Can You Use ChatGPT to Write Legal Blogs?

ChatGPT – the conversational AI model released by OpenAI in November 2022 – has captured the attention of people in every industry throughout the world. According to some, ChatGPT and other generative AIs are about to fundamentally change the world, take our jobs, and usher in a dystopian future. On the other hand, some observers think that ChatGPT is a waste of time that people are going to mostly use as a toy.

As is usually the case, the reality of generative AI’s impact is probably somewhere in the middle of these two positions. That said, one thing is crystal clear – ChatGPT is capable of generating human-like content on a wide range of topics in a matter of seconds. This generative capability clearly has wide-ranging implications in academia as well as the workplace – and these implications are particularly salient for people in white-collar positions in which their work product is typically written material. 

Since ChatGPT doesn’t have a law license (despite doing really well on the UBE), the lawyers are safe for now. That said, law firms and marketing teams are looking into whether it can do other non-practice-oriented tasks, such as marketing.

So, can you use ChatGPT for law firm marketing? Let’s take a look and find out.

What is ChatGPT?

While you’ve undoubtedly heard of it- what exactly is ChatGPT? One way to find out is by asking ChatGPT itself:

A screenshot of ChatGPT responding to a prompt to explain what ChatGPT is

Okay; here’s the plain English version – ChatGPT is an AI built on a large language model that can provide human-like responses to human inputs. For example, you could ask it to provide information, create a meal plan, plan a vacation – or – answer legal questions.

Spending a few minutes playing with ChatGPT is an eye-opening experience. At first blush, it’s easy to see how generative AI could change everything. For many people, using ChatGPT for the first time results in a series of existential questions – What happens to the college essay? What is the point of learning anything? Will this take my job? Do humans have to do anything anymore?

Undoubtedly, the tech has the potential to be extremely disruptive, but some of the apocalyptic prognosticating seems to already be dying down. For example, rather than banning it, some teachers have started to integrate ChatGPT into their lesson plans. People have realized that students can still demonstrate their knowledge by in-class testing or essay writing. Furthermore, many people now view AI as a way for professionals to improve their efficiency rather than a replacement for human expertise.

So, back to the question – can lawyers use ChatGPT or other generative AI models for legal marketing? The short answer is yes –  provided that they understand its limitations and that there is significant human oversight.

In fact, lawyers may have an ethical duty to stay on top of generative AI technology like ChatGPT. Most states have adopted Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which requires a lawyer to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education with all continuing legal education requirement to which the lawyer is subject” [emphasis added]. ethical duty

ChatGPT and other generative AI models can help lawyers and their marketing teams accomplish certain tasks more quickly. That said, you should be aware of the limitations of the technology and the ways in which using it may cause problems.

It Can Provide Incorrect Information

ChatGPT can provide incorrect information – a problem that its creators like to call “hallucination.” They are well aware of this problem and even have a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page alerting users of this fact.

A screenshot of a disclaimer explaining that ChatGPT can provide incorrect information

If you are posting content on a law firm’s website, it has to be accurate. Incorrect information could result in significant consequences, including disciplinary action from the bar or even a malpractice lawsuit from a client who relied on it.

The Content May Be Plagiarized

ChatGPT runs on a Large Language Model (LLM), which is a type of AI that uses huge data sets to understand inputs and predict new content. In other words, ChatGPT uses existing content to figure out what word should come next. As a result, there is a substantial possibility that ChatGPT’s output can be extremely similar to existing content on the internet.

Additionally, it can produce very similar-sounding content to similar prompts. So, if you and another law firm (or hundreds of other law firms, as the case may be) ask it to spit out a 500-word legal blog post on “Common Types of Medical Malpractice,” the content it produces will likely be very similar to what other users are getting.

