As businesses reflect on the year and start articulating their goals for the upcoming months, it’s natural to look for tools that maximize efficiency and allow your business to improve its services. Small to mid-sized law firms want to spend as much time as possible serving their clients, but the future of their law practice relies on effective marketing strategies that attract and engage a steady stream of clients. As an attorney, it’s understandable that you want to explore automated tools that free you up to focus more on serving your clients and spend less time designing and implementing your digital marketing strategy (i.e., writing website content, posting regular blogs, creating social media updates, etc.). The past year has seen an explosion in artificial intelligence (AI) content-generating tools, the most prominent of which is ChatGPT. Created by OpenAI, ChatGPT allows anyone to enter specific tasks and define any parameters in the search box, and the AI tool will generate content based on these user’s criteria and requests. For example, an attorney could ask ChatGPT to write a 500-word, multi-paragraph page explaining personal injury law in a particular state. In mere minutes, the attorney would have content to use on their website. While using AI tools to write your law firm’s website content would save your law practice considerable time (and, yes, money if you use a digital marketing firm), there are several reasons to avoid using tools like ChatGPT to accomplish these tasks. This post will highlight five reasons for law firms to think twice before using ChatGPT or similar automated content writing tools for their web and marketing content.
Reason #1: These Tools Can Be Inaccurate
First, it’s important to understand how tools like ChatGPT work. When a user types a command into the search bar, the engine will search the internet for relevant information and piece it together to create content that responds to the searcher’s parameters. For example, if an attorney asked ChatGPT to write a few paragraphs about estate planning in Arizona, the tool would use these keywords to search for websites and other information on the internet. By now, most of us know that the accuracy and reliability of information available on the internet varies considerably. Even though ChatGPT prioritizes “high-quality” and trusted sources, the results it provides can still contain inaccurate or outdated information. ChatGPT relies on patterns in its existing data, which can become inaccurate quickly—especially when new laws are passed impacting a particular field of law. Simply put, do not assume that the content provided by ChatGPT is inherently and automatically accurate.
Reason #2: Potential Copyright Issues
Since tools like ChatGPT use information from the internet and the training data that it can access, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information comes from. When ChatGPT completes your request and provides you with the content you requested, you have no way to cite the original source or publisher. Suddenly, you may be unknowingly facing copyright questions—who is the author of this content? Are the sources available for public use? What is the line between using other sources and plagiarizing them? When you write your own content for your law firm, you do not just go to a similar law firm’s website and copy their content word for word—but how is using ChatGPT all that different? The rapid launch of these tools has made it difficult to anticipate and address potential legal, privacy, and copyright issues that go along with using them to write content. For now, the safest and most strategic option is to stick to human-written content that you know for certain is accurate and original.
Reason #3: Dull, Surface-Level Content
When ChatGPT first arrived on the scene, marketing firms were worried that these tools would eradicate their existence overnight. However, we’ve quickly realized that the content that is written by ChatGPT and similar AI tools is not all that impressive. These tools are essentially algorithms that fall back on certain speech patterns and word choices, meaning that the content often feels stilted, forced, or awkward. So far, consumers still seem to prefer human-written content, as it feels more authentic, meaningful, and artful. AI-generated content comes across as lacking emotion, meaning that potential clients may be put off by a website that seems too distant or unconcerned with how their clients are feeling. Instead, use humans to write your law firm’s content—we know how to inspire trust and communicate empathy far better than automated tools.
Reason #4: AI Tools Can Reflect Biases
Tools like ChatGPT are trained on data that is made available to them by the programmers. However, we have no way of knowing exactly what data, information, or sources these tools are using to learn. Some researchers have discovered that “Systems like ChatGPT have produced outputs that are nonsensical, factually incorrect—even sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive.” Since these systems model themselves after the information they have access to, they pick up on and perpetuate any biases and stereotypes that are present in the training data. Again, it’s best for your law practice to avoid using these tools to generate your web content, as you may unintentionally display inaccurate or biased information as a result.
Reason #5: Human Connection Makes a Difference
Most people searching for legal guidance feel worried and vulnerable during a difficult time in their lives. Whether a potential client is facing criminal charges or needs help collecting compensation after suffering a traumatic car accident injury, many people are looking for a caring lawyer who will treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve. There’s no better way to connect with your clients than through thoughtful and well-crafted websites and marketing content. Now is not the time to let automated tools handle this critical aspect of your law practice—human-written content will forge meaningful relationships with clients and inspire them to enlist your services.
If your law firm’s goal is to engage with more clients and grow your practice, talk to the LegalRev team today about how we can help. Call us at (800) 893-2590 or schedule a quick meeting here to discuss your vision and marketing goals.