Best ChatGPT prompts for lawyers

October 10, 2023
ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for lawyers, but knowing how to ask the right questions is key to unlocking its potential.

In this guide, we'll cover six example prompts for lawyers that want to streamline and automate their processes with ChatGPT.

We'll also provide actionable advice on how to adapt these prompts for your own use cases, allowing legal teams to work more productively than ever before.

ChatGPT prompts for lawyers: what should they look like?

Before we explore some of the best ChatGPT prompt examples for lawyers, let's start by covering the foundations of a strong prompt.

The best ChatGPT prompts for lawyers will be clear, specific, and provide the right level of context. A prompt should:

  • Have a clear outcome and request, making it easy for the generative AI to determine what form the output should take
  • Be detailed and logical, providing the information that ChatGPT needs to formulate a useful response
  • Break down complex questions to make sure that the request isn't misinterpreted

Prompts that meet this criteria increase the accuracy, relevance and quality of ChatGPT's response. Let's take a closer look at what robust prompts, and their outputs, look like in practice.

1. ChatGPT prompts for contract drafting 

Contract drafting is one of the most popular use cases for lawyers using ChatGPT. With carefully-worded prompts and the right level of context, ChatGPT can draft, or redraft, contract clauses in seconds.

Since ChatGPT uses LLM technology, it's able to predict how legal documents should look and read with a lot of accuracy. This makes it a great choice for legal teams that want to automate the contract drafting process.

Example prompt

Below is an example ChatGPT prompt for contract drafting provided by Juro's General Counsel, Michael Haynes.

  Redraft this force majeure clause to exclude labour disputes involving the supplier’s own personnel, and to include COVID-19 and other pandemics.

When using a prompt like this, you'll also need to add an anonymized version of the original clause into ChatGPT as a reference point. This protects the personal data captured within a clause or contract and ensures that only anonymized data is shared with the AI assistant.

Using the clause and prompt provided, ChatGPT will redraft the relevant section to reflect the requirements set out. Legal teams can then review the output before sharing it with their counterparty.

2. ChatGPT prompts for contract review

Lawyers can also use ChatGPT to review their contracts and ensure they comply with internal playbooks and policies. This is a great use case because contract review tends to be a time-consuming and manual process, costing legal teams hours of their time.

With the right ChatGPT prompt, this process can be automated, freeing up time for higher-value work.

Example prompt

Here's an example of a prompt that lawyers could use to review a contract using ChatGPT:

  Read this contract and highlight any key legal risks or provisions that do not comply with our contract playbook. 

One limitation of this ChatGPT prompt is that it requires the lawyer to provide a lot of context about what they'd usually accept and reject within a contract. If they use ChatGPT in its current form, this could mean repeatedly pasting parts of their contract playbook into the tool.

This isn't necessary when legal teams used a legal AI assistant like Juro.

With Juro, legal teams can add their contract playbook at a template level. This means that their team can use the playbook they've set up on every contract generated from that template. No more repetitive briefing.

AI playbooks exist to ensure that the response from your prompts aligns with your internal legal policies. They include “guardrails” that help guide the outputs of prompts towards the intentions of the legal team - Michael Haynes, General Counsel, Juro

This enables legal teams to agree contracts 10x faster than traditional tools. To find out more about Juro's AI legal assistant and how it works for businesses like yours, hit the button below. For more ChatGPT prompts for lawyers, keep reading.

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3. ChatGPT prompts for summarizing a contract

Lawyers can also use ChatGPT to summarize contracts, with the AI assistant extracting and compiling the relevant data into a format that can be shared with various stakeholders.

This ChatGPT prompt is particularly useful when senior stakeholders want an overview of a contract's terms but don't have time to read the full legal document.

Example prompt

Below is an example ChatGPT prompt for creating a contract summary:

    Summarize this contract, including an overview of the following in bullet points: duration, committed fees, liability caps, and warranty period.

The best thing about this ChatGPT prompt is that lawyers can add to it to customize how the information is displayed.

For example, they can ask for it to be formatted into an email they intend to send to their CFO. Alternatively, they can ask ChatGPT to format the information into a contract abstract, or a table.

Just remember that the same rules around anonymizing your contracts apply with this prompt. To protect the parties' personal data and confidentiality, be sure to remove their data from the contract before sharing it with ChatGPT.

4. ChatGPT prompts for brainstorming 

ChatGPT can also be used for brainstorming, both in the legal industry and beyond. This use case is a popular one since ChatGPT has been trained on large quantities of data, meaning it can often generate ideas that users might miss.