You Do Not Own the Content ChatGPT Produces

According to guidance issued by the United States Copyright Office in March of 2023, content produced by generative AI like ChatGPT is not eligible for copyright protections based on the “human authorship requirement.” In addition, there are multiple lawsuits going on from content creators alleging that generative AI using their works to create content is infringing. As Jonathan Grabb, Ethics Counsel for the Florida Bar, puts it – “utilizing an A.I. program to draft documents may not be risk free” when it comes to copyright and plagiarism issues.

ChatGPT Content Will Probably Not Demonstrate E-E-A-T without Significant Editing

When evaluating the quality of a page, it looks at the extent to which the content demonstrates experience, expertise, authority, and trust – E-E-A-T, in industry parlance. This is particularly true for sites that deal with issues related to the health, happiness, financial stability, and safety of users and society at large, which Google calls Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites.

Google makes it clear that the most important element of E-E-A-T is trust, and there is a substantial possibility that posting AI-generated content without any oversight will result in untrustworthy pages. Some of the ways you can ensure that your content demonstrates E-E-A-T include:

  • Ensuring that any facts contained in the output are accurate
  • Linking to authoritative sources
  • Ensuring that the content provides useful information and is not just regurgitating existing content
  • Highlighting your expertise or credentials

Despite the significant issues raised above, ChatGPT and generative AI does have a place in law firm marketing. Some of the best use cases for the technology include the following:

Coming Up with Content  Ideas

When it comes to regular content creation, the hardest part can be coming up with topics to write about. This is true whether you are regularly adding practice area pages, posting blogs, or updating your social media accounts. ChatGPT is great at helping come up with content topics – you just need to know how to prompt it correctly. Fortunately, the team at Lexicon Legal Content has done the work for you. We’ve developed a free, AI-powered Legal Blog Topic Generator that is designed for use by lawyers and law firm marketing companies. 

Outlining Content

A screenshot of ChatGPT providing an outline for a blog about what to do after a bicycle accident

Another part of the content creation process where AI can really help is in outlining a piece of content. It can provide headings and subheadings and can even help to identify ancillary topics that your piece of content could address to make it more comprehensive. Here’s an example of its outline for a blog on what people should do after a bicycle accident:

Of course, not all of these points may be relevant or appropriate to post on a law firm blog, but it’s a good start. Once you have a good outline in place, it can make the process of content creation much faster.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is real. Everyone on the Lexicon team has struggled with staring at a blank page and asking, “what the hell should I talk about?” at one point or another. Asking ChatGPT to create an outline or even write an introduction can help get past writer’s block and into the content creation process.

Summarizing Material & Generating Short-Form Content

Finally, another great use case of ChatGPT is summarizing longer content and generating short-form content that you can use for social media posts, meta descriptions, or other areas where you may need one or two sentences., ChatGPT’s generic and terse content is actually a benefit for short-form content blurbs,  as you are often dealing with word count restrictions and need to be efficient as possible.

For more than 10 years, Lexicon Legal Content has been helping law firms connect with legal consumers through the power of content marketing. We’ve developed millions of words of content for law firms and digital marketing agencies throughout the United States and Canada, and we’re committed to staying cutting edge of content marketing trends and tech. To learn more about our services, call our office today or send us an email through our online contact form.

Generative AI for Law Firm Content? A Quick and Dirty Guide

It’s May of 2023, which means that professionals across all industries are working on determining how they can incorporate AI into their workflows to improve efficiency. Everyone knows the legal field moves more slowly with technology than others, but that doesn’t mean that lawyers and law firms are not trying to figure out how they can use it to do non-practice tasks like create marketing materials.

It’s true that generative AI can create fairly convincing human-sounding content, so law firms and their marketing managers may wonder whether they can use it to churn out content at scale. AI is a great assistant, but it still needs a human at the helm – especially in a high-stakes area like law. 

