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Technology in the Legal Profession: ChatGPT's Use Cases and Challenges

By Dharmarth Jani posted 16 days ago


A lawyer’s day is typically filled with a pile of documents on their desk, each requiring meticulous proofreading and drafting. Meanwhile, their inbox teems with clients eagerly seeking updates on the progression of their cases. Faced with these demands, lawyers find themselves compelled to work tirelessly to bring each case to its resolution, leaving no detail unexamined. 

However, the recent emergence of ChatGPT for lawyers has revolutionized paralegal services, and how they engage with information and enhanced their efficiency in navigating the complexities of legal discourse.

As per a March 2023 survey (statista) among lawyers at large and midsize law firms in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, around 51% of respondents believed that ChatGPT and generative AI should be applied to legal work. 

A dream for attorneys is to have a virtual assistant that does everything from summarizing documents to simulating client interactions. ChatGPT for lawyers does all that and more by introducing a radical shift with automation and convenience to the daily challenges law firms incur.

Steve Hasker, CEO and President of Thomson Reuters highlights AI's profound transformative capabilities, stating, “Through the application of AI to perform more mundane tasks, professionals have the unique opportunity to address human capital issues such as job satisfaction, well-being, and work-life balance. This will in turn, unlock time for professionals to focus on complex work that adds value to their client’s needs.”

As we explore the dynamic relationship between law and artificial intelligence, the shift towards automation streamlines processes and offers a gateway for legal professionals to redefine their roles.

So whether you’re an experienced law professional, a law student wanting to glimpse the future, or a curious individual wanting to learn where law and AI intersect, this blog presents all the essentials to unveil the numerous possibilities ChatGPT introduces to the legal sphere.

ChatGPT In Legal Practice: 7 Use Cases


Powerful language-model-based chatbots such as ChatGPT enable lawyers to automate tedious tasks. Lawyers can utilize their valuable time with other essential duties rather than spending it on legal research analysis and writing contracts and briefs. Here’s a list of a few evident use cases that generative chatbots such as GPT offer to lawyers.

1. Accelerated Legal Research and Analysis

ChatGPT for lawyers can significantly expedite several vertices of the legal research and analysis process. Here’s how it transforms various underlying processes.

  • Research Assistance

In the case of research, ChatGPT can quickly skim through numerous legal databases and repositories, swiftly extracting scholarly articles, regulations, specific case laws, and more, presenting lawyers with summaries and appropriate citations. 

  • Analysis and Opinion Generation

ChatGPT's capabilities extend to delving into intricate case details and facts, offering legal professionals insightful strategies and arguments. It can also assist with skillfully assessing potential risks, summarizing the analysis, and generating opinions or memoranda.

  • Legal Developments

A unique feature of ChatGPT for lawyers is its ability to monitor updates, news, and regulatory changes consistently. It can keep regular tabs on updates, news, and changes in regulations, keeping lawyers informed of the upgrades in the legal landscape and ensuring they stay up-to-date in their field.

2. Document Analysis and Review

Below are domains where ChatGPT for lawyers can be utilized for document analysis and review.

  • Document Summarization, Extraction, and Review

ChatGPT is proficient in browsing vast legal documents such as contracts, legal opinions, and statuses. It helps in determining vital information and critical clauses. 

It can also summarize detailed documents, retrieve particulars, and point out distinct areas related to a particular case or query. It offers lawyers actionable and condensed insights to act on.

Zach Warren, Content lead for Technology and Innovation of Thomson Reuters Institute, says, “Generative AI is smart enough to give a plausible answer to most prompts,”. “From there, the human using the tool should decide whether the material is accurate and edits. It can be a great way to get a solid first draft, even for legal issues”, he adds. 

  • Comparative Analysis

ChatGPT can easily compare multiple documents, stating differences, similarities, and discrepancies. This feature is handy when reviewing contracts or inspecting changes across different versions of legal documents.