Not only does ChatGPT unlock new ideas during the brainstorming process, but it can also empower you to generate these new ideas much faster.

Example prompt

Below is an example prompt shared by Laura Jeffords Greenberg, Interim General Counsel at Worksome, during a webinar on generative AI for lawyers.

In her example, Laura prompted ChatGPT to brainstorm some ideas for her section of the webinar:

  I’m giving a talk to in-house lawyers about how draft contracts safely using generative AI. My section will cover the best use cases and what generative AI can achieve in these areas. Give me some ideas that I could share and present them neatly in a table.

Again, this ChatGPT prompt for lawyers can be customized to determine the format that the response takes. In Laura's example, the ideas are formatted into a table, making them easy to digest.

You can also prompt ChatGPT to provide more detail and perspectives. If you want to understand the risks of AI use, for example, you could add this to the prompt. This would add another column to the table that covers the risks associated with each use case.

Since ChatGPT prompts are so customizable, lawyers can apply this approach to a wide range of legal and commercial issues. Another great use case could be to brainstorm arguments for a certain position, for example.

5. ChatGPT prompts for proofreading

ChatGPT is also great at proofreading text in a variety of formats. While this is a more generic use case, it's particularly useful for legal teams that work on long and jargon-heavy legal documents.

Example prompt

Below is a sample ChatGPT prompt that could be used when requesting for your work to be proofread:

   Proofread this document to ensure consistency in verb tenses and correct any grammatical errors. 

Although this prompt is simple, it tends to be effective in picking up any errors or typos. It also regenerates the text in full with automatic corrections, meaning less manual work.

Lawyers can also edit this prompt to cover the following requests:

  • Check for and correct long or complicated sentences
  • Rewrite all sentences with passive voice in an active voice
  • Check the document for consistency in formatting and style
  • Make sure the article has proper punctuation and capitalization

6. ChatGPT prompts for analyzing a legal position

Lawyers can also use ChatGPT to analyze their position on a legal issue. For this to work, lawyers will typically need to supply ChatGPT with:

  • The relevant policies or regulations
  • The facts of the situation (and any extra context)
  • A request outlining what position they want clarity on

Example prompt 

Below is another example prompt shared by Laura Jeffords Greenberg, Interim GC at Worksome:

    We have a company policy about working with competitors. An employee has asked me whether they can provide consulting advice to a non-profit that is making a mobile game. They will be using their expertise and knowledge to help the non-profit in exchange for being listed as an advisor. Does our company policy allow this?

Like lawyers, ChatGPT can structure this analysis into two steps:

1. It discusses what the policy says about that particular issue by extracting the relevant information from the documents and policies shared.

2. ChatGPT applies this information to the situation described, giving a detailed analysis of the various considerations, and whether it believes this legal position would be robust in light of this.

7. ChatGPT prompts for conducting legal research

Legal teams can also use ChatGPT to conduct legal research. In particular, they can ask ChatGPT to:

  • Summarize case law to make key legal principles and decisions more accessible
  • Explain statutes and how they apply in certain situations
  • Provide an overview of a legal concept or area of the law
  • Identify the relevant legislation for certain legal matters

Example prompt

Below is a ChatGPT prompt that you could use when trying to surface relevant legislation, for example.

   I want to understand our legal responsibilities as an employer on the matter of protecting our employees’ personal data. Please outline the governing statutes and regulations in the UK that I will need to consider. 

When using ChatGPT for legal research it's important to remember that ChatGPT isn't always going to produce an accurate and complete response. This is because generative AI is probabilistic and doesn't always have access to the most recent information.

A generative AI platform may not have the latest information around the regulatory landscape in 2023, as most platforms have a cutoff point when it comes to the knowledge and context they possess - Michael Haynes, General Counsel, Juro

Instead, you should use ChatGPT as a starting point for your legal research and verify the responses provided. This will safeguard you against inaccuracies while enabling you to streamline the legal research process.

How lawyers can gain the most value from ChatGPT

As we mentioned at the start of this article, what you get out of ChatGPT depends on what you put in. For legal teams to get the most value from ChatGPT, they need to understand its capabilities and limitations. They also need to know how to engineer their prompts for the best results.

Fortunately, our expert panel covered this, and more, in our latest webinar: Drafting contracts safely with AI.

You can also find more tips and tricks on how to leverage AI effectively in these guides:

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