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ChatGPT and Generative AI Legal Research Guide

Use of Generative AI by Lawyers and Law Firms

Attorneys Say AI Is More Promising Than Concerning, Lighthouse, Sarah Moran, April 4, 2024.

A recent survey of 268 eDiscovery professionals found widespread familiarity with generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot, though only 20% reported their company/firm had adopted such AI business tools so far. Despite limited organizational adoption, there is broad interest in exploring AI for eDiscovery, with 87% expressing interest and over half having a positive attitude about AI's potential impact on the legal industry. The top perceived benefit was using AI to improve efficiency, scalability and outcomes of legal work. However, data security/privacy was a major concern raised. Many saw promise in leveraging AI to enhance document review and organization for eDiscovery, but stressed the need for strong oversight and policies to mitigate risks like breaching confidentiality or privilege. As the AI landscape rapidly evolves, the survey captures current attitudes and usage trends as legal professionals navigate responsibly incorporating AI capabilities into their work.

"Maybe We've Got The Artificial Intelligence In Law 'Problem' All Wrong", Above the Law, Joe Patrice, April 2, 2024.

The recent cases of lawyers submitting briefs with erroneous citations generated by ChatGPT have raised concerns about the role of AI in law. However, the "AI problem" framing may be misguided. The core issue is not the technology itself, but lawyers failing to properly verify their work, which is a professional responsibility regardless of the source. Rather than regulating AI or trying to make it more human-like, a different perspective is proposed: embrace AI's non-human nature. Instead of striving to replicate human judgment, AI could be valued for its ability to process vast amounts of information mechanically and deliver it to lawyers for evaluation. This reframing positions AI not as a flawed human surrogate, but as a powerful analytical tool complementing human legal expertise. By making AI more "artificial" again and leveraging its computational strengths, the legal field could harness its potential while maintaining professional standards of diligence.

Legal Workers Use AI for Research, Despite Red Flags, Bloomberg Law, Stephanie Pacheco, April 4, 2024.

Despite critiques, legal professionals are increasingly using generative AI for legal research, according to Bloomberg Law's 2024 Legal Operations and Technology survey. Among the 46% of respondents who have used AI for work, legal research was the most common application, doubling other tasks except drafting/templating communication. While recent headlines have highlighted attorney blunders and court sanctions related to AI-generated "caselaw," this scrutiny is part of the necessary process of technology adoption in the legal industry, similar to the adoption of eDiscovery and technology-assisted review. Usability concerns surrounding generative AI-powered legal research can only be adequately addressed through exploration by law firms, in-house legal departments, and courts. The survey results will be available on Bloomberg Law's Surveys, Reports, and Data Analysis page, alongside previous years' reports.

Why Our Law Firm Bans Generative AI for Research and Writing, Bloomberg Law, Peter Winders, February 28, 2024.

Peter Winders from Carlton Fields outlines the firm's policy against using generative AI for legal documents. He argues that AI's tendency to "hallucinate" makes it unreliable for tasks requiring accuracy and critical thinking. Despite potential uses for summarizing work, the unique requirements of legal arguments and the necessity for thorough analysis render AI-generated work insufficient. Winders emphasizes the importance of genuine legal reasoning over the efficiency AI might offer, highlighting the inherent risks of relying on AI for legal briefs and arguments.

Customizing AI to Specific Legal Practice Areas, Above the Law, Olga V. Mack, January 24, 2024

This article discusses the customization of artificial intelligence (AI) in different legal practice areas. It highlights how AI tools, initially generic, are increasingly being tailored to specific legal fields, enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness. The article emphasizes the importance of this customization for legal practitioners, as it allows AI tools to better understand and analyze the nuances and complexities of different legal domains. The piece also touches on the potential challenges and considerations in implementing these specialized AI tools, including the need for ongoing training and updates to ensure they remain accurate and relevant to the evolving legal landscape.

New Survey Reveals Growing Adoption for AI in Legal Teams, MarketScreener, January 16, 2024

The article reports on a survey by OpenText and the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, revealing significant AI adoption in legal teams. The survey highlights that 91% of general counsels view technology as crucial for legal strategy, with AI playing a key role in enhancing workflow efficiency and decision-making. The main advantages seen in AI are time-saving for high-value work (60% of respondents) and boosting productivity (55%). A large portion (72%) notes the increasing importance of the Chief Information Officer in legal innovation. However, 40% cite a lack of IT collaboration as a barrier to adopting AI tech. The survey underscores the evolving role of general counsels, from legal advisors to strategic partners, with responsibilities expanding to areas like cybersecurity and data privacy. This shift necessitates embracing AI to handle increased data complexity and cyberthreats, emphasizing technology as an essential tool in modern legal departments.

