AI Disrupts the Legal Market: Will ChatGPT Make Lawyers Obsolete?

AI Disrupts the Legal Market: Will ChatGPT Make LAWYERS Obsolete?

Believe it, with a series of prompts, for example, Chat GPT can “explain” the concept of personal jurisdiction, develop a list of discovery questions for plaintiffs and so much more.

Because ChatGPT is a machine learning system, it may not have the same level of understanding and judgements as a human lawyer when it comes to interpreting legal precedents and principles. This could lead to problems in situations where a more in-depth legal analysis is required.

However, as it turns out, ChatGPT can mimic the work of lawyers, with varying degrees of success. Seems clear, this bot has the makings of an advocate, at least on paper. But for more routine legal issues, the technology seems to offer “significant potential to access to justice questions” in making legal services available to those with limited means.

AI Disrupts the Legal Market Will ChatGPT Make Lawyers Obsolete
AI Disrupts the Legal Market Will ChatGPT Make Lawyers Obsolete

According to the 2022 report by Legal Services Corp, ‘low income Americans, and I would assume Canadians, do not get any or enough legal help  for 92% of their substantial, civil legal problems. In this 2022 report, the bot offers sensible sounding advice on how to go about correcting a social security payment or what to do if you disagree with your child’s school district about the creation of an “Individualized Education Program”.

I actually decided to take the leap and test it out, and asked for an explanation about what constitutes a well-founded fear of persecution in an asylum case and then asked a longtime friend and immigration lawyer to evaluate the answer. Turns out “it is all correct” she said, adding that what the bot produced was more lucid than some writing she has seen from real-live practitioners.

But here is the thing. The bot creators on the Open AI website also note that the Chat GPT should not be relied upon for advice and that it sometimes write plausible sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. If a lawyer did that, there would be mal-practice consequences – but if the bot steers you wrong, too bad!!!

This is where I believe calling a legal ethics expert for comment. But no need, the bot offers us it’s own critique, telling us straight up, “It is not ethical for me to provide legal advice as I am not a qualified legal professional”

ChatGPT is also aware that it could one day be used to replace human lawyers and legal professionals, potentially leading to job losses and economic disruption.

I argue that is a concern. But I do not see it as an either-or situation. Lawyers could use technology to enhance their work and produce “something better than machine or human could do alone.”

To conclude, I believe ChatGPT will guide us through with ease. It will be a trusted companion and guard / helping lawyers to provide the best legal services with expertise.

Author: Deborah Pearce