Implementing legal chatbots are an increasingly common and “trendy” Legaltech orientated thing for law firms to do, especially the smaller ones.
Increasingly law firms are pitched to implement chatbots as the triage and interface of their law practice.
The ones powered by Artificial Intelligence are capable of deliver significant legal information, administrative savings and consumer benefits. The latter to the point of being almost indistinguishable at times from a human being.
Here is a really useful article that explains simply the pros and cons of chatbots for a law firm.
Lawyers therefore see these chatbots as an accessible and affordable LegalTech solution for their practices. Not surprisingly we are seeing more of them literally pop up on law firm websites.
It was good therefore to come across this excellent article about Legal Chatbots by Mark C. Palmer from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission On Professionalism.
I thought I’d share it with you as it deals primarily with the practical as well as ethical considerations arising from implementing legal chatbots in law practices. There are quite a few by the way.
Implementing Legal Chatbots
What I like is how practical and how balanced Palmer is in critiqueing the Chatbot technology.
On one hand he outlines its uses and details the obvious benefits of lawyers for using legal chatbots in their legal practices.
On the other he also highlights the potential issues that can arise and the pitfalls that can occur in implementing chatbots. This is especially in light of the special nature of a lawyer’s ethical and fiduciary obligations.
The key takeaway for me was “go in with your eyes wide open, and your lawyer eyes at that”.
I liked how he was upfront about saying if you are using a bot, tell the consumer it is one, don’t let them assume it is a human.
I also like how he was clear about the distinction between giving legal information and giving legal advice.
The importance of managing confidential and sensitive information was also highlighted time and time again. So it should be.
Issues such as data protection, cybersecurity and data ownership are all things lawyers need to consider practically, ethically and professionally as a result of implementing legal chatbots in their practice.
Palmer also talks about proper oversight and auditing and regular updating of the Chatbot by the vendor as key aspects. These elements are often overlooked as Legaltech can be sometimes considered as set and forget solutions.
Implementing Legal Chatbots
Paul Ippolito, the Principal of Ippolito Lawyers provides executive coaching for lawyers. He is also an experienced high performance business coach, professional personal mentor and business consultant.
Paul has provided lots of advice to graduate lawyers, corporate counsel, government lawyers and principals of law firms.
He has also provided advice on starting off in law, building a law practice, career development and promotion, legal practice management, practice acquisition and mergers through to work life balance & integration.
Paul can provide business consulting for your legal practice, irrespective of whether you are a solicitor or a barrister.
Paul Ippolito is also a long standing academic at The College Of Law in NSW, having lectured there for over a decade. His research interests include the future of the legal practice. Paul has conducted numerous lectures to graduate law students about to commence their legal careers. He also has previously taught management at Western Sydney University.
Call Paul now if you want some advice on how to implement LegalTech in your legal practice.