Is AI Friend or Foe: Legal Implications of Rapid Artificial Intelligence Adoption, beSpacific, Sabrina I. Pacifici, January 14, 2024

This article explores the legal implications of the swift adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). It discusses the dual nature of AI as both a potential ally and adversary in various sectors, particularly in legal contexts. The primary focus is on the challenges and opportunities presented by AI in legal practices, including issues of ethics, liability, and regulatory compliance. The article delves into the complexities of integrating AI into legal systems, highlighting the need for a balanced approach to leverage its benefits while mitigating risks. The piece underscores the importance of ongoing research and dialogue among legal professionals, technologists, and policymakers to navigate the evolving landscape of AI in law.

Chief Justice Roberts: 'Legal Research May Soon Be Unimaginable' Without AI, Joe Hindy, PC, January 2, 2024 

In his year-end report, Chief Justice John Roberts addressed the role of AI in the legal system. He acknowledged AI's potential to greatly enhance access to information for both legal professionals and the public, especially benefiting those with limited resources. However, Roberts stressed the need for caution and humility in using AI, highlighting risks such as privacy invasion, dehumanizing the law, and generating incorrect data. He cited instances of AI producing fake legal citations, raising concerns about its use in criminal cases due to issues like due process, reliability, and potential bias. Roberts emphasized the ongoing public perception of a 'human-AI fairness gap', suggesting a preference for human judgment over AI outputs. 

Some Attorneys Are Using ChatGPT to Help Them Practice More Efficiently, ABA Journal, October 2023

The article discusses how some attorneys are using ChatGPT, a generative AI language model, to help them practice more efficiently. ChatGPT can be used to generate legal documents, such as contracts and briefs, as well as to answer legal questions. The article notes that while ChatGPT can be a useful tool for attorneys, it is not without its limitations. For example, the model may not always produce accurate or relevant results.

The Path to Generative AI Proficiency for Legal Professionals, Above the Law, Nicole Black, October 5, 2023

The rapid advancement of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools like Large Language Model (LLM) chatbots is transforming the legal domain. Legal professionals and educational institutions are keen on understanding and leveraging this technology. A focal point is the art of crafting effective prompts to interact with these tools, as prompt engineering significantly impacts the quality of generated responses. While evolving GAI technologies might soon auto-generate prompts, understanding this aspect remains crucial for troubleshooting and optimizing interactions, akin to knowing Boolean inputs for legal research. Law schools and firms are offering various educational programs to equip individuals with essential GAI knowledge, ensuring they stay updated with this swift technological evolution.

Legal Gets Candid About How Gen AI Is Actually Being Used, Legaltech News, Stephanie Wilkins, October 5, 2023

This article provides insights from legal tech experts on current practical applications of generative AI in legal practices. It finds the technology is being used for tasks like drafting basic contracts, memos, and other documents. Other uses include conducting legal research, answering client questions, and reviewing documents for relevance. However, experts emphasize lawyers must still properly train, validate, and take responsibility for any AI outputs. The article discusses challenges around effectively training generative models on quality legal data and case law. There are also concerns about the risks of overreliance on AI. Guidelines are still emerging around the ethical integration of generative AI in legal work to enhance productivity while ensuring oversight.

Some Attorneys Are Using ChatGPT to Help Them Practice More Efficiently, ABA Journal, October 2023

The article discusses how some attorneys are using ChatGPT, a generative AI language model, to help them practice more efficiently. ChatGPT can be used to generate legal documents, such as contracts and briefs, as well as to answer legal questions. The article notes that while ChatGPT can be a useful tool for attorneys, it is not without its limitations. For example, the model may not always produce accurate or relevant results.