Below are some guidelines for how law firms can currently use generative AI models like ChatGPT to help in the marketing efforts.+

Do Not Rely on It to Create a Finished Product By Itself

The first thing that lawyers and law firm marketing directors should realize is that you cannot rely on AI models to create a finished piece of content without human intervention. AI is a very convincing liar, and it is known to “hallucinate” answers that are just flat out wrong

It doesn’t take much to recognize that this can be a serious issue when creating legal content. Providing incorrect information could result in bar complaints or even a malpractice suit if someone who became a client used the information on your site for the basis of taking a specific course of action.

Additionally, even if you teach AI your brand voice, the fact is that AI-generated content does not capture the intricacy and personality of human writing. If you really want to make a connection with your readers, make sure there is a human touch to the final product.

Know What AI Does Best

Now that we’ve addressed some of the significant issues with AI content creation, it’s important to address the things that it can do extremely well. There is zero doubt that – when used correctly – AI can improve productivity and make the process of creating law firm marketing content easier. Some of the best use-cases for AI in legal content marketing include:

Topic Ideation

Sometimes, the hardest part of creating content is figuring out what to write about. After all, you can only package “why you need a [insert your practice area] attorney” in so many different ways. The fact is, however, that there is plenty to talk about in the legal field, and many questions that provide you an opportunity to connect with clients online.

Getting ChatGPT to spit out strong blog topics takes a little prompt engineering. For example, you need to narrow its output to consumer-facing matters (have you met a client that really wants to know the difference between assumption of the risk and comparative negligence?) and tell it some other details. 

Fortunately, the legal professionals at Lexicon Legal Content have done the hard part for you and created a legal industry-specific AI-Powered Legal Blog Topic Generator that you can use for free.

Getting Past Writer’s Block

So now you have some topics, but you are still looking at the blank page without any idea where to start. In cases like these, AI can help you get started. You can ask it to provide a basic introduction for your topic, which is often enough to get past writers’ block and put something on the page.

Outlining Your Content

Another place that AI shines is creating content outlines. Sometimes, it is just as simple as asking it to provide headers for an x-number of word article on your chosen topic. In others, you could ask it to get more granular and summarize pontiac ideas to cover in each section.

Read Every Word

When it comes to AI content, it is critical that someone with legal expertise (preferably someone with a JD) reads every single word of the output. A light edit adding some personal or brand flavor here and there is not going to cut it. As mentioned above, it is common knowledge that AI spits out incorrect information, and even a slight error could result in professional and legal consequences. 

In addition, AI may create content that is noncompliant with the advertising rules in your jurisdiction. A stray “specialist” or false statement about your experience could result in marketing materials that could land you in hot water with your state bar.

Run it Through a Plagiarism Checker

To vastly oversimplify the technology, generative AI uses advanced algorithms and available internet content to predict what word should come next. The fact that it is using existing content to create new content should make lawyers very nervous that the content that it generates may be extremely close to existing content on the internet. 

If you and some law firm across the street or across the country ask it to generate content on a similar topic, it may spit out very similar answers. For this reason, you should always run any AI-generated content through a plagiarism checker before publishing it. 

Keep in Mind that Without Significant Human Intervention, AI Content is Not Protected by Copyright

Earlier this year, the United States Copyright Office issued guidance regarding whether AI-generated content is subject to copyright protections. Feel free to read the entire document here, but the TLDR version is this: a work is not copyrightable when an AI generates content without human involvement, and providing a prompt is not sufficient human involvement to make a work copyrightable. In other words, if you tell an AI to “generate a blog on car accident law,” proofread it, and publish it on your website, you do not own it.

Outsource Content Creation to Legal Professionals

If this sounds like a lot to worry about when using AI to create content, it is. The reality is that in many cases, it is quicker to just write content from scratch the old-fashioned way than it is to have AI generate it and then clean it up. That said, when used correctly, AI can make parts of the content process more efficient and improve productively.

At Lexicon Legal Content, we leverage AI to create legal content for our clients that turns website visitors into clients. To learn more, call us today or send us an email.

