In recent years, the legal industry has seen a significant transformation, due to the integration of advanced technologies.
Among these, ChatGPT stands out as a new tool, reshaping how legal professionals approach their work. Here, we dive deep into the perspectives of industry experts and ask them the question ‘how has ChatGPT affected the legal industry?’
Here’s what they had to say…
- Luke Budka, AI Director at Definition
- Kiran Mann, Trainee Solicitor
- Liam McMonagle, IP Specialist and Partner at Thorntons
- Jaeger Glucina, MD and Chief of Staff at Luminance
- Nicolaas Matthijs, Vice President of Product Management, Anthology
- Sally Mewies, Partner In The Tech & Digital Team at Walker Morris
- Robert Taylor, CEO and General Counsel of 360 Law Group
Luke Budka, AI Director at Definition
“This sector is ripe for disruption. In a lot of ways it will level the playing field and help smaller firms compete. You will no longer need teams of lawyers pouring over documentation when you can train a large language model on all case law within a jurisdiction (something I imagine is already happening).
“Likewise, genAI helps smaller firms quickly produce legal documents and existing LLMs can be ‘trained’ with simple prompt engineering to review items such as contracts for unfavourable terms. Whoever manages documentation within the bigger law firms needs to lead the prompt engineering efforts. It’s also imperative firms are aware of the risks involved in leaking confidential documentation via unregulated genAI use – they’re only going to get that wrong once.”
Kiran Mann, Trainee Solicitor
“In my opinion ChatGPT has had an overall positive impact on the legal industry especially for legal individuals working in house. However, it should be seen as merely a tool to make life easier when doing simple tasks such as generic policy writing. Just like many other legal tools it should be used as just that a tool to aid you in your task and should not be used as the primary source of truth, especially as ChatGPT and other generative
“AI tools are not trained on the latest data. With the law ever evolving and changing ChatGPT would not have access to the most recent drafts and publications of laws and regulations, therefore whilst the overall impact is positive as it can increase efficiency and minimise the time being spent on non-complex matters it isn’t a something that should replace or dimmish the role of a lawyer or other legal professionals.”
Liam McMonagle, IP Specialist and Partner at Thorntons
“Music has always been created through human ingenuity with some musicians and composers viewed among the most creative and inventive people who have ever lived. However, this may all be about to change as ongoing developments and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the arts and culture industry, particularly music, beyond recognition.
“AI tools can be instructed to generate almost limitless quantities of musical works in response to general directions or parameters.
“This is disruptive to the music industry but thankfully the legal framework to enable it is already in place. Unlike other countries, UK copyright law protects computer-generated works. The Government has consulted on how AI should be dealt with in the patent and copyright systems but this has not resulted in any proposals to change the law significantly in these areas.
“Music copyright protects literary works as well as sound recordings. Music and lyrics, even if computer-generated, also need to be ‘original’ but not sound recordings. Tricky to establish in relation to AI-generated music and may soon be tested in court.
“The owner of music copyright in music is the composer or writer. When computer-generated, the owner is assumed as the person who instructed the arrangement/directed the AI.
“This has potential to change the way music is recorded and consumed hugely, it could make home taping, Napster or streaming look modest.
“High-profile recording artists will likely be more engaged in protecting their likenesses and may lobby for the law to protect performing or musical styles, likenesses and a wider range of interests more strictly.”
For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.
Jaeger Glucina, MD and Chief of Staff at Luminance
“ChatGPT and other generalist AI models have significantly impacted the legal industry, introducing radical change and opportunity. However, one notable concern persists: AI ‘hallucinations’ that can see these models generate plausible yet fundamentally incorrect outputs. In the legal sphere, this can manifest as the citation of non-existent cases and precedents – we are surely all by now familiar with the cautionary tale of a New York lawyer who cited invented case law in court.
