ChatGPT may improve access to justice, but won’t replace lawyers: Law Commission of Ontario webinar

At the webinar, organized by the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) in cooperation with the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society, Fritsch noted that there is a “massive demand” for AI legal tools to help people access justice. “We always thought that AI wouldn’t replace humans until AI was as good as humans,” Fritsch said. “ChatGPT is clearly not as good as humans yet, but the demand for it is not being driven by the technology. It is being driven by the economics, and the barriers that people have accessing justice.”

He noted that the free AI tools such as ChatGPT can at least provide a starting point for those seeking legal advice. It’s good at “identifying and pointing you in the general direction,” he said, which “has a lot of value for a lot of people,” especially those who don’t know their legal rights.

Indeed, recently Law Times spoke with family lawyer Russell Alexander at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers about the potential of AI to make lawyers more efficient and enhance access to justice for clients.

ChatGPT has only been around as a public AI tool for a few months, Fritsch said, but it already has 100 million-plus users and is the fastest-growing Internet app ever. It can generate a text response to almost any typed prompt, from children’s stories to graduate essays to family eulogies and answer questions of a legal nature.

For instance, ChatGPT could tell a layperson if they have a legal case as part of a quick legal self-assessment. It could also draft court materials and even quote case law and legislation. This could help people without lawyers generate legal documents like wills, divorce settlements, custody agreements or employment contracts.


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