Lessons from DoNotPay: The Ethical Implications of AI in the Legal Industry

Some shortcuts and hacks are worth it in life and business, and some simply aren’t. Some are harmless, appealing, less expensive, and time-saving in the beginning. Yet, they turn out to cause more problems and hassle than the situation presented initially without the shortcut. But, as one previously-aspiring attorney is coming to find out, AI in the legal realm is more of the latter—at least for now. So if you are an attorney or a marketing professional who works with attorneys, you’ll want to make a note of this case and learn from another’s mistakes instead of venturing down that path or similar ones yourself. 

“The World’s First Robot Lawyer”

San Fransisco’s DoNotPay is “the world’s first robot lawyer,” according to founder, CEO, and software engineer Joshua Browder. The tech company was founded in 2016 by Browder, a Stanford University undergraduate and 2018 Thiel Fellow who has received a remarkable amount of media attention in his short career. Browder says he started the company after moving to the U.S. from the U.K. and receiving many parking tickets that he couldn’t afford to pay. Instead, he looked for loopholes in the law he could use to his advantage to find ways out of paying them.

He claims that the government and other large corporations have conflicting rules and regulations that only stand to rip off consumers. With DoNotPay, his goal is to give a voice to the consumer without consumers having to pay steep legal fees. According to the company’s website, they use artificial intelligence (AI) to serve approximately 1,000 cases daily. Parking ticket cases have a success rate of about 65 percent, while Browder claims many other case types are 100 percent successful.

DoNotPay claims to have the ability to:

  • Fight corporations
  • Beat bureaucracy
  • Find hidden money
  • Sue anyone
  • Automatically cancel free trials

The company has an entire laundry list on its website of legal problems and matters its AI can handle, such as:

  • Jury duty exemptions
  • Child support payments
  • Clean credit reports
  • Defamation demand letters
  • HOA fines and complaints
  • Warranty claims
  • Lien removals
  • Neighbor complaints
  • Notice of intent to homeschool
  • Insurance claims
  • Identify theft
  • Filing a restraining order
  • SEC complaint filings
  • Egg donor rights
  • Landlord protection
  • Stop debt collectors

DoNotPay: Plagued with Problems

While his intentions might be relevant or even noble to some, they are landing Broward in his own legal hot water for which there may currently be no robot lawyer to represent him. 

State Bars Frown on AI in the Courtroom

In February, a California traffic court was set to see its first “robot lawyer” as Broward planned to have an AI-powered robot argue a defendant’s traffic ticket case in court. If his plan had come to fruition, the defendant would have worn smart glasses to record court proceedings while using a small speaker near their ear, allowing them to dictate appropriate legal responses. 

This unique and innovative system relied on AI text generators, including the new ChatGPT and DaVinci. While in the courtroom, the AI robot would process and understand what was being said and generate real-time responses to the defendant. Essentially, they could act as their own lawyer with the help of DoNotPay’s robot lawyer— a technology that has never been used within a courtroom. 

Many state bars and related entities quickly expressed their extreme disapproval when they learned about Browder’s plans. Multiple state bars threatened the business, even threatening prosecution and prison time. For example, one state bar official reminded him that unauthorized practice of law is a misdemeanor in certain states that can come with a punishment of up to six months in county jail.

State bars license and regulate lawyers in their respective states, ensuring those in need of legal assistance hire lawyers who understand the law and know what they are doing. According to them, Browder’s AI technology intended for courtroom use is clearly an “unauthorized practice of law.”

DoNotPay is now under investigation by several state bars, including the California State Bar. AI in the courtroom is also problematic because, currently, courtroom rules for federal and many state courts don’t allow the recording of court proceedings. Even still, Broward’s company offered $1 million to any lawyer to have its chatbot handle a U.S. Supreme Court case. To date, no one has accepted his offer.

DoNotPay Accused of Fraud

As if being reprimanded by several state bars isn’t bad enough, Broward and DoNotPay are now facing at least one, if not multiple, class action suits. The silver lining is that perhaps Browder will finally get to test his robot lawyer in court. 

