LawGPT: The Benefits and Drawbacks of A.I. in Legal Practice

By Bryan J. F. Plat

Throughout the last several years, A.I. has grown increasingly relevant, quickly gaining the public’s eye as the technology’s capabilities were realized. From art generation software, to writing entire scripts and essays, to a personalized chatbot, and numerous other uses[1], A.I. technology has many applications, even including legal practice. The advent of A.I. is disrupting almost every profession[2], and as that change comes to practicing lawyers, it is certain it will alter the field in new, exciting, and potentially, intimidating ways[3]. Proponents state that the use of A.I. will expedite the legal process which will allow for documents to be processed at a never been seen before pace, enable lawyers to review contracts, find relevant discovery documents, and conduct legal research in record time.[4] However, there are many concerns with using A.I., such as confidently falsified assertions, breaches of privacy, confidentiality, and copyright infringement. As the capabilities of A.I. expand, it is important to keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks of making use of this technology in law.

The Benefits of A.I.

While we are far from the days where A.I. will be up to matching the human element of the lawyering experience, there are several tasks that it can perform to help increase a practicing lawyer’s efficiency, including improving and streamlining workflow, refining sales and marketing for firms, and saving time for lawyers to engage in “‘more intellectual endeavors, such as engaging with clients or formulating and executing litigation strategies.”’[5] By streamlining the more mundane tasks of a law firm such as contract analysis and document review, attorneys can spend more of their billable hours on the aspects of lawyering that A.I. cannot do.[6]

A.I. excels at pattern detection using human defined rules, making it optimal for document review as the technology can quickly identify relevant documents with correct keywords.[7] While this task can be done without A.I., due to its quick processing, the technology improves the speed and accuracy of document analysis.[8] Similarly, contract analysis is greatly assisted by A.I. technology, as the it can identify, extract, and analyze business information in a large volume of contracts or even help create or modify a contract by selecting from a list of clauses and various options to require, accept, or reject.[9] Because of the pattern detection skills of A.I., it is at its best when there is ample relevant data and the questions it is asked are detailed and specific.[10] Notably, A.I. technology still struggles with more open-ended questions like which questions are most important to ask in depositions or examinations or which witnesses are most credible.[11] As long as the questions remain narrow and defined, A.I. can save significant amounts of time. For example, when an attorney loaded over 400 pages of documents, A.I. was quickly able to review and summarize them, which pointed him to an important gap in the defense’s case.[12]

The Drawbacks of A.I.

However, there are still limitations to using A.I. in the legal field, such as the famous case of Mata v. Avianca, in which the attorney “submitted non-existent judicial opinions with fake quotes and citations created by the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT” [13] The attorney had been performing research for their upcoming case and used A.I. to prepare one of the briefs before submitting it to the court, unaware that ChatGPT could produce false information.[14] For this reason, the human element and human due diligence are still very important in the legal field. Furthermore, there are also concerns regarding privacy and confidentiality. Because of the way that A.I. is trained, data supplied by its users has the potential to make it into the public domain to be used by others.[15] Additionally, because A.I. technology has such a fast development cycle, there are inherent vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit, leading to data breaches which included the questions asked by other users and their email addresses.[16] Finally, because A.I. does not provide source references or explanations for the output it generates, there is a chance that copyrighted material is used in compiling its answers, leading the practitioner to unknowingly violate copyright law. [17]

While A.I. is an exciting new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way that lawyers practice, it is important to keep in mind that there are still many limitations. From the creation and confident assertion of falsified cases and quotes, to breaches of confidentiality and copyright law. A.I. technology has the potential to create problems as well as solve them. So long as human due diligence is practiced, and the scope of A.I. technology does not surpass its limitations, it can be an incredible boon to the field. A.I. has the potential to streamline the lawyering process, enabling lawyers to focus more of their efforts on the parts of the job that cannot be automated. Interfacing with clients, planning legal strategies, networking, and much more can all be focused on more because the A.I. can handle document processing, summarizations, pattern recognition, and contract analysis. So long as law firms remain cognizant of the limitations of A.I., do not overly rely on it, and practice due diligence, A.I. technology has the potential to revolutionize the practice, despite the drawbacks.





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[1] Avijeet Biswall, AI Applications: Top 18 Artificial Intelligence Applications in 2024, Simplilearn, (last updated Oct. 26, 2023)

[2] Artificial Intelligence for Lawyers Explained, Bloomberg L., (Aug. 1, 2023),

[3] Matthew Stepka, Law Bots: How A.I. Is Reshaping the Legal Profession, Bus. L. Today (Feb. 21, 2022),

[4] Id.

[5] Erica Sandberg, How Law Firms Are Using Artificial Intelligence in Their Practice, U.S. News (July 31, 2023),

[6] The benefits of AI in law – from efficacies to eDiscovery, Altlaw (May 15, 2023),

[7] Lauri Donahue, A Primer on Using Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession, Harv. J.L. & Tech. (Jan. 3, 2018),

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id.

[11] Steve Lohr, A.I. Is Coming for Lawyers, Again, N.Y. Times (Apr. 10, 2023),

[12] Id.

[13] Mata v. Avianca, Inc., No. 22-CV-1461 (PKC), 2023 WL 4114965, at 1 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2023)

[14] Id

[15] Limitations and risks of using AI in legal practice, Legal Practitioners Liab.Comm., (last updated Aug. 17, 2023)

[16] Id.

[17] Id.