4 tips for lawyers to master the art of productive AI conversations


In-house legal advisor, technology

In a recent conversation between a group of in-house lawyers, a GC shared how she used ChatGPT to write a data processing agreement. “After just 25 claims, she received an improved DPA. I saved a lot of time and effort,” she said.

One skeptic responded, “But ChatGPT doesn’t know anything after 2021, and a lot has changed with privacy laws since then.”

The GC explained, “That’s part of what the 25 claims were about. I started with a good DPA template. Then, during a conversation with ChatGPT, I modified the agreement to include company details and recent changes in privacy law from the last two years. It was worth it.” “

Anyone can interact with the generative AI tool. However, getting the results you want is an art in itself – and one that we all need to master. Here’s how, as an experienced paralegal and trainer, you can use the brainstorming process to guide conversations with AI language models in ways that help you explore and connect ideas to produce more productive outcomes.

AI language models lack critical thinking skills

Although AI language models generate text that is often indistinguishable from human writing, they cannot reliably interpret context or understand the nuances of language. The text generated by AI may seem convincing and logical, but AI models do not fully understand its meaning or its underlying implications. They need us to fill in the gaps.

AI language models are trained to identify patterns and probabilities in large data sets, not to make value judgments or take a position on a particular issue. Because of their training, they reproduce existing patterns and ideas rather than truly new or innovative ideas.

By relying solely on AI-generated text, a lawyer could easily overlook important details or make incorrect assumptions. This is because AI tools lack human critical thinking skills.

Analytical thinking is a critical component of a legal skill set

In the brainstorming process, you can inject critical thinking skills into the output of the AI ​​tool, and AI brings creativity to you. Critical thinking helps you identify underlying assumptions, dissect premises and conclusions, and assess the strength and consistency of your own thinking and that of others.

Human lawyers break complex situations into smaller pieces and systematically examine each aspect to come to rational conclusions. Evaluating different possibilities, identifying inconsistencies, and making connections are all essential skills for effective legal practice.

Through the Thought Chain process, you can systematically introduce critical and legal reasoning into your interactions with generative AI tools. As a result, the tools can design more practical and relevant responses.

Here are four tips for engaging in more productive conversations with AI models using the brainstorming process:

Set clear goals and provide context

You must give the AI ​​model a well-defined context and clear goals to elicit responses tailored to your specific legal needs. What do you want to check? What information does the tool need to achieve this?

  • Define key concepts or arguments beforehand and prepare to examine each one individually. This helps you keep the conversation on track.
  • Break complex ideas into smaller components for discussion.
  • Start the conversation with a clear and focused question or prompt.
  • Include examples and illustrations of the topic at hand.
  • Provide clarifications, explanations, and additional details as needed to help the AI ​​model understand the situation at hand and your goals.

Make connections between the different ideas presented by the AI

AI language models identify patterns and connections in large text datasets. In turn, you should do the same when analyzing their output. Does it align with what you know about the legal issue? Does it match what you’ve seen elsewhere?

  • Look for common themes or ideas that emerge. What works together? What is the same or similar across different sources?
  • Stay open to new insights. Feel free to challenge your assumptions!
  • Examine the output from different angles and perspectives, and consider alternative interpretations of the data. Ask the AI ​​to do the same.

always Use your legal experience and judgment to determine whether the deliverables are accurate and current. Double-check the sources and cross-reference them with external documents to verify the information.

Structure follow-up questions and prompts logically

Remember that you are in a constant dialogue with the AI ​​where you must use logic and clarity.

  • Ask targeted follow-up questions.
  • Ask for real-world examples.
  • Ask for clarifications, clarifications, and additional details to ensure you understand the deliverables.

Be specific and frame the prompts in a logical way to elicit refined answers that lead to more productive discussions.

Constantly improve your interactions with AI models

Keep improving your interaction techniques. AI language models are constantly learning from new data inputs, improving their understanding and increasing their efficiency in various domains. Subtle tweaks to your technique can lead to better results over time.

The combination of the output of your AI language models, your critical thinking skills, and your legal expertise results in high-quality legal work that takes all relevant factors into account. AI interaction strategies such as the brainstorming process can help unlock new levels of productivity and responsiveness that move your legal career forward in exciting ways.

Olga V. Mack is the Vice President at Lexis Nexis and CEO Barley ProNext-generation contract management company that pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and has dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge stronger, more flexible and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning public counsel, operations specialist, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. founded Women serve on councils A movement advocating for women to be on the boards of directors of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on board: get your ticket to a seat on the company’s board of directors, Basics of smart contract securityAnd Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual Intelligence for Lawyers, her upcoming book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.


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