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Mon 28 Aug, 2023 # Client Alerts

Should I use AI to draft my legal contracts?

The recent leaps in AI technology are almost unbelievable. The advancements resemble the beginning of a Terminator movie. However, AI is not advanced enough to take over the world just yet, especially in the area of contract law.

Generally speaking, AI works by examining and ingesting substantial amounts of information which it searches for patterns and correlations. The AI then uses these patterns and correlations to draft contractual language.

This model is problematic because a contract needs to be tailored to the exact needs and goals of the contracting parties. By simply looking at previous contracts and attempting to formulate a new one, AI can miss the nuances specific to the deal. This lack of creativity and attention to detail makes it impossible for the technology to consistently draft contracts that maximize value for contracting parties.

Another problem with AI is that the law surrounding contracts is always evolving. Hundreds of court cases interpreting various principles of contract law are published in state courts each year. This is concerning because AI does not understand the concept of case law and how it affects legal documents. For example, in June of 2023, a New York Judge issued a $5,000 fine because two New York lawyers blindly trusted AI in helping them draft a brief to the court. The AI program created bogus case law and fabricated rulings in attempting to persuade the court. Needless to say, the “AI lawyers” did not win the case.

The advancements in AI are incredible and will undoubtedly alter the way society functions, but AI by itself is not a suitable replacement for legal counsel when it comes to contract drafting. If you elect to use AI, you risk sacrificing the creativity that an experienced attorney can bring to the contract drafting process, but that is not the only risk you are accepting. AI’s lack of understanding when it comes to case law opens contracting parties up to the possibility that the ultimate contract is in violation of applicable case law.

If you need help drafting a contract, the attorneys at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale are here to help. On the other hand, if AI drafted your contract and now you need help fixing problems that have resulted from that process, we can help with that too.