There’s no doubt that ChatGPT has emerged as a powerful, ground-breaking tool for marketers and business owners around the world.
In fact, ChatGPT has been heralded as one of the leading AI tools of today, with capabilities that include generating complex programming code, creating marketing templates, and writing content.
With all its capabilities, ChatGPT has become a popular tool for business owners, particularly when it comes to content writing. ChatGPT can create blog post outlines, write social media copy, draft emails, and so much much more, saving business money and time on content creation.
But when it comes to more complex and regulated industries – like the legal industry – some questions emerge.
Is ChatGPT capable of providing accurate and reliable legal content? Can ChatGPT be “trusted” to write good website content for law firms?
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the risks of using ChatGPT for law firm website content writing – and what to use instead.
ChatGPT And Law Firm Marketing: A Recipe For Disaster?
Conduct a Google search for anything pertaining to “ChatGPT” and “lawyers,” and you’re likely to see some troubling results.
Not surprisingly, many people have concerns about ChatGPT’s application to the legal profession, given the industry’s strict regulations and marketing guidelines.
Queries like “Will ChatGPT replace lawyers?” and “Is it legal to use ChatGPT for legal work?” are common phrases.
The fact is, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool when it comes to streamlining business operations, creating templates, drafting outlines, and otherwise supporting the more administrative work that legal professionals do every day.
However, it is not a viable replacement for great legal content – which often requires a trained professional and legal review to confirm the validity and accuracy of its subject matter.
So, while the combination of ChatGPT and law firm marketing are not necessarily a recipe for disaster, close consideration should be taken to how ChatGPT is used when it comes to writing content, producing “information”, generating marketing copy, and the like.
Here are some reasons you shouldn’t use ChatGPT (or other AI tools) to write your law firm website content.
1. ChatGPT Is (Often) Wrong
ChatGPT often produces inaccurate information with confidence. You might ask ChatGPT a question, and it will generate a response, but there is no way of verifying the accuracy of its answer.
This can be super dangerous when it comes to legal content. People seeking legal content must be able to rely on the accuracy of this information in order to make decisions about their legal case, seek legal services, file documents, etc.
ChatGPT’s algorithm is simply based on patterns in its existing training data, which may fall out of date or not be based on accurate information to begin with. Anyone relying on ChatGPT for content creation must fact-check all outputs and validate any claims themselves.
There are quite a few examples of AI producing inaccurate information, such as Bard’s telescope blunder, errors discovered in Men’s Journal, and ChatGPT floundering at debugging code.
Thus, it is important not to take ChatGPT as the ultimate source of truth but rather review all outputs closely before considering using this content on your website.
2. ChatGPT Lacks Depth, Insight, And Creativity
Inaccuracies aside, ChatGPT simply lacks depth, insight, and creativity in its content outputs.
Even if you enter a super detailed prompt – outlining your brand voice, target audience, etc. – it can still miss the mark. It just isn’t as engaging as human-written content.
Part of this is because ChatGPT can’t produce original ideas and stories. It’s only as strong as the data it already has access to, which is based on existing content. It is extremely limited when it comes to providing unique, engaging content.
Further, even when ChatGPT does produce some impressive content, it is not always consistent. The exact prompt may produce a completely different output the next day. This makes it difficult to provide website copy that’s wholly consistent and on-brand.
Finally, ChatGPT lacks the human experience to highlight personal stories or convey emotion. These elements are critically important for law firms that want to connect with their target audience.
Potential clients want to connect to that human touch and feel that your law firm understands their needs and pain points.
ChatGPT is great at producing generic, somewhat robotic content. It is not great at crafting original copy that incorporates your law firm’s tone of voice or connects with prospects on an emotional level.
This can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your website copy.
3. Ownership Over AI Content Is… Questionable
As stated, ChatGPT is only as powerful as the training data it already has access to. That means that this content could already exist elsewhere on the web – if not as the original source, then as a publication of already ChatGPT-generated content.
For example, say you prompt ChatGPT to “Write a blog article about the 5 steps to file for divorce.” Another law firm, anywhere else in the world, could input a similar prompt and get an identical output. And if both law firms publish this content, who’s to say who “owns” it?
This all raises the question, is all AI content fair use? Or is it stealing?
As a legal professional, you must be particularly careful regarding copyright laws and duplicate content. It’s simply not worth it to publish ChatGPT content on your website and risk being slapped with copyright infringement.
Ownership over AI content is still new territory. And while a few articles have been published on this topic, it’s still a subject of debate. For legal professionals, this may not be a safe area to play in.
4. ChatGPT Content May Reflect Biases
ChatGPT may inadvertently reflect biases in its content, as there may be inherent biases in its training data.
To date, we don’t fully know the source(s) of ChatGPT’s data, to what degree it has been reviewed for biases, or to what degree it has been fact-checked.
The result is that some ChatGPT content may reflect certain viewpoints or biases. For example:
- If the training data contains gender imbalances, the model might produce biased responses. It may exhibit stereotypes when discussing gender-related topics.
- ChatGPT may inadvertently reinforce racial or ethnic stereotypes or exhibit discriminatory language when discussing certain groups or topics.
- It may produce content that makes assumptions or provides inaccurate information as it related to socioeconomic groups.
- ChatGPT might favor certain cultural perspectives or exhibit a lack of understanding of diverse cultural contexts, leading to biased or insensitive content.
Overall, biased data inputs can lead to biased content. ChatGPT is not equipped to challenge these biases to provide a truly balanced perspective in this case.
This could lead to all types of issues, most notably deterring potential clients due to biased, discriminatory content.
5. ChatGPT Cannot Crawl The Web And Validate Information
While ChatGPT is based on an extensive database, it doesn’t have information about every possible industry or topic. It also cannot crawl the web to source new information, so it may not be up to date with recent laws, studies, research, and legal processes.
Further, it may not have the niche knowledge to accurately convey information to your target audience. So, for example, if you ask ChatGPT about a complex legal issue, it might not have a response at all, or may produce incorrect information.
When writing content on specialized topics, it’s best to rely on your own professional knowledge or the experience of other trained legal professionals.
You can also access accurate information such as case files and research from the web. This is the best way to ensure your content is accurate and up to date.
In case it wasn’t obvious, there are some very real issues regarding the accuracy and validity of ChatGPT content.
With this in mind, legal professionals should be wary of using this content as is. Always take ChatGPT outputs with a grain of salt and do your own due diligence to fact-check its content.
Skip The ChatGPT Content. Do This Instead.
While there are many amazing use cases for ChatGPT (which Search Engine Journal has covered extensively here, here, and here), closer consideration must be taken when it comes to ChatGPT’s application to the legal industry.
It’s not worth the risk to publish inaccurate or compromised legal content that might hurt your business or land you in legal hot water.
Instead of using ChatGPT to write content for your law firm website, consider hiring a skilled content writer and incorporating AI tools into the planning and formatting stages of the content process.
A copywriter will be able to understand your brand voice and messaging far better than any AI tool. Then, they can use tools like ChatGPT for topic ideation, drafting outlines, and structuring content.
However, the bulk of the content will be written by a human writer and then reviewed by a legal professional on your team.
It’s amazing what we can do with AI technology today. Law firms can use AI tools to their advantage, but should always adhere to the standards and regulations of their industry.
This is the best way to protect the business and provide the most accurate information to users.
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