AI, or Not to AI? It seems that everyone, including lawyers, are jumping on the AI bandwagon. Just because ChatGPT and Bard are free to use, is AI a smart addition to your day-to-day practice? AI has some advantages, limitations, ethical considerations, and could even get you disbarred.

AI can enhance your efficiency by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as legal research, document review and contract analysis. AI can be used to streamline your workflows, allowing you to concentrate your time on complex and strategic aspects of your practice.

AI tools can contribute to cost savings by automating routine tasks, reducing your need for manual labor. This could lead to more cost-effective legal services, benefiting both your firm and your clients.

Artificial Intelligence can analyze vast amounts of data with speed and accuracy, much faster than humans and can even provide valuable insights for case strategy, predictive analytics, and decision-making.

AI can even power chatbots and virtual assistants which can help you provide quick responses to clients. This can help your client relationships by improving your overall customer service.

Other things that AI can do for legal professionals are legal research, legal developments, and can access vast amounts of legal information regarding precedents, regulations, and case law.

Just because AI can do all the wonderful things above make sure to consider these factors.

As a lawyer you must consider that the use of AI is ethical and meets your legal obligations. Are you letting your client know that you are using AI? AI should be a tool to augment your work, but you should not replace your work with AI. As a lawyer you must exercise professional judgment and critically evaluate AI generated outputs. Not to mention keeping your client’s data and privacy secure. Don’t forget that if you input data in AI, it is storing that information and could be available to anyone in the future.

A big issue with AI is that AI is prone to fabricating facts. There are already cases where attorneys have used AI and documents were submitted to the court with fake lawsuit citations. These well documented cases have led to sanctions, apologies, and even job loss. Is disbarment far behind? One court in Texas has already issued a standing order requiring anyone appearing before the court to attest if AI was used or not and flag anything that was. Reuters, CBS, ABA, NY Times.

Don’t think this problem is just going to go away. There are recent cases from 2024, including high profile lawyers that have used AI that made up cases.

So, should you use AI or Not? I asked an AI just this question. The results were that there are both benefits and challenges to using AI in the law according to the responses I got. Of course, AI is going to tell you to use AI. However, you must be sure that the results are not made up and that your client’s data security is safe. Carefully consider your legal and ethical implications. AI may be a great tool, but in 2024 it still is not a lawyer replacement.

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