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 as to 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:
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.