News, Technology

Generative AI Is Coming For The Lawyers

Written by Senoria Khursheed ·  1 min read >

Since the launch of chatGPT, it has become viral almost in every field. Now lawyers can also enjoy the efficiency of chatGPT in their work.
David Wakeling, head of London-based law firm Allen and Overy’s markets innovation group, first came across law-focused generative AI tool Harvey last September 2022.

David planned to run an experiment to test its intelligence. Therefore, a handful of his firm’s lawyers used the system to answer simple questions about the law, draft documents, and take first passes at messages to clients.

Nearly 3,500 workers from the company’s 43 offices experienced the tool by asking 40,000 queries. Later, the company decided to incorporate OpenAI across the company.

According to Harvey, “one in four at Allen and Overy’s team of lawyers now uses the AI platform daily, with 80% using it once a month or more. Whereas, other large firms are starting to adopt the platform too.”

“I think it’s the beginning of a paradigm shift,” says Wakeling. “I think this technology is very suitable for the legal industry.”
“Legal applications such as contract, conveyancing, or license generation are a relatively safe area to employ chatGPT and its cousins,” says Lilian Edwards, professor of law, innovation, and society at Newcastle University.

“Automated legal document generation has been a growth area for decades, even in a rule-based tech day, because law firms can draw on large amounts of highly standardized templates and precedent banks to scaffold document generation, making the results more predictable than with most free text outputs.”


According to Daniel Sereduick, a data protection lawyer based in Paris, AI will remain used for entry-level work.

“Legal document drafting can be a very labor-intensive task that AI seems to be able to grasp quite well. Policies, contracts, and other legal documents tend to be normative. So AI’s capabilities in gathering and synthesizing information can do a lot of heavy lifting”.

According to lawyers, the outputs must be checked and carefully monitored. Though, the inputs are equally challenging to manage.
In Europe, using such AI might breach the principles of the European Union’s General Data Protection (GDPR), which rules the amount of data individuals can collect and process by companies.

Law firms need a firm legal basis under the GDPR to feed any specific data about clients they control into a generative AI tool.
International law is already toughing up when it comes to feeding generative AI tools with personal information.

Allen and Overy can use AI while keeping client information a secret is also essential. “It will make some real material difference to productivity and efficiency.”

By using AI, small tasks previously done by the lawyers are outsourced to AI.
Though, it’s pretty impressive!

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