'Aware But Wary': How GCs Are Approaching Generative AI, Law360, Michele Gorman, September 28, 2023

In-house lawyers exhibit a cautious stance towards generative artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, per a survey by Lowenstein Sandler LLP and the New Jersey Association of Corporate Counsel. While recognizing AI's potential in boosting productivity and streamlining tasks, most respondents haven't integrated it into their corporate law departments, primarily due to a lack of understanding and training on the technology. About 64% haven't used AI for legal tasks. The report underscores the importance of comprehending AI's limitations and potential risks to effectively harness its benefits, urging the need for education to navigate the associated challenges and optimize its application in legal settings.

AI Chatbots Can Help Lawyers — If They Do Their Homework, Law360, Matt Perez, September 14, 2023

In a recent webinar hosted by EDRM Global Inc, experts discussed the potential of large language models like OpenAI's ChatGPT in aiding legal efficiency while stressing the importance for attorneys to understand the licensing and data usage to avoid breaching attorney-client privilege. The panel clarified misconceptions, like the model's data retention, and compared the technology's evolution to that of emails and phone lines in legal practice. They emphasized understanding the technology to evaluate its risks accurately. A notable concern was ChatGPT's capacity to "hallucinate" without precise data, urging lawyers to supply specific documents and review generated content to prevent inaccuracies like the recent disciplinary case in New York.

Survey Released Today Finds That 40% Of Legal Professionals Use or Plan to Use Generative AI, LawNext, Bob Ambrogi, August 21, 2023

The article discusses how a recent survey conducted by Everlaw in partnership with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) found that 40% of legal professionals use or plan to use generative AI. The survey also found that the most common use cases for generative AI are document review, contract analysis, and legal research. The article highlights that while generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the legal industry, it is essential to navigate its capabilities and limitations with finesse.

Gunderson Dettmer Launches Internal Generative AI Chat App, Law306, Matt Perez, August 9, 2023

Gunderson Dettmer launched an open-source AI chat application, ChatGD, built on OpenAI's large language model, aiming to boost its in-house legal staff's efficiency in handling documents. The firm emphasized the use of open-source technology and internal guidelines to ensure client confidentiality and accurate filings. The move comes amidst a growing integration of AI in the legal sector, with contrasting outcomes; a notable mishap involved attorneys being sanctioned for relying on AI-generated, inaccurate legal briefs. Despite such setbacks, the firm, along with others, continues exploring AI's potential in revolutionizing legal operations and addressing pertinent legal concerns surrounding AI technology.

Generative AI Is The Hot New Practice At Law Firms, Law360, May 12, 2023

Law firms, including DLA Piper and Troutman Pepper, are establishing or reconfiguring practices to focus on generative artificial intelligence (AI), which uses algorithms to create new text, voices, images, and videos based on existing data. The rise of generative AI has led to a demand for attorneys with expertise in data analytics or regulatory matters. Firms are advising clients on the legal and ethical implications of AI systems, addressing concerns such as algorithmic bias and privacy issues. While generative AI presents opportunities for lawyers to enhance their capabilities, industry professionals emphasize the importance of understanding both the technology and the legal and ethical considerations. The multidisciplinary nature of AI law requires collaboration among experts in privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property, employment law, and corporate governance. Attorneys with technical backgrounds or a passion for AI are sought after in this growing field. Regulatory bodies are also taking notice, with joint statements from various organizations expressing concerns about AI's impact on civil rights, consumer protection, and fair competition.

Troutman Pepper Launches Generative AI Task Force, Law360, Tracey Read, May 10, 2023

Troutman Pepper has established a Generative AI Task Force to ensure safe utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) tools within the firm and for its clients. Led by Chief Innovation Officer William Gaus among others, the 16-member task force aims to leverage the firm's existing AI work across various sectors, focusing on awareness, education, research, and development of AI technologies. The initiative also involves practical engagements with AI applications like Casetext's GPT-4 powered tool, CoCounsel. By fostering a compliant and secure environment for AI adoption, the task force endeavors to meet legal and ethical obligations while addressing the growing inquiries around AI from different practice areas within the firm.

Allen & Overy Integrates ChatGPT-Style Chatbot to Boost Legal Work, Global Legal Post, February 16, 2023

This article describes how Allen & Overy partnered with a startup backed by OpenAI to integrate a chatbot named Harvey that uses the same model as ChatGPT. The article states that Harvey can work in multiple languages and across different practice areas. The article also mentions some benefits of using Harvey such as cost savings, quality improvement and client satisfaction.