November 3, 2022

What Generative AI Means for Lawyers

Matt Mayers
What Generative AI Means for Lawyers

The post you're about to read was partially written by AI.

Let’s get the scary part out of the way: No, the robots are not coming to replace you. The judgment and expertise provided by living, breathing human lawyers is indispensable. Software is a tool that can help you be more productive, happier, and better at serving your clients–but it is not a substitute for the strategic value you provide. The legaltech landscape is rapidly evolving and, while it can sometimes be unsettling, the latest developments represent tremendous opportunities to improve your work life and the legal profession.

A major shift in technology is taking the world by storm: generative AI. Previous major shifts were defined by the internet and mobile devices. We believe we're entering a new wave defined by creative AI that has a form of "general intelligence". AI has a had a lot of false starts in legal, but something is unquestionably different this time.

We invite you to join us in discovering how to best apply this new tool to the legal domain. Together, we will learn how we can most effectively free your time to focus on higher-level work, drive better outcomes for your clients, and change how legal work gets done for the better. 

I’ve heard of AI - but what is generative AI?

Generative AI allows you to generate new content based on a set of previously entered examples. Examples can be images, text, or anything else. Like a child, generative AI systems learn by observing.

You may be aware that traditional AI is already being used in the legal field. Large swaths of data are used to train these systems on how to analyze and classify newly introduced data. For example, autonomous cars recognize a person based on having seen thousands or millions of examples of what a person looks like. Companies like Kira Systems use traditional AI to sort and analyze large bodies of contracts, dramatically reducing the time it takes to perform due diligence.

Generative AI systems are trained to do the opposite. Rather than classify previously generated data, they create new things based on inputs. Using the above example, you could ask a generative AI system to illustrate what it thinks a person looks like based on previous examples. Tools like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion do just that. To the dismay of many traditional artists, a creator named Jason Allen recently used Midjourney to win first place in the digital category at the Colorado State Fair for his AI-generated image, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial”. This blog post's image was generated by Stable Diffusion using the prompt "A colorful painting of a lawyer typing on a laptop in the style of Picasso".

“Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” by Jason Allen
“Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” by Jason Allen was created using generative AI via Midjourney. It won first place in the digital category at the Colorado State Fair.

A few applications that use generative AI have made headlines recently. There’s GitHub CoPilot (the inspiration for Spellbook) which helps developers write code and Jasper, an app that helps write marketing copy, which just raised $125M. Both of these products act as advanced ‘auto-complete’ tools for their respective domains.  

In recent months, there have been incredible advancements in the field and the cost of using the underlying models that power the technology has plummeted. In fact, this blog post was partially written using our own generative AI tool, Spellbook, which is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model.

In the above image, Spellbook used GPT-3 to analyze an entire contract and generate a new clause in green after having been provided with the prompt in blue.

GPT-3? Never heard of it.

To explain more about GPT-3, I asked Spellbook for help and it generated the following passage:

GPT-3 is the most advanced artificial intelligence technology available to the public. It is a natural language processing system that can generate human-like responses to questions. It is also able to generate new questions based on the information it has been given.

GPT-3 has been designed to be used by developers to create new applications and services. It is also available to anyone who wants to use it for research purposes.

The technology is still in its early stages, but it has already shown promise.

GPT-3 is not perfect, but it is a significant step forward in artificial intelligence.

This all sounds new and exciting but what does it mean for the legal industry?

While this impressive new technology is still in its infancy, there are some very obvious applications in the legal field and it’s only a matter of time before its use becomes standard operating procedure. For example, generative AI can be used to assist in drafting:

  • Contracts
  • Trial briefs
  • Legal research
  • Pleadings
  • Discovery requests
  • Deposition questions
  • Marketing materials for your firm or business

The tech industry is moving to support these use cases and it’s moving fast. Tools like Alexsei are already helping lawyers use AI to efficiently turn research questions into comprehensive memos and we’ve made incredible progress with Spellbook to aid you in drafting contracts.

All of this means that, as a lawyer, you will soon need to be skilled in using generative AI to remain competitive. Fortunately, it will also allow you to be more productive and efficient in your work. For example, if you can use generative AI to reduce the time you spend drafting contracts, you will be able to spend more time on other tasks, such as meeting with clients or preparing for trials. It will help avoid costly mistakes and can act as a useful second set of eyes when drafting or reviewing documents. In other scenarios, it can act as a muse, providing inspiration for things you hadn’t thought of.

With all burgeoning technologies, there are risks. As we’ve seen with Spellbook, results can be surprisingly accurate but there is no guarantee. Lawyers must continue to do their jobs, use good judgment, and avoid relying too heavily on AI while thinking critically about the content that it produces. It won’t do all the work for you, but it will give you marble to carve where you had a blank page before.

I’m intrigued, how can I try it out?

At Rally, we’ve built Spellbook - the first-ever generative AI tool tailor-made for contract drafting and review. It can be used to help with things like:

  • Drafting unfamiliar clauses in contracts 
  • Writing an email to your client that outlines points of concern and explains terms in simple language
  • Identifying undefined terms in a contract

Sign up now and be among the first lawyers to gain experience with the most cutting-edge legal technology on the market today. Your feedback will help guide the product roadmap and influence the future of work for legal professionals.

Ready to learn more? Check out the rest of our Getting Started Guide.