On February 13, 2023, Seattle paralegal Kathryn Tewson filed a petition with the NY Supreme Court requesting an order for DoNotPay and Broward to preserve evidence and seeking pre-action discovery. She plans to file a consumer rights suit, purporting that the company is a fundamental fraud.

What’s even more interesting is that Tewson notes in her filing that she consents to Browder using his robot lawyer to represent himself in this case and even seems to dare him to do so:

For what it is worth, Petitioner does and will consent to any application Respondents make to use their “Robot Lawyer” in these proceedings. And she submits that a failure to make such an application should weigh heavily in the Court’s evaluation of whether DoNotPay actually has such a product.

Through her own research, Tewson has accused Broward of not even using AI but piecing different documents together to produce legal documents for consumers who either believe they are receiving AI content or real attorney-generated content. Suppose DoNotPay is actually using AI, as Broward claims. In that case, it’s obviously not producing quality work products, and consumers are starting to notice. 

A Potential Class Action Lawsuit

As if these legal issues weren’t already enough, next on the DoNotPay docket is a potential class action lawsuit. On March 6, 2023, Jonathan Faridian of Yolo County filed a lawsuit in San Francisco seeking damages for alleged violations of California’s unfair competition law. Faridian alleges he wouldn’t have subscribed to DoNotPay services if he knew that the company was not actually a real lawyer. He asks the court to certify a class of all people who have purchased a subscription to DoNotPay’s service.

Faridian’s lawyer Jay Edelson filed the complaint on his behalf, alleging that he subscribed to the DoNotPay services and used the service to perform a variety of legal services on his behalf, such as:

  • Drafting demand letters
  • Drafting an independent contractor agreement
  • Small claims court filings
  • Drafting two LLC operating agreements
  • An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission job discrimination complaint 

Faridian says he “believed he was purchasing legal documents and services that would be fit for use from a lawyer that was competent to provide them.” He further claims that the services he received were “substandard and poorly done.”

Edelson has successfully sued Google, Amazon, and Apple for billions. The NYT refers to him as the “most feared lawyer in Silicon Valley.”

When asked directly if DoNotPay would be hiring a lawyer for its defense or self-defending in court relying on its own tools, Browder said, “I apologize given the pending nature of the litigation, I can’t comment further.” Even still, he recently tweeted, “We may even use our robot lawyer in the case.”

What Lawyers and Marketing Professionals Can Learn From DoNotPay’s Mistakes

Stanford professors say that Browder is “not a bad person. He just lives in a world where it is normal not to think twice about how new technology companies could create harmful effects.” Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, attorneys and marketing professionals have a lot they can glean from Broward’s predicaments. They certainly need to think twice about the potentially harmful effects of AI technology use for several reasons.


The overarching theme that we can take away from Broward and his business’s legal predicaments is that AI isn’t something that law firms or attorneys (or even those aspiring to be in the legal profession) should dabble in, at least for now. It isn’t worth using AI, such as ChatGPT or Google’s new Bard, whether for online form completion like DoNotPay or marketing content like blogs or newsletters. You don’t want to give the impression that something was drafted or reviewed by a licensed attorney when in reality, it was essentially written by a robot. On the other hand, you also don’t want to be accused of piecing legal documents together or performing shoddy work as an attorney because you are using AI. 

While relying on AI might seem harmless in some areas, it could later prove problematic, as it has for Broward. For example, using AI for any of your work or marketing content could:

  • Tarnish your reputation in your community and with your colleagues and network
  • Have your actions called into question by your state bar association
  • Provide consumers with the wrong or simply invaluable information, proving disastrous for your marketing and SEO efforts
  • Lower your SEO rankings and decrease your potential client leads
  • Cause legal action for malpractice or fraud

Adhere to Professional Standards

Always remember to adhere to your professional standards and codes of conduct. If anything related to the use of AI seems questionable or unethical, treat it as such and steer clear of it. The use of AI as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a bona fide attorney, whether online, in the courtroom, or in representing your clients, isn’t acceptable under any state bar at the current time. Taking shortcuts that rely on AI isn’t worth facing professional consequences up to and including having your license suspended or terminated.