  • Due Diligence

It helps recognize potential areas of concern or inconsistencies that might present legal challenges by assessing risks within contracts or legal documents. This is critical when conducting mergers, investigations, or acquisitions due diligence.

3. Legal Document Drafting

ChatGPT is exquisite when drafting legal documents. Here are some key areas where it can be helpful.

  • Pre-Defined Templates and Suggestions

Depending on the type of document you want to create, whether an agreement or contract, it can offer templates and suggestions related to the tone of your language. It also provides convenience by pre-defining the typical sections and covering the basics. 

  • Quality Assurance and Language Precision

Following the legal standards, ChatGPT ensures accuracy with legal language and terminologies while giving an apt structure to sentences and paragraphs. Furthermore, it expedites the proofreading process, promoting and assuring consistency and flagging omissions or errors.

4. Cost Reduction

Here are three ways ChatGPT for lawyers contributes to cost reduction for law firms.

  • Optimal Time Management

ChatGPT saves a great deal of time for lawyers by introducing automation to tasks such as drafting, legal research and analysis, and reviewing documents. It fosters increased attention to high-value tasks while decreasing billable hours on repetitive tasks. 

  • Reduced Manual Review

The need to review each line with legal documents or contracts is remarkably minimized using ChatGPT for lawyers. It saves ample time while reducing the possibility of errors and oversight. 

  • Enhanced Productivity

It helps lawyers take more on their plate or focus on complex legal issues by handling everyday tasks, ultimately contributing to overall productivity without hiring additional staff.

5. Knowledge Management

ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for knowledge management and providing general legal information in several ways.

  • Answering Legal Queries

It can impart information on legal concepts, definitions, processes, and other general legal inquiries.

  • Precedents and Case Law

It aids legal research and references by garnering current precedents and case law based on specific queries.

  • Training and Educating

ChatGPT offers great assistance by designing training modules and collecting material to train law students and educate lawyers.

  • Building Knowledge Repositories

It helps access legal information, case studies, and FAQs for legal professionals by creating structured internal databases or knowledge repositories.

6. Boost Client Interaction

ChatGPT can boost client interaction by many folds. Here are some of the evident applications of this tech.

  • All-Time Availability

Having a chatbot such as GPT adds to a lawyer’s or law firm’s accessibility and responsiveness, as clients can seek information anytime.

  • Instant Responses

ChatGPT offers instant responses to client queries or concerns without waiting for business hours.

  • Providing Basic Information

Chatbots can free up human resources for complex tasks by handling routine queries and offering essential information such as procedural details, fees, office hours, services, etc.

  • Follow-Ups and Engagement

ChatGPT can help seek timely follow-ups with clients regarding appointments, necessary documents, and ongoing cases, fostering engagement and keeping clients up-to-date throughout the legal process.

7. Enhance Client Communication

ChatGPT can enhance client communication in several ways. Below are some of the most common ways it helps.

  • Customized Client Support

ChatGPT can offer tailored responses, learning the client’s needs or preferences and previous interactions and creating a personalized and engaging conversational experience.

  • Updates and Notifications

It ensures transparency and engagement throughout the legal process by sharing updates and notifying them about court dates, deadlines, and other legal prerequisites. 

  • Client Onboarding

It can streamline client onboarding by communicating, collecting necessary information, and guiding them through required documentation.

  • Language Translation

ChatGPT can foster inclusive communication with its language translation feature if your client base possesses a different linguistic background.

ChatGPT For Lawyers: Challenges 

There are many hurdles that ChatGPT poses in the legal sphere. Here is a list of the most prominent challenges observed for legal firms.

1. Technological Limitations

ChatGPT poses technical challenges, such as using electronic devices in the courtroom. It also has limited internet access, so its knowledge is confined to events up to 2021. Furthermore, it can fabricate facts and misquote case law without appropriate citations, demanding rigorous verification.

2. Accuracy

Many users have also reported receiving inaccurate information from the chatbot in training. It can lead to erroneous legal advice, resulting in malpractice and compromised legal outcomes.

