Casey Sullivan, Everlaw: 5 Strategies for Realizing the Potential of AI in the Legal Profession — While Mitigating Its Risks

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Extract from Casey Sulliavan’s article “5 Strategies for Realizing the Potential of AI in the Legal Profession — While Mitigating Its Risks”

As the hype surrounding generative artificial intelligence such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT continues to build, law firms have become increasingly interested in understanding its myriad risks and benefits in the unique context of legal work. In order to aid in this process, Everlaw recently dedicated an educational webinar on leveraging AI while mitigating risks, hosted by lawyer-turned-technologist and Everlaw Senior Product Lead, Mondee Lu, alongside our Strategic Discovery Advisor, Chuck Kellner.

Here is a brief overview of the insights shared, including some legal and ethical obligations to keep in mind when deploying generative AI, a description of the technology and how it works, and five steps firms can take to realize AI’s potential while mitigating its various risks.

Ethical Obligations of Technical Competence & Duty to Maintain Client Confidentiality

Before even considering the use of generative AI, attorneys must first ensure that their GenAI tools will not compromise any relevant ethical or legal obligations. And while it’s true that the regulatory landscape surrounding AI is still in its early stages of development, and will no doubt vary depending on the specific jurisdiction, many attorneys will still need to abide by a number of well-established standards and expectations.

For example, roughly 40 states now enforce variations of the American Bar Association’s Duty of Technical Competence (ABA Model Rule 1.1 Comment 8), which broadly states that lawyers must remain current on their knowledge of the benefits and risks associated with legal technology, including actively seeking education on how certain tools work and how they may be utilized in the context of legal work. 

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