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Not So Fast: Why AI Won't Be Replacing Attorneys

Updated: Feb 4

By: Ambur C. Smith, Esq.

A recent study conducted by Stanford's Reglab and the Institute for Human-centered AI, revealed that popular large language Artificial Intelligence (AI) models (LLMs), when processing legal questions, produce inaccurate or "hallucinated" responses at least 75% of the time. When asked about settled areas of law, the models behind ChatGPT, GPT-3.5, hallucinated 69 percent of the time, while Google’s PaLM 2 gave incorrect answers 72 percent of the time and Meta’s Llama 2 offered false information 88 percent of the time. Their performance continued to decline as the questions became more complex. In short, they make things up.

That's right; the same tools that may be great for drafting copy for your company website or social media, or even creating an at-home workout or meal plan, aren't nearly as reliable when used to draft legal arguments.

In an era of growing popularity among AI tools, this study underscores the challenges and limitations in the current state of AI models deployed in legal contexts and the ongoing need for human intervention when legal matters arise.

Key Findings:

  1. Inaccuracy in Legal Queries: The study found that the most popular AI models often provide inaccurate or "hallucinated" responses when answering legal questions.

  2. Challenges in Legal Understanding: AI models may struggle to grasp the nuanced and complex nature of legal terms and issues, leading to unreliable outcomes.

  3. Implications for Legal Professionals: Non-lawyers and attorneys cannot rely on AI-generated responses to legal questions and concerns, recognizing the potential for errors in legal reasoning and interpretation.


  1. Human Oversight: AI tools should only be used by or in consultation with a lawyer for legal research or analysis. While AI can expedite certain processes, the expertise of trained professionals remains essential for accurate and reliable outcomes.

  2. Verification and Validation: Verify AI-generated results against established legal principles, statutes, and case law to ensure accuracy and completeness; ask for help from a trained lawyer if statutes and case law are not something you are familiar with.

  3. Continuous Improvement: Stay informed about advancements in AI technologies and legal research tools. Continuous improvement and adaptation are crucial in navigating the evolving landscape of legal AI.

Our Commitment: At the Law Office of Attorney Ambur C. Smith PLLC, we remain committed to providing you with the highest standards of legal services. While AI technologies can enhance efficiency, we recognize the importance of a balanced approach that combines technological tools with human expertise. As a result, we will continue to share the latest research to help you navigate an evolving technological landscape and ensure all content, advice and recommendations are approved by a supervising attorney.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the implications of this study on your personal legal matters, please do not hesitate to reach out. We value your trust and are here to support your legal needs.

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