“This infamous story is a perfect example why, instead of a source of fact, ChatGPT and other generalist models should be thought of as a well-read friend who can converse on a wide range of subjects but not an expert in any particular field. The takeaway is clear: legal professionals need to be extremely discerning in how they use generalist AI in their work.
“In some ways, ChatGPT has opened the legal industry’s eyes to AI’s potential, and this could have a transformative impact. But it has also come to realise that ChatGPT’s generalist nature falls short in meeting the levels of accuracy and reliability demanded by the legal field. Instead, there is an increasing acknowledgment that a more tailored and expert-focused approach is necessary to fully leverage the benefits of AI in law, mitigating the risks associated with generalised models. In 2024, we will see lawyers placing their trust in specialised AI that has been intensively trained over verified data – this will be the true blueprint for an AI-enabled future.”
Nicolaas Matthijs, Vice President of Product Management, Anthology
“In 2024, the discussion around artificial intelligence in higher education will focus on identifying areas where generative AI can solve real day-to-day problems while also recognizing the areas where it may not be appropriate or that haven’t been fruitful, like AI detection. We’re just now seeing the first snowflakes of what will be an avalanche of instructional creativity, unlocked by AI.
“AI will serve as a creative sounding board for instructors, helping turn what starts as an idea jotted down in the margins of a notebook into a novel approach to a lesson or an entirely new teaching strategy. It will help brainstorm and push instructors to rethink how they perform knowledge checks or other elements of their course. AI will power a new version of testing, enabling instructors to more efficiently assess the application of knowledge. The more authentic assessment methods AI will power better align to how learners will use skills in their future workplace, preparing them for the career they sought when they enrolled.
“In all, 2024 will be the first major steps toward the future of higher education – where instructors are more hands on with learners than ever, where creativity powers a fresh look at everything, and more authentic assessment is better preparing learners for the jobs they seek. It’s a given that future employers will expect students to leverage AI as part of the workforce. In 2024, we’ll also see institutions deploy the first successful methods of responsibly engaging students with generative AI so they better understand its strengths and weaknesses.”
Sally Mewies, Partner In The Tech & Digital Team at Walker Morris
“ChatGPT is just another step along the way for automation of legal processes. The functionality of generative AI gives law firms the opportunity to search for information and create documents more quickly than can be done manually. Many law firms are looking at, and in some cases using, enterprise generative AI solutions and there is no doubt that they can generate efficiencies.
“But firms need governance frameworks in place to ensure that models are being used safely; i.e in a way that does not infringe third party or client rights and has been trained on accurate data. Lawyers require quality output which is accurate, and gen-AI is only as good as the data that has trained it. This is something lawyers need to keep in mind. If a gen-AI tool is trained on final negotiated contracts, for example, then those contracts are likely to have a bias towards the party that held the stronger position in that negotiation.”
Robert Taylor, CEO and General Counsel of 360 Law Group
“When my Chief Operating Officer (COO) first introduced me to ChatGPT, I must admit I was a sceptic. The idea of artificial intelligence infiltrating the realm of law seemed far-fetched. However, after a few months of exploration, I discovered that AI, particularly ChatGPT, was not only a powerful tool but also an essential part of our everyday activities at the firm.
“Intriguingly, Chat GPT has seamlessly integrated into our workflow, proving invaluable in various aspects of our practice. From drafting emails and letters to communicating with clients and consultants, to proofreading documents drafted by hand, ChatGPT has become an indispensable assistant. It even assists in generating outline drafts of complex clauses that are not readily available through our third-party precedent provider. Obviously, privacy is essential, so confidential details are never included.
“In addition to ChatGPT, our firm has adopted third-party AI solutions to check contract drafts for accuracy and compliance. Overall, the benefits of AI in our firm are clear. It has enabled us to handle complex tasks more efficiently, reduce human error, and provide more cost-effective legal solutions to our clients. While I can’t speak for other law firms, I can confidently say that AI has transformed the way we operate and positioned us to thrive in an ever-evolving legal landscape.”