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How You Should Use ChatGPT in Your Law Firm Marketing

In the last few months, AI and ChatGPT have been getting a lot of buzz in the media as the Next Big Thing. But should you use it in your law practice, and if so, for what? Getting in on the ground floor of something can be great, but it can also be fraught with peril and pitfalls.

Such is the case for ChatGPT.

What You Should Use ChatGPT For

Right now, the only thing I would recommend this for is the creation of a first draft of content for your web site where you already know the answer to that FAQ or the point you are going to make in that article. Then revise the text it gives you, so that it speaks in your voice. The idea here is that the bots can save you time in writing web copy, not write the whole thing for you to be uploaded to your site.

On the topic of your voice, be aware that lots of smart people work at Google, and they are looking into ways to spot AI-generated content on web sites. So cutting and pasting directly from ChatGPT could seriously hurt your search ranking down the road. Also, because its answers are gleaned fom internet content, you could open yourself up to accusations of plagiarism or copyright infringement if you don’t revise it.

ChatGPT Can Get It Wrong!

These AI chatbots aren’t perfect, and they are susceptible to being wrong and providing wrong information in the content they produce. Bear in mind that these bots get their information by harvesting data from a huge catalog of web content. They then process it and serve it up. Just think about all those clients and potential clients that said to you, “I read on the internet that . . . ” and were profoundly wrong? Do you want that on your web site?

The publication Ars Technica even published an article entitled, “Why ChatGPT and Bing Chat are so good at making things up.” In fact, the use of AI-produced content can lead to litigation and ruined reputations.

PC Magazine reported that,

“a mayor in Australia, Brian Hood, has threatened to sue ChatGPT’s developer, OpenAI, because the program has been mistakenly claiming he pleaded guilty in a bribery scandal back in the 2000s.

Hood was actually the whistleblower behind the bribery scandal, which involved a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and he was never charged with a crime. According to Reuters, Hood’s lawyers sent a letter to OpenAI on March 21, demanding they correct the error in 28 days or face a defamation lawsuit.”

Do you really want to be on the wrong end of that?

What You Shouldn’t Use ChatGPT For

For these reasons I would never use a AI bot to do research for you. If you don’t know the answer to something for a brief you are writing or a fresh topic for your site, don’t try to find it through AI research. Google it yourself and read the content it serves up to make sure it comes from authoritative sources.

The Ethical Issues of ChatGPT

We as attorneys always have to consider the rules of ethics in anything that we do, especially attorney advertising. So when we use AI in our practices, there are some things we need to think about.

The Risk Environment. Let’s face it; some uses are high risk, and some are low risk. If you are feeding the AI sources that you know are accurate, or you are using it for internal purposes, then you are probably okay. But if there is a high risk that a client or potential client could be mislead, or your authority questioned in a legal brief, then greater care is called for. Essentially, the higher the risks of harm, the more you need to consider whether allowing AI tools to operate unsupervised is advisable.

The Potential for Deception. You should always be up front when it comes to using AI content. A disclaimer in your copy that it was sourced from AI and you cannot guarantee accuracy can go a long way to putting the reader on notice and getting you off the hook for potential inaccuracies.

Copyright Concerns. As I stated before, you don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement because you copied and pasted the AI content without reworking it. AI developers are being sued by copyright holders even now, and you don’t want to be a defendant in one! If the AI bot sources copywrited content from the internet and serves it up to you, and you use it, you could end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit.

Review Everything. Review and revise the copy. Make sure what it is saying is true and is stated in your own words. Remember, your reputation (and ethics record) are riding on what you write and how you use AI generated copy. Make sure it rises to your standards!

Want More?

Know that you need to be posting content regularly to your web site but don’t have the time? Thinking about ChatGPT as a shortcut but not sure if you should go it alone? How about more personalized assistance? Then click on this link to schedule a call with me. We can discuss your situation and then set up a free one hour coaching call to get you started.

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Finally, for more comprehensive information on how to transform your solo practice, you can also get a copy of my bookGetting Off the Hamster Wheel.


Steven J. Richardson

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