[The Viewpoint] How can Lawyers leverage ChatGPT for their practice?

As legal professionals strive to streamline their practice and stay ahead of the curve, many are turning to innovative technology and among the most promising of these tools is ChatGPT.
[The Viewpoint] How can Lawyers leverage ChatGPT for their practice?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly become an essential tool for lawyers around the world, and India is no exception. With the advent of powerful language models like GPT, legal professionals in India can leverage the power of AI to improve their efficiency and achieve better outcomes. In  this article, we explore the many ways in which GPT can be used by lawyers in India and its limitations on the same.

What is ChatGPT?

As legal professionals strive to streamline their practice and stay ahead of the curve, many are turning to innovative technology to improve their efficiency and productivity. Among the most promising of these tools is ChatGPT, a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI, whose goal is to make AI systems more natural and safer to interact with.

For those who do not know about this yet, ChatGPT is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, which is a deep learning model that uses unsupervised learning to  generate human-like text. It is trained on a massive amount of text data, which enables it to understand and generate natural language with a high degree of accuracy and fluency. 

ChatGPT can do a wide range of language tasks such as language translation, text summarization, text completion, text generation, text classification, and question answering.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating if we were to incorporate this tool in our legal practice?

The ChatGPT Advantage

ChatGPT can be used by lawyers in legal research. With GPT's ability to quickly process and  analyze vast amounts of data, lawyers can swiftly identify relevant case law and statutes, saving  precious time and improving the accuracy of their research. This can be especially beneficial in the Indian legal system, where a large volume of legal precedents and statutes exist.

Another area where GPT can help is in document drafting. Whether you are creating contracts, briefs, or pleadings, it can provide valuable assistance by generating clear, coherent text that can  be edited and reviewed by lawyers before final submission. Additionally, the model's predictive coding capabilities can help lawyers quickly and efficiently identify relevant documents during  the discovery process, thus saving time and resources. 

GPT can also aid in summarizing complex legal documents, such as contracts and court rulings, to help lawyers understand and identify key points and arguments. This can be especially useful for those dealing with substantial amounts of information and need to quickly grasp the essential details. Additionally, it can assist in translating legal documents and contracts between languages, which can be particularly useful for international law practices and cross-border transactions. 

In addition to the above, this mighty tool can also assist in writing legal briefs and memorandum by providing suggestions for legal arguments and citations, and it can be used to analyze contracts by identifying key clauses and provisions and providing summaries of the terms and  conditions. 

Furthermore, its document classification capabilities can help lawyers quickly and easily sort and organize large numbers of documents, including those that may be in hard-copy form and need  to be converted using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, a technology that  converts images or scanned documents into text. This can be particularly useful for lawyers who need to classify old or hard-copy documents that may not be in digital form.

Moreover, GPT can also be integrated with voice-enabled devices to provide lawyers with a hands-free way to access legal information and perform research tasks. This can be especially beneficial for those who are always on the move or for those who prefer voice commands over typing. By integrating GPT with voice-enabled devices, lawyers can easily access legal information and perform research tasks without the need for a keyboard or mouse.

Limitations of this AI tool at this point 

As a language model, ChatGPT has some limitations that lawyers should be aware of: 

  1. Lack of legal expertise: While ChatGPT has been trained on a large amount of legal text  data, it does not have the same level of legal expertise as a human lawyer. Lawyers should  always review and verify any information generated by the model before relying on it. 

  2. Limited context awareness: ChatGPT operates based on the input it receives, so its  responses will be limited by the context and information provided. This means that if the  input is incomplete or ambiguous, the model's output may also be incomplete or  ambiguous, as currently, the tool only has data till the year 2021. 

  3. Bias in the training data: ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of text data, which may contain biases. These biases can be reflected in the model's output, which may result in inaccurate or unfair results. 

  4. Limited understanding of legal concepts: Although ChatGPT can understand and generate text in a human-like way, it may not fully understand the legal concepts and terminology used in the text. 

  5. Reliance on the model: It is important to note that ChatGPT is a tool, not a substitute for human lawyers. It can assist lawyers in their work, but it cannot replace the human judgement, creativity, and critical thinking of a lawyer. 

The Way Forward

The use of AI in the legal industry is a boon for the Indian legal system if you take it as a boon. AI based tools like GPT can help lawyers to process copious amounts of data, identify relevant information, and make better-informed decisions quickly and efficiently. It can also help to automate repetitive tasks and reduce the time and resources required to complete them. GPT represents a powerful and versatile tool that can help lawyers to simplify their work and achieve better outcomes.

AI is here to stay, and it is a no brainer. It could be a threat if you take it as a threat. However, the intention of AI is to make your work easier and drive you to become more efficient. Same is  the case with ChatGPT. It does have limitations at this point, and while one should not completely rely on this tool, using it judiciously can pave the way of growth for a lawyer’s practice. Presently, the tool is free to use, and it only makes sense for us to experiment and explore, find out how we can leverage it to our benefit.

Bhavya Bhatt
Bhavya Bhatt

Bhavya Bhatt is a Digital Lead at Commwiser.

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