What This Means for Legal Content 

AI is permissible and even valuable for some minor legal content generation tasks, such as determining keywords or composing an outline. However, these new and still emerging technologies shouldn’t be used to draft entire blog posts, white papers, newsletters, eBooks, landing pages, or other online marketing copy. There are several reasons to avoid this:

  • AI-generated content may soon carry a watermark detectable by web browsers
  • We don’t yet know how Google will react to such content—although Google currently claims the quality of the content is more important than how it is produced, AI may not be generating quality content, and Google could change its stance at any point
  • State bars may view AI-generated marketing content as unethical or fraudulent
  • The use of AI-generated content could constitute the unauthorized practice of law in some states
  • AI content may provide incorrect information and come across as cold or impersonal, something attorneys definitely want to avoid when marketing to potential clients

Do You Need Help Producing Original Content?

If you are an attorney or marketing professional who needs help producing legal content, Lexicon Legal Content can help. Don’t cut corners and put yourself at risk by turning to AI-generated content. Our team of attorney-led writers can produce valuable content for your website or other marketing efforts that pass not only plagiarism detection but also AI detection. All content is either written or reviewed by a licensed attorney. Talk to a content expert today about we can meet your legal content needs. 

U.S. Copyright Office Issues Guidance on AI-Generated Works

Generative AI is happening, and it’s creating images, text, music, and other forms of content right now, as you read this. Some see this technology as a way to maximize human efficiency and productivity, while others view it as an existential threat to humanity. Regardless of where you come down on the issue, the reality is that generative AI is creating new content every day, and there are significant legal and ethical implications.

One of the most vexing questions is who owns the material generated by AI? In other words, if you use AI to create content, is it copyrightable?  If you ask ChatGPT, it tells you that:

A screenshot of ChatGPT

Not a very clear answer – maybe, and maybe not. Fortunately for content creators, the U.S. Copyright Office issued guidance on the subject on March 16, 2023. The TLDR version is this: works generated solely by AI are not copyrightable, but works generated by humans using AI might be.

The Authorship Requirement in Copyright

In its guidance, the Office reiterated its position that the term “author” excludes non-humans. For this reason, copyright can only protect works that are the result of human creativity.  In Article I, Section 8, The Constitution grants Congress the right to provide “authors” with an exclusive right to their “writings.”

The seminal case interpreting these terms is Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co v. Sarony. In that case, Napoleon Sarony had taken photos of Oscar Wilde, which Burrow-Giles Lithographic Company made copies of and marketed. The company’s position was that photographs could not be copyrightable works as they were not “writing” or produced by an “author” – therefore invalidating the Copyright Act Amendment of 1865, which explicitly granted copyright protection to photographs.

The Court rejected this argument, explaining that visual works such as maps and charts had been granted copyright protection since the first Copyright Act of 1790. In addition, even if “ordinary pictures” may simply be the result of a technical process, the fact that Sarony had made decisions regarding lighting, costume, setting, and other issues indicated that Sarony was, in fact, the author of an original work of art that was within the class of works that for which Congress intended to provide copyright protection.

In the opinion, the Court defined an author as “he to whom anything owes its origin; originator; maker; one who completes a work of science or literature.” Futhermore, as the decision repeatedly refers to authors as “persons,” human,” and a copyright as “the exclusive right of a man to the production of his own genius or intellect.”

Relying on this decision as well as subsequent cases, the Copyright Office has required that work have human authoriship in order to be copyrightable.

How the Copyright Office Applies the Authorship Requirement

When the Copyright Office receives a hybrid work that contains both human-created and AI-generated material, it considers whether the contributions of the AI are the result of mechanical reproduction or the author’s own original idea on a case-by-case basis.