3. Lack of Nuance

ChatGPT falls short of grasping complex legal scenarios, leading to potential misapplication of law and the need for human intervention for nuanced legal analysis.

4. Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations are a significant point of discussion when using AI to resolve client concerns. Feeding facts and private information to ChatGPT does not guarantee the confidentiality of client information. Additionally, communication with these servers occurs over the internet with secure connections and protocols, data security is still a prevailing issue when using ChatGPT.

5. Data Transmission and Privacy

Due to the potential disclosure of client information, data transmission and privacy are challenges for lawyers using ChatGPT. The transfer of information to ChatGPT servers may risk data breaches. It necessitates strict measures to ensure compliance with legal standards.

6. Priority of Ethical Obligations

Lawyers using ChatGPT have to prioritize placing ethical obligations. Their primary challenge is balancing efficient service delivery while adhering to ethical responsibilities. It includes introducing measures for implementing AI and safeguarding client interests.

7. Change Management

Following traditional practices may be a barrier for legal professionals due to skepticism, fear of job loss, or reluctance to adapt to new technologies. Overcoming these barriers needs comprehensive education, educating employees on AI benefits with efficiency and client service without compromising legal standards.

The concerns legal professionals voiced in a recent Thomson Reuters survey align with the above challenges. Working professionals were asked about their most significant fears concerning AI in their profession, and it was found that their biggest fears have to do with compromised accuracy, with one-quarter (25%) of respondents citing this as their biggest fear; widespread job loss (19%); the demise of the profession altogether (17%); concerns around data security (15%); and a loss of ethics (15%). 

Irrespective of the industry, incorporating AI without any prior knowledge and experience can be a challenging feat to achieve. When employing this tech, one must know how to navigate challenges and solutions while implementing AI.

Benefits Of ChatGPT In Legal Practice

Though ChatGPT presents certain challenges for lawyers, there are also several tangible benefits. Here is a list of 3 of the most observed benefits.

1. Efficiency

Solicitors are burdened with managing large amounts of data daily. It includes reports, contracts, legal documents, and case files. This process can be prolonged and error-prone. Here, tools such as ChatGPT for lawyers act like knights in shining armor. It allows them to quickly conclude tasks such as conducting due diligence, drafting contracts, and reviewing documents, sparing them more time to concentrate on other intricate aspects of their cases.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

ChatGPT for lawyers can automate daily tasks, conduct legal analysis and research, offer 24/7 availability to clients, train junior lawyers and support staff, and more. It frees up a lot of time for lawyers to concentrate on other important tasks or take on more cases to work on, which ultimately translates into improving cost-effectiveness.

3. Accessible Legal Expertise

ChatGPT exponentially increases the accessibility of legal information both for clients and lawyers. Its benefits, such as instant information retrieval, language simplification, on-demand assistance, skill enhancement, client interaction and education, and more, enhance the availability of legal services.

As per a Thomson Reuters Future of Professionals Report, ”Generative AI will have a transformational impact on the work professionals do and how it is done, but it will never replace the human element when advising clients and stakeholders.”


Generative AI significantly impacts legal practitioners' internal operations and external procedures. Its notable areas of contribution to the legal sphere include quick legal research, document analysis, review, and drafting, cost optimization, information governance, enhancing client engagement, and communication. Moreover, it increases efficiency and democratizes everyone's access to legal expertise.

ChatGPT serves as a prime example of AI's potential, showcasing how it can aid law firms and clients in acquiring, generating, and utilizing legal information to enhance the legal system. While predicting the evolution of chatbots like GPT-3 is challenging due to ongoing advancements, it's clear that they will continue to improve in intelligence, benefitting users across various tasks.

For lawyers skeptical about using ChatGPT, it's important to note that AI is not here to replace them but to augment their capabilities. Leveraging tools like ChatGPT provides a supportive safety net, enhancing rather than threatening their work. This integration allows legal professionals to streamline processes and focus on higher-level tasks requiring human judgment and expertise.