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How AI Tools Are Poised to Transform Law Firm Marketing Strategies

With the exponential development and increasing availability of AI technology, law firms are eager to use these tools to maximize their marketing efforts. Here’s what you need to know before you go all-in on using AI tools to market your legal services.
January 24, 2024

It’s hard to believe that artificial intelligence (AI) content generation tools have only been widely available for just over one year. Although these transformative tools like ChatGPT have been in development for a while, their seemingly out-of-nowhere appearance caused massive waves and think pieces from virtually every sector. When OpenAI made ChatGPT available, users rushed to explore these generative tools. With a few simple requests and parameters, ChatGPT produced paragraphs, poems, and even song lyrics of “original” content based on the searcher’s instructions. Suddenly, the digital marketing world wondered whether these content generators would replace human-powered and human-created content, especially if such AI tools could generate marketing content in a matter of minutes. However, the limitations of AI content generation quickly presented themselves, ranging from the occasional incorrect citation to more widespread inaccuracies that endangered the reliability and accuracy of the content these tools created. Although these tools will continue to evolve at a nearly incomprehensible rate, it’s best to recognize the potential drawbacks and risks associated with adopting such technologies wholeheartedly. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that law firms have started playing with AI tools in their marketing efforts and why it’s still a safe bet to rely on good, “old-fashioned” humans to write compelling and effective marketing content to grow your law practice.

The Limits of AI in Law Firm Content Writing

When ChatGPT first became available to the public, many companies were excited to use this faster (and cheaper) technology to handle their marketing content needs. Let’s face it—letting an automated tool generate content for your law firm’s website, blogs, and social media posts is very enticing, especially if it will save your firm valuable time and money. Some law firms dabbled with using ChatGPT to perform such tasks, like entering instructions to “write a blog post about the divorce process in California” and watching the tool compose several paragraphs in response. You can even enter a follow-up request for ChatGPT to “generate three social media posts based on the above,” providing you with even more content to display on your website and social media platforms. All of this sounds pretty great so far, but many attorneys have begun to realize the limitations of these tools, which has prompted them to reconsider their decision to rely so heavily on AI technology. Below are just a few of the potential drawbacks that law firms encountered after experimenting with AI tools for content generation to market their legal services.

Outdated Information

AI tools rely on using and repurposing information that’s already available online to generate content in response to a user’s directions. However, the internet is an active, ever-changing landscape where information that used to be factually accurate a few weeks ago may change so quickly that websites will fail to correct the outdated data in real time. As a result, ChatGPT may use outdated information when composing a response to your request. Many people have reported that the compositions generated by ChatGPT contain out-of-date information or reference older laws that have since been updated and amended. Be sure to read through the content to check for inaccuracies or stale citations. The last thing your law firm wants is to display content on your website that misinforms or misleads potential clients.

Citations Are Murky and Inconsistent

As a law firm, you want to inspire trust and show clients that your legal team has the expertise necessary to help them obtain their desired results. When you write content for your law firm’s website or blog posts, you typically want to cite your sources and provide links to reputable websites, such as the most current state laws, peer-reviewed studies, or professional organizations that offer trustworthy data. So far, ChatGPT has struggled with consistent referencing. When it composes a response based on your query, it will search through all types of sources—some much more reputable than others. However, it can be difficult to identify where ChatGPT found a specific piece of information. If you ask for ChatGPT to provide the sources it used to compose its answer, the chatbot has been known to fabricate non-existent sources. These “hallucinations” can be worrisome, especially for law firms that want to ensure that the content they make available to clients is of the highest quality.

AI Generated Content Just Sounds “Off”

In addition to containing factual inaccuracies and citation issues, content created by tools like ChatGPT just sounds “flat” and “off.” Readers still seem to prefer content written by humans, as it tends to flow more naturally and remain cohesive in its messaging. In contrast, content generated by AI seems more scattered, stilted, and awkward. Sentences may not blend well together, and the overall impact on the reader seems to be missing some “spark.” For now, law firms are still relying on humans to write thoughtful, accurate, and engaging content to connect with their clients—and it’s working.

Implementing AI Tools With Caution and Purpose

Before your law firm writes off all AI-related technology, it’s helpful to recognize that there are several tools that can still improve your firm’s efficiency and ability to serve your clients more effectively. Implementing a program that sends your clients automated requests for reviews is a great way to make this sometimes awkward process smoother, increasing the likelihood that your clients will take the time to write a review for your law firm. You may also consider adding a chat tool to your website to interact with site visitors. When someone visits your website, they can interact with this chatbot to locate information about a particular topic and then schedule an appointment with your firm with just a few clicks. When it comes to adopting AI tools into your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, it’s best to proceed with caution and carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of relying on these technologies.

With so many digital marketing options to choose from when developing a strategy for your law firm, it’s best to consult with a legal marketing expert who can help you address your unique needs and goals. Give the LegalRev team a call today at (800) 893-2590 to get started.

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