The bottom line is that if a work is the result of simply feeding AI a prompt, it will not be copyrightable. From the guidance (footnotes omitted):

For example, if a user instructs a text-generating technology to “write a poem about copyright law in the style of William Shakespeare,” she can expect the system to generate text that is recognizable as a poem, mentions copyright, and resembles Shakespeare’s style. But the technology will decide the rhyming pattern, the words in each line, and the structure of the text. When an AI technology determines the expressive elements of its output, the generated material is not the product of human authorship. As a result, that material is not protected by copyright and must be disclaimed in a registration application.

Importantly, the guidance acknowledges that some works that include AI-generated material will have enough human authorship to qualify for copyright protection. According to the Office, if the material is sufficiently altered in a creative way, the end result could be a work of authorship subject to copyright protection.

Authors Can Use AI Tools to Create Copyrightable Works

The guidance makes clear that authors can create copyrightable works using AI and other technical tools. That said, people applying for copyright registration should disclose their use of AI and explain how the human author contributed to the work.

The emergence of generative AI has brought with it complex legal and ethical questions regarding ownership and copyright of AI-generated works. The recent guidance issued by the U.S. Copyright Office provides some clarity on the matter, but content creators should make an effort to stay informed on this rapidly-evolving area of law.

Note: ChatGPT was used in the editing process – and helped with the conclusion.


FAQs: Can Lawyers Use AI-Generated Content for Marketing?

Right now, it’s nearly impossible to have a discussion about digital marketing without mentioning ChatGPT or AI generally. The technology is undoubtedly amazing; it’s capable of answering questions, creating a business plan, and even writing essays. One of the most obvious potential use cases for the newest generation of AI tools is content creation – but is it a good idea to use it? Let’s dig in and see what the issues are….

Can I Post AI-Generated Content on My Website?

Yes, you can. That said , the last thing you should do is post AI-generated content on your legal site without significant oversight and review. On February 8, 2023, Google clarified its position on AI-generated content. In short, it said that using AI-generated content is not against its guidelines. Like other forms of content, it will rank well if it is helpful for people searching for information. Additionally, if you use AI to create content in an attempt to “game” SEO, your site will likely be penalized.

Should I Use AI Content?

As the old adage goes, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If your site deals with topics that can affect your money or your life (YMYL, in Google’s parlance), it will scrutinize your site’s content more closely. Specifically, it will look closely for signals that demonstrate experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

YMYL sites include sites that relate to topics like medicine, finance, and law. As a result, it’s critical for lawyers to ensure that the content on their site is accurate, helpful, and in compliance with the rules of professional conduct. If you are using AI to generate content, it’s imperative that you (or someone with the necessary expertise) review every word of it before you post it on your website. At that point, it becomes a legitimate question as to whether using AI to create long-form legal content is truly more efficient than human writing.

If you need 100-word product descriptions for kitchen appliances, you’re likely fine to use AI to generate them and post them with a cursory review. If you are creating long-form content on complicated legal topics, you probably want to have more human involvement and oversight in content creation.

How Can AI Help in the Content Creation Process?

That said, there are certainly ways in which AI tools can help content creators make the process more efficient. Some of the ways that you can use AI to help in content creation ethically and without creating more work include:

  • Blog topic ideation
  • Client persona identification
  • Keyword research
  • Content outlining
  • Basic legal research
  • Getting over writer’s block

Is AI-Content Well-Written?

Whether you think AI-generated content is well-written depends on what you believe makes content “good.” To many people, it’s just too generic and “clean” to qualify as good content. The reality is that law firms and other professional service providers have a brand identity that they want their content to reflect, and content generated by artificial intelligence lacks the personality that achieves that goal.

Is AI-Content Bar-Compliant?

