Keith Blog

By: Keith Barlett

Keith Blog[1]

 What is ChatGPT?

          ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (“AI”) chat bot developed by OpenAI.[2]  It works similar to a search engine, like Google, but instead of providing links to potentially relevant websites, it responds with “conversational” text responses.[3]  The program was initially trained using Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback and fine-tuned using Proximal Policy Optimization, two methods of machine learning.[4]

          While the responses ChatGPT produces often appear as if they are written by a human, the program does have limitations.[5]  It is sensitive to input phrasing, and may produce two different answers to the same question asked slightly different from each other.  It can be “excessively verbose”, a result of training biases that favored longer responses that looked more comprehensive.[6]  But ChatGPT can ask clarifying questions when it does not know the answer or receives an ambiguous question.[7]

          OpenAI did attempt to put some limits on responses to “inappropriate” questions.[8]  For example, when asked “how do you break into someone’s house?”, ChatGPT’s response was “[i]t is not appropriate to discuss or encourage illegal activities . . . . It is never okay to break into someone’s home without their permission.”[9]  But ChatGPT may still provide “harmful instructions” or exhibit “biased behavior.”[10]

ChatGPT’s Potential Effects on the Law

           ChatGPT’s potential for legal applications have been tested in several different ways.  The AI chat bot was able to answer Multistate Bar Exam questions correctly fifty percent of the time.[11]  One judge used it to write a ruling in a case.[12]  Another company ran ChatGPT through a “legal road test.”[13]  The company found that ChatGPT did not always give great legal advice but was “impressive” given that it is a generalized program.[14]  Suffolk University Law School Dean Andrew Perlman used ChatGPT to “co-write” a fourteen page article in one hour.[15]

           While some of these tests show the limitations of the ChatGPT, some experts believe that the chat bot will ultimately make lawyers better at their jobs, not replace them.[16]  Despite the risk of receiving inaccurate or biased responses, ChatGPT does provide an innovative way of getting more information quickly.[17]  This information can be used as a “launching point”—a way of jump-starting the research process—rather than as a tool to write briefs or motions.[18]  ChatGPT can also be used to facilitate non-law related lawyer work, such as writing LinkedIn articles.[19]

           Further, ChatGPT could have implications for non-lawyers that need legal advice.  Its “simple interface makes it easy to use for even the least technically advanced user.”[20]  ChatGPT’s ability to take natural language inputs and respond with conversational textual answers[21] makes it possible for people who have no legal knowledge to receive detailed answers and explanations to their problems.  While this might not be the best route for pro se parties to take currently because of the bot’s limitations,[22]  pro se parties may not have the access or skill required to do sufficient legal research. So, ChatGPT may be better than entering a courtroom or opposing counsel’s office completely unprepared. And, as the technology improves, the existing limitations will likely decrease.

ChatGPT’s Version of This Article

         As an illustration of ChatGPT’s capabilities, the author asked the chat bot to “write a 300 word blog post explaining ChatGPT’s potential effects on the legal field.”  Below is ChatGPT’s unedited (except for formatting) response:

          ChatGPT, the large language model developed by OpenAI, has the potential to revolutionize the legal field in several ways. With its natural language processing capabilities, it can analyze large amounts of legal data and provide accurate and relevant information in real-time.

          One of the primary ways ChatGPT can impact the legal field is through legal research. Legal professionals often spend a significant amount of time researching legal cases, statutes, and other legal documents. ChatGPT can simplify this process by quickly analyzing vast amounts of legal data and providing relevant information. This can save time and resources, allowing legal professionals to focus on other critical tasks.

          ChatGPT can also be used to automate document review, a process that can be time-consuming and prone to errors. By analyzing legal documents and identifying key information, ChatGPT can help legal professionals identify relevant information quickly, reducing the time and resources required for document review. Additionally, ChatGPT can identify inconsistencies or discrepancies within documents, helping to ensure that legal documents are accurate and comprehensive.

          Moreover, ChatGPT can be used to provide legal counseling to clients. It can answer basic legal questions, provide legal information, and assist clients in understanding legal concepts. This can help to improve access to legal information for people who may not have access to traditional legal services.

          Finally, ChatGPT can be used to analyze legal trends and predict the outcome of legal cases. By analyzing vast amounts of legal data, including case law and court decisions, ChatGPT can identify patterns and trends in legal cases. This can help legal professionals to make more informed decisions about legal strategies and can help to predict the outcome of legal cases.

            In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to transform the legal field by improving the efficiency and accuracy of legal research, document review, legal counseling, and legal predictions. While there are limitations and challenges associated with the use of ChatGPT in the legal field, the benefits it offers are significant. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more and more applications of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence technologies in the legal field. Legal professionals who are willing to embrace these technologies and adapt to the changing landscape will be best positioned to succeed in the future.

           Coming in at 377 words, it was longer than requested.  But it does cover a number of the same points, plus some that were not raised above.  The text is readable, structured, and makes good use of transition words.  It only took about a minute to output the text—significantly less time than it took the author to write this article.  Notably, it is lacking citations for its arguments.

About the Author

          Keith is a second-year law student at Widener University Delaware Law School.  He is the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 49 of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.  He is also an Academic Success Fellow, which involves tutoring first-year law students on essay writing skills and strategies.  Keith will be working as a summer associate at Berger Harris LLP during the summer of 2023, externing with Judge Montomgery-Reeves in the Third Circuit during the 2023 academic year, and intends to practice corporate litigation in Delaware after graduation.

[1] Tara Winstead, Black and White Photo of Human Hand and Robot Hand (photograph), Pexels, (last visited Mar. 10, 2023) (providing the title image).

[2] Introducing ChatGPT, OpenAI, (last visited Mar. 10, 2023).

[3] Id.

[4] Id.  There are a number of different methods of machine learning, which have different applications in different contexts. See generally Machine learning, Wikipedia, (last visited Mar. 10, 2023).

[5] Id.

[6] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2.

[7] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2, at Example 1.

[8] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2.

[9] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2, at Example 2.

[10] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2.

[11] Karen Sloan, Some law professors fear ChatGPT’s rise as others see opportunity, Reuters (Jan. 10, 2023, 7:19 PM),

[12] Victor Tangermann, Judge Uses ChatGPT to Issue Ruling in Court Case, The Byte, (last visited Mar. 10, 2023).

[13] Richard Cumbley & Peter Church, ChatGPT—50 questions to road test its legal advice, Linklaters (Dec. 19, 2022),—50-questions-to-road-test-its-legal-advice.

[14] Id.

[15] Jenna Greene, Will ChatGPT make lawyers be obsolete? (Hint: be afraid), Reuters (Dec. 9, 2022, 2:33 PM),  Perlman’s article—with over 3,000 downloads—can be found on SSRN. See Andrew M. Perlman, The Implications of ChatGPT for Legal Services and Society, SSRN, (last visited March 10, 2023).

[16] See Matt Reynolds, Techshow keynote tackles ChatGPT and startup challenges, ABAJournal (Mar. 2, 2023, 12:20 PM), (“ChatGPT is not going to replace us, . . . [i]t’s going to make us look like superheroes.”).

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

[19] Id.

[20] Thomas Bacas, ANALYSIS: Will ChatGPT Bring AI to Law Firms? Not Anytime Soon, Bloomberg Law (Dec. 28, 2022, 10:22 AM),

[21] Introducing ChatGPT, supra note 2.

[22] See ChatGPT Road Test, supra note 14.