Reuters reporter Karen Sloan sat down with Jake Heller, CEO and co-founder of Casetext, Andrew Perlman, Dean of Suffolk University Law, and Reuters legal columnist Jenna Green to discuss how ChatGPT could impact the practice of law, legal education, and access to justice.
Heller, a former Ropes & Gray litigator recognized for his innovations in legal tech, noted that although ChatGPT is “extremely capable” and “intelligent,” the chatbot isn’t error free and is therefore unreliable at this point. Perlman added, “I don’t think anybody should rely on ChatGPT in its current form to do anything important.”
That said, both Heller and Perlman agree that the technology will be reliable—and critical for the legal profession—very soon. “Tools like ChatGPT are going to become significantly more powerful, sophisticated, and accurate in the coming months and years,” Perlman shared.
When AI technology like ChatGPT gets to that point of reliability, Heller believes that it will create an incredible advantage for firms that are competing with each other. It will enable attorneys to provide faster, better, and less expensive client services. “Law firms have an incredible incentive all of a sudden to look at this very seriously,” he notes.
On the topic of ChatGPT and similar tools in law classrooms, Perlman stated, “Short term concerns about cheating are understandable because we really want our students to be able to demonstrate that they understand the material they’ve been taught and that they’re able to express it clearly.”
“But I do think that at the same time, there’s an opportunity here to teach our students how to use tools like ChatGPT,” said Perlman. “The future of almost every kind of work is going to include tools like this. Very few people are going to open up a Word document from scratch and start writing.”
Heller had a similar sentiment. “If I was a law student right now,” he expressed, “I would start familiarizing myself with this kind of technology today because there is no question that AI is going to end up making a major impact on the profession.”
Lawyers who use the tools around them intelligently—and understand their limitations—will be, in Heller’s words, “a hundred times more effective than lawyers who don’t.”
To listen to the entire interview, visit twitter.com.