There is no guarantee that the content created by AI will be compliant with the rules of your state bar. It may make statements that inadvertently guarantee a favorable outcome, it may suggest that you are a “specialist” or an “expert,” and it may even provide incorrect information. Furthermore, it’s possible that some state bars may hold the position that using AI-generated content without oversight is, per se, a violation of the rules of professional conduct. 

In Conclusion…

If you are a law firm or a digital marketing agency that works with law firms, AI can certainly help you in your efforts. That said, you should be certain that there is a significant amount of expert oversight in the process. Using AI to mass-produce content and posting without review can land you in hot water with Google and even your state bar.

Google Issues New Guidance on AI-Generated Content

Earlier today, Google issued guidance on how it views AI-Generated content. The TLDR version is that AI content is not inherently against guidelines and can be used effectively, provided that it is helpful and is not created in an attempt to manipulate search results. According to Google’s blog, this clarification does not reflect a change in its long-standing policy:

When it comes to automatically generated content, our guidance has been consistent for years. Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.

In addition, Google points out that AI-generated content can be helpful:

This said, it’s important to recognize that not all use of automation, including AI generation, is spam. Automation has long been used to generate helpful content, such as sports scores, weather forecasts, and transcripts. AI has the ability to power new levels of expression and creativity, and to serve as a critical tool to help people create great content for the web.

What Does This Mean for Legal Content Marketing?

While Google is claiming that its position on AI-generated content has been consistent, the fact is that this policy is in direct opposition to Search Advocate John Mueller’s April 2022 statement that AI-generated content is spam. Clearly, AI-generated content can be created faster and more cheaply than hiring a team of specialized copywriters – so should law firms and legal marketers rush to mass produce AI content now that Google has explicitly said it’s not against its guidelines?

AI-Content Tools Provide a Good Starting Point

The fact remains that there are significant issues with using AI tools like ChatGPT to generate content. It can hallucinate facts and may not be aware of current events. That said, it’s a good tool for ideating blog topics, creating outlines, and even conducting basic legal research. The fact remains that any content generated by AI needs to be reviewed by someone who is familiar with relevant law and the ethical rules regarding attorney advertising.

Google Treats YMYL Content Differently

Google has overtly stated that certain sites – those that deal with issues related to “your money or your life” – have a extremely high Page Quality rating standard. This means that content on topics that have a high risk of harm to someone’s health, financial stability, safety, welfare, or well-being is more closely scrutinized for it’s E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trust). In Google’s own words:

On topics where information quality is critically important—like health, civic, or financial information—our systems place an even greater emphasis on signals of reliability.

As a result, if you are publishing legal content – which falls into the YMYL category – it’s especially important to demonstrate E-E-A-T. As a result, any content that you publish on your legal site should be thoroughly reviewed by a human being who has expertise in the area.

Ultimately, Google has this to say about whether you should use AI to generate content:

If you see AI as an essential way to help you produce content that is helpful and original, it might be useful to consider. If you see AI as an inexpensive, easy way to game search engine rankings, then no.

We’re On It

At Lexicon Legal Content, our team has been integrating AI into our processes for several years, and we’re committed to staying on the cutting edge of how AI tools can improve our content and deliver more value to our clients. To learn more about our offerings, call us today to speak with a legal content marketing expert.

Is AI the Answer to Law Firms’ Legal Content Creation Needs?

Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock, you’ve heard about ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new chatbot that can perform a variety of tasks – including creating content that is very close to what a human could create.

Its abilities have set the marketing world abuzz, with many observers predicting that it will fundamentally change the way we do business across all industries. Recently, ChatGPT has passed the multiple choice portion of the MBE, a Wharton Business School Test, and the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam. In fact, an AI-powered “lawyer” is set to appear in court next month, whispering in the defendant’s ear what to say through headphones. It’s undoubtedly a very exciting technology, and many people are looking into how to leverage it to cut costs and improve efficiencies in their daily processes.

Continue reading “Is AI the Answer to Law Firms’ Legal Content Creation Needs?”