Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Editor’s Note: In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the legal profession stands on the brink of a transformation powered by generative artificial intelligence (AI). This shift, heralded by the rise of the “prompt engineer,” is reshaping the landscape of legal research, ethics, and education. With the New Jersey Supreme Court establishing preliminary guidelines for AI’s ethical use, the conversation extends beyond the courtroom to the very halls of legal academia. Professors, legal professionals, and AI experts alike are engaging in a pivotal dialogue on integrating this technology into the fabric of legal practice. This article delves into the burgeoning role of generative AI in law, exploring its potential to democratize legal advice, enhance efficiency, and maintain the integrity of the profession. As we navigate this new frontier, the balance between machine intelligence and the indispensable human ethical compass becomes ever more critical.

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Industry News – Artificial Intelligence Beat

Prompt Engineering: The New Vanguard of Legal Tech

ComplexDiscovery Staff

In a legal landscape teeming with technological change, the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is redrawing the contours of the practice. The once-prized command of Boolean logic—essential for electronic legal research—is giving way to a new reverence: the prompt engineer. This quasi-mythic figure in the burgeoning generative AI era is fast becoming the linchpin of legal firms, capable of crafting prompts that can steer large language models (LLMs) through the complex realms of law.

As legal-specific generative AI matures, becoming an indispensable asset in the legal toolkit, the New Jersey Supreme Court has moved to establish ethical guardrails. On Jan. 25, it presented preliminary guidelines for the judicious use of AI, ensuring that it serves the pursuit of justice without trampling professional ethics. The prescient committee behind these guidelines foresees AI reshaping legal practices without altering core professional responsibilities.

Prompt engineering, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee anticipates, will become a coveted skill, emerging as the nexus of machine intelligence and legal acumen. Professor April Dawson of the North Carolina Central University School of Law echoes this sentiment, noting a seismic shift in legal education following ChatGPT’s unveiling. A debate rages from faculty lounge to courtroom over how to best incorporate generative AI into law curriculum and practice. Debates swirl, from outright bans of generative AI tools to revisiting pedagogical approaches to embrace the technology’s potential.

In particular, a Seton Hall law professor, David Kemp, champions integrative approaches, drawing parallels to essential legal research tools such as Westlaw. Kemp argues that instituting AI competence is not only preemptive but also ethically mandated.

Law schools like the University of Michigan and Suffolk University are already adapting, taking divergent yet equally proactive stances. While the former requests applicants to swear off AI assistance, the latter—under the leadership of Dean Andrew Perlman—advocates for grounding future legal professionals in generative AI literacy from day one.

Meanwhile, outside academia, Richard Robbins, a managing director at Applied Artificial Intelligence, and Epiq experts like Ziad Mantoura are witnessing a surge in interest and integration of generative AI tools in legal departments. The shift is undeniable, and it goes beyond mere efficiency; it’s about access. As legal administrators adapt generative AI, from eDiscovery to contract review, the technology promises not only to expedite processes but also to democratize legal advice, making it more accessible across economic and geographic divides.

Despite the buzz, the deployment of generative AI is not without hazards. The Bar Council’s newly minted guidelines underscore this, pinpointing risks such as ‘hallucinations’—misleading or erroneous outputs occasionally generated by LLMs. Sam Townend, KC and Bar Council chair, solemnly advises that practitioners acquaint themselves with AI’s inner workings to maintain the integrity of the profession.

Legal practitioners are embarking on the journey to understand and harness generative AI: a journey with profound implications for the rule of law and the collective pursuit of justice. As this technology continues to evolve, so, too, will the responsibilities and the very identity of legal professionals. For now, the legal world watches with cautious optimism, ready to mold a future where AI is a tool of empowerment steered by the prompt engineer’s judicious command.

Ultimately, the future of law with generative AI seems poised on the precipice—an ominous yawning yet beckoning with the shimmering potential of a more equitable and efficient justice system. The synergy between legal minds and machine intelligence could be the harbinger of a new law era. But amidst this enthusiasm, a silent consensus remains: the human element, with its irreplaceable ethical compass, must remain at the helm.

News Sources

Assisted by GAI and LLM Technologies

Additional Reading


Learn more about Prompt Engineering in Dr. Jules White’s Prompt Engineering Specialization Courses from Vanderbilt University.

Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT


Six Modules (18 Hours) via Coursera

Chat GPT Advanced Data Analysis

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Five Modules (10 Hours) via Cousera

Trustworthy Generative AI


Two Modules (8 Hours) via Cousera

Prompt Engineering Specialization


Three Courses (36 Hours) via Coursera

Source: ComplexDiscovery OÜ


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ComplexDiscovery OÜ is a highly recognized digital publication focused on providing detailed insights into the fields of cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery. Based in Estonia, a hub for digital innovation, ComplexDiscovery OÜ upholds rigorous standards in journalistic integrity, delivering nuanced analyses of global trends, technology advancements, and the eDiscovery sector. The publication expertly connects intricate legal technology issues with the broader narrative of international business and current events, offering its readership invaluable insights for informed decision-making.

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Generative Artificial Intelligence and Large Language Model Use

ComplexDiscovery OÜ recognizes the value of GAI and LLM tools in streamlining content creation processes and enhancing the overall quality of its research, writing, and editing efforts. To this end, ComplexDiscovery OÜ regularly employs GAI tools, including ChatGPT, Claude, Midjourney, and DALL-E, to assist, augment, and accelerate the development and publication of both new and revised content in posts and pages published (initiated in late 2022).

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