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  • Writer's pictureThe Law Office of Dailey & Pratt

Leveraging Generative AI in Law Firms: Enhancing Client Services

Many of us are now aware of major technological innovations that have been brewing for several years known as artificial intelligence (AI). The launch of the consumer-facing “ChatGPT” service made many consumers aware, for the first time, of the capacities of “generative AI” and “large language models” (LLMs) that can answer natural-language questions, produce poetry or art, or even – yes – write legal documents.

And many may also be aware of how AI in the legal field has been misused, with lawyers facing discipline for submitting briefs with fake citations that AI systems had invented. It is my opinion that AI systems, properly understood and safely used, can enhance the way lawyers deliver services to clients.

Which is why the Law Office of Dailey & Pratt is moving into the future by leveraging generative AI in our law firm.

What does it mean to deliver AI-enhanced services?

There are several commercial tools available to attorneys that allow us to harness the current technology to drive efficiency for our clients. For example, research services now have generative technology built in that allow for faster, more comprehensive research. Software trained on the writing of elite lawyers, scholars, and judges can quickly improve style and clarity. Court records can be combed and timelines created in fractions of the time it would take teams of lawyers to analyze those documents.

This software, though some of it in its early phases, can drive efficiency by taking tasks that used to take multiple lawyers many days (and crucially billable hours) to review and organize and condense the review and writing process.

Smaller firms and their clients, in particular, stand to benefit by allowing their lawyers to engage in a greater array of more detailed tasks more efficiently.

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How do I know you won’t be the next “ChatGPT lawyer” story if you're leveraging generative AI in your law firm?

Because we are not using ChatGPT to do the work for us. We still review the documents and law. We make strategic decisions. And we remain committed to delivering the highest-quality skilled representation we can provide. AI tools allow us to do more of what we do best – strategic thinking, detailed analysis, and problem-solving – and less time manually searching for specific information.

Lawyers must work carefully and always tell the truth. That means we are not citing cases that we have not read, nor are we referencing facts we cannot support. These tools enhance what we do and make it more efficient; they do not substitute the detailed, human-centered approach on which our reputation is built.

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Do I even still need a lawyer even with Generative AI?

As with all legal questions – it depends. But ultimately, if you needed an attorney before AI existed, you probably need one now. Particularly in family law and estate planning, where human relationships and dynamics, as well as strategy and experience, drive the case and the solution, AI-enhanced research is but one small piece of the strategy. And on appeal, AI can help gather and organize information in a way that requires less manual labor, but it cannot issue-spot or analyze the case for us. And only humans can write the best, most persuasive arguments.

Lawyers who use these new tools will almost certainly be able to serve clients better than those that resist change. And as we head into 2024, we look forward to serving more clients more efficiently with the best technology available.   

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