PETALING JAYA: Several lawyers say they prefer to conduct legal research and draft documents by conventional means rather than resort to artificial intelligence tools.
Speaking to FMT, they said critical thinking is needed to perform their work, something that ChatGPT and other AI tools are not capable of.
The Bar Council recently warned its members against the pitfalls of using AI tools, stating that lawyers “must still conduct your own research” and not rely on unverified output from the software.
Lawyer Guok Ngek Seong said that he had tried to use ChatGPT for legal research but found the outcome to be “completely hopeless” as it generated the wrong cases.
He said lawyers can search for relevant cases at the websites of the Current Law Journal or Malayan Law Journal. “A list of cases will appear. Spend some time reading them,” he said, pointing out that this is the most practical way.
Another lawyer, Rajsurian Pillai, said he considered ChatGPT and other AI tools to be unreliable as he still needed to check the results generated.
“It is better to draft a document from scratch based on past templates. ChatGPT results are only as good as the instructions you put into it,” he said.
Two other lawyers, Fahmi Abdul Moin and Vince Tan, told FMT that they do not rely on AI to do their jobs.
“As a criminal practitioner both in practice and previously in prosecution, our own flow of thoughts matters the most in compiling the facts of cases and preparing arguments in court,” said Fahmi.
“I don’t think ChatGPT has all the information yet on how to prepare submissions for cases.”
Tan said AI has yet to develop to the stage where it can replace a lawyer’s research, stating that ChatGPT can only assist in creating templates to draft a simple letter of demand.
Meanwhile, Louis Liaw said he used ChatGPT as an advanced search engine because the platform can provide detailed explanations on certain topics.
“For example, I can ask ChatGPT to explain what the acronym ESG means (it refers to environmental, social and governance matters) or what is the difference between preferred shares and ordinary shares,” said Liaw.
“ChatGPT can give me an answer immediately to help me get started with my understanding process,” he added.
Liaw said ChatGPT does not “do the work” for lawyers. Instead, it can serve as a tool to help them understand matters faster and more accurately.
“We still need to think for ourselves and do our own research before drafting legal documents,” he added.