What Does the Future Hold For AI and the Legal Industry 

AI and large language models are constantly evolving. Because of this, it is hard to say confidently what the future will hold for AI and the legal industry, but what we do know is that you can make AI your friend. Use it to help make your law firm more efficient, but as always be sure to always check the accuracy of the work it produces. I recently attended a webinar where one of the speakers referred to AI as an unpaid intern with unlimited hours, which I think is a great way to look at things. 

While we’ve only touched on the surface of some of the impacts AI has had and will continue to have on the legal industry, it’s important for your firm to stay up to date and see how AI can make a difference for you. If you have any questions on how AI could impact your law firm, feel free to contact our team today!