How Lawyers Can Leverage AI for Legal Research: Lessons & Best Practices
What lawyers need to know before using new technology for critical legal research
With major developments in artificial intelligence (AI) driving the proliferation of AI tools across society today, it’s imperative for legal professionals to learn about the limits of AI as a replacement for human labor and judgment.
While ChatGPT has passed the Bar, medical board exams, engineering exams, and more, the recent case of Mata v. Avianca Inc. demonstrates how the independent work of a generative AI-powered chatbot will not always pass the smell test.
Nevertheless, AI is a powerful tool with real potential for enhancing efficiency and increasing access to justice across the legal system. According to the results of the American Bar Association’s 2022 Legal Technology Survey, legal professionals believe they will have no choice but to embrace advanced legal technologies if they wish to remain competitive in the legal industry moving forward.
Here is what a well-researched memo could have looked if it was performed by Alexi
But before you submit an AI-written legal brief to a discerning judge, make sure to familiarize yourself with some of these best practices for using AI for legal research:
Understand the biases and limitations of using AI for legal research
Whenever dealing with AI tools, it is important to understand how data being fed to the AI for training can potentially lead to biases. Transparency and integrity in AI decision-making are also important. Lawyers should always exercise critical judgment and ensure professional oversight is used to verify any information obtained through AI tools.
Select reliable AI legal research tools
Specialized tasks like legal research require specialized AI tools to ensure effectiveness. When selecting an AI platform for legal research, be sure to conduct thorough research and due diligence on how the tool works and whether it meets the rigors necessary for domain-specific applications, or you may end up relying on cases and statutes that do not exist.
Train yourself in using AI for legal research
The better you understand AI in general and the specific AI legal research tool you wish to use, the more efficient you will be at gathering relevant and reliable information for your practice. When possible, attend training sessions, webinars, and workshops from leading experts and companies.
For a complex task like legal research, it’s essential to find a reputable provider that supplements their AI tools with human expertise in the legal domain. That’s where a specialized tool like Alexi comes in. The sophisticated web-based software was designed exclusively to perform legal research as opposed to general AI chat tools which were designed primarily to generate human-like text responses to a wide range of prompts (including exam questions). Because these models were not trained specifically for legal research means that AI chatbots like ChatGPT naturally have limitations when applied to the legal domain.
Alexi combines specialized AI with a team of expert lawyers to produce highly precise legal research memos at a significantly reduced cost. When you submit a legal question, Alexi’s AI and research lawyers will review and synthesize millions of documents to find the most relevant case law and legislation before crafting a complete legal research memo with a conclusion, caselaw summaries, and a list of authorities.
While AI-powered legal tools can provide tremendous efficiency gains and opportunities for legal professionals, it is crucial to understand that not all AI tools are the same and should be treated accordingly. If you are looking to complement your services with a reliable, specialized tool like Alexi’s AI for legal research, ensure you follow the best practices to achieve the best possible results.