Unless you’ve been hiding under a social media rock, you have probably heard about the most recent phenomenon, ChatGPT. So far over the past few weeks, its been called “the killer of SEO”, “the future of marketing”, and “Skynet”. In this article, I will discuss what ChatGPT is, the potential uses for attorneys and law firms, as well as my opinions.
What is ChatGPT?
Chat GPT is a large language model and is capable of generating human-like text in response to a given prompt.
Basically, you can ask it a question and it will respond like a human. The more you refine your questions, the better your results will be. This potentially makes it useful for a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.
It can also be used to generate creative writing, such as stories or poems, and can even be used to answer questions and provide information on a wide range of topics.
Let’s look at a ChatGPT Example
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about yet, let’s look at two examples:
- Using ChatGPT to make sense of legal jargon.
In this example I will look at Florida Statutes Title XXXVII. Insurance § 627.7311. Effect of law on personal injury protection policies
The text itself states, “The provisions and procedures authorized in ss. 627.730-627.7405 shall be implemented by insurers offering policies pursuant to the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law. The Legislature intends that these provisions and procedures have full force and effect regardless of their express inclusion in an insurance policy form, and a specific provision or procedure authorized in ss. 627.730-627.7405 shall control over general provisions in an insurance policy form. An insurer is not required to amend its policy form or to expressly notify providers, claimants, or insureds in order to implement and apply such provisions or procedures.”
I can copy and paste this into ChatGPT with this command:
“Summarize this at an 8th grade reading level”
The response is:
In Florida, car insurance companies must follow certain rules and procedures when offering policies under the state’s no-fault car insurance law. These rules and procedures are described in sections 627.730-627.7405 of the law, and they apply to all insurance companies, even if they are not included in the policy form. Insurance companies do not need to change their policy forms or notify anyone in order to follow these rules and procedures.
And I can try another prompt: “Can you summarize that for a 3rd grade reading level?”
I am given this:
Sure, here is a summary at a third-grade reading level: In Florida, car insurance companies have to follow certain rules when they give out policies. These rules are called “provisions and procedures” and they are in the state’s no-fault car insurance law. Insurance companies don’t have to change their policies or tell anyone about the rules, they just have to follow them.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a potential great use for understanding things better, like Elon Musk’s tweets.
- Another example is article or information writing. Let’s look at this example:
I asked Chat GPT to write me an article on this topic: what is the statute of limitations in California for a personal injury case”
This was the output was a 282 article on the topic listed below for you to review:
The statute of limitations is a time limit for filing a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury. This means that if you have been injured in an accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations may be different for different types of injuries and accidents. For example, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in California is three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date the injury was discovered, whichever is longer.
If you have been injured in an accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the statute of limitations that applies to your case and ensure that your rights are protected.
In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended. For example, if the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until the child turns 18. In other cases, the statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or paused, if the injured person is unable to file a lawsuit due to mental or physical incapacity.
It’s important to remember that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and if you miss it, you may be unable to seek compensation for your injuries. That’s why it’s so important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney can help you understand the applicable time limits and ensure that your rights are protected.
So it seems pretty promising right?
At first glance and review, it’s honestly amazing. But before you get too excited, it’s important to understand some of the limitations. Here are a few I have found so far.
- Some responses are kind of boring. You can use prompts like “use natural language” or “write like a human,” to refine things, but some responses sound like they came from a drunk Alexa. This brings me to the next problem.
- It’s overconfident. It will answer a question as fact without necessarily being sure it’s 100% correct. This is probably the biggest problem the technology faces.
- It’s not unique. You know the importance of unique content. The problem is, if you’re thinking of using this for things you want indexed in Google, you may want to think again. Google is not a fan of AI content from what I have seen and it’s an easy way to introduce a lot of duplicate content on your website.
- It’s all the same dataset. It doesn’t crawl the web (yet) or get information from anywhere other than it’s dataset, so some uses are not great.
What are the potential problems with ChatGPT for legal firms?
As with any technology, there are potential drawbacks and limitations to using ChatGPT. One potential issue is that ChatGPT is a large language model, so it can be computationally expensive to run and may require significant amounts of computing power. Additionally, ChatGPT is a statistical model, so it is not capable of understanding the underlying meaning or context of the text it generates, which can lead to nonsensical or irrelevant outputs.
Another potential problem with ChatGPT is that, because it is trained on a large dataset of human-generated text, it may reproduce biased or offensive language that it has learned from that data. This can be particularly problematic if ChatGPT is used to generate text for sensitive applications, such as in healthcare or finance.
Overall, while ChatGPT is a powerful tool for generating human-like text, it is important to carefully consider its potential limitations and potential biases when using it for any application.
But there are still plenty of potential uses for ChatGPT for law firms
Here are some that might be good for legal aids in your office to try out.
- Automating responses to frequently asked questions about legal topics, such as eligibility for legal aid services or the steps involved in a particular type of legal case
- Providing legal information or assistance to clients, such as helping them understand their rights or the options available to them in a particular situation
- Assisting attorneys with legal research and document generation, such as by generating drafts of legal documents or summarizing relevant legal precedents
- Helping to identify patterns or trends in legal cases, such as by analyzing large datasets of legal documents to identify common issues or potential areas of concern
And here are some potential legal marketing uses for it.
- Generating website content, such as blog posts or articles, that provides helpful information to potential clients
- Creating social media posts that promote the firm’s services and expertise
- Writing email newsletters or other communications that keep clients and potential clients informed about developments in the law or the firm’s services
- Assisting with search engine optimization (SEO) by generating relevant keywords and meta descriptions for the firm’s website
Overall, ChatGPT could be a valuable tool for law firms looking to improve their marketing efforts and reach more potential clients.
Overall, I think this is an amazing product with amazing potential. In some ways it will change marketing forever but not quite yet. At Juris Digital we’re doing extensive testing with this to see where it can play in to make us more efficient and reach our mission of of helping more lawyers sign better cases. I don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet, and our agency still relies on talented attorney-writers to create unique, SEO-friendly content. But, I will say that ChatGPT wrote some of this article. Can you tell which parts?