Getting Started with ChatGPT for Legal Professionals

Navigating the vast landscape of AI, legal professionals often seek tools that can enhance their practice without steep learning curves. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is an exemplary tool that provides text-based solutions suitable for the legal domain. Its user-friendly interface coupled with vast knowledge makes it a must-learn for lawyers, paralegals, and law students.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the significance and application of ChatGPT in legal scenarios.
  2. Set up and initiate interactions with ChatGPT.
  3. Use ChatGPT to efficiently summarize legal documents.
  4. Use ChatGPT for problem-solving relevant to legal practice.

Understanding ChatGPT’s Relevance in Law:

Previously, we explored the foundational concepts of AI tailored for legal professionals. Today, we dive into ChatGPT, a type of Generative AI that can be particularly beneficial for tasks such as case research, contract summarization, and initial client interactions.

Setting up ChatGPT:

To embark on this journey:

  1. Head to ChatGPT’s platform.
  2. Sign up to ensure your sessions are secure and tailored to your interactions.
  3. Once registered, log in to the interface.

Diving into Practical Legal Scenarios with ChatGPT

  • Case Summary: For instance, you’re dealing with a lengthy court judgment regarding a copyright infringement case. Time is of the essence, and you need the main points.
					Summarize the judgment on the recent copyright infringement case involving XYZ Corp and ABC Ltd. in a single sentence.


XYZ CORP, Plaintiff,


ABC LTD, Defendant.

Case No. 12345



The plaintiff, XYZ Corp ("Plaintiff"), filed this suit against ABC Ltd ("Defendant"), alleging copyright infringement under Title 17 of the United States Code.

Plaintiff claims that the Defendant reproduced, distributed, and publicly displayed a photograph taken and owned by the Plaintiff without its consent, thereby infringing upon its exclusive rights under copyright law.

Defendant contends that its use of the photograph was "fair use" and therefore not infringing.


Plaintiff is the sole copyright owner of the photograph in question, titled "Sunset Serenity" ("the Photograph"), having taken it on January 15, 2020. The Photograph was duly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on February 10, 2020.

On May 1, 2020, Defendant used the Photograph in an online advertisement for its travel agency business, without seeking permission from or compensating the Plaintiff.


Copyright Infringement: For a claim of copyright infringement to succeed, the Plaintiff must prove (1) ownership of a valid copyright, and (2) that the Defendant copied original elements of the work.

The Court finds that the Plaintiff has satisfied both elements. The registration certificate presented by Plaintiff establishes prima facie evidence of the validity of its copyright in the Photograph. Further, Defendant's unauthorized use of the Photograph in its advertisement is a clear copying of the original work.
Fair Use Defense: Defendant raises a defense of "fair use" under Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Four factors are considered:

Purpose and character of the use: The use by Defendant was commercial in nature, intended to promote its business. This weighs against a finding of fair use.

Nature of the copyrighted work: The Photograph is a creative and expressive work, which tends to weigh against a finding of fair use.

Amount and substantiality of the portion used: Defendant used the Photograph in its entirety, which weighs against a finding of fair use.

Effect on the potential market: Defendant's use could harm the potential market for or value of the Photograph, as others might not license or purchase the Photograph if they see it being used without compensation. This also weighs against a finding of fair use.

Given the totality of the circumstances and the four factors, the Court finds that the Defendant's use does not qualify as "fair use" under the Copyright Act.


Based on the above, the Court concludes that Defendant has infringed upon the Plaintiff's copyright in the Photograph.

The Plaintiff is hereby awarded statutory damages in the amount of $30,000, as per Section 504(c) of the Copyright Act.

The Defendant is hereby enjoined from any further use, distribution, or display of the Photograph.

The Defendant shall also bear the costs of this lawsuit.

ORDERED this 27th day of August, 2023.


Honorable Jane L. Smith
United States District Judge

					In the recent case between XYZ Corp and ABC Ltd., the court ruled in favor of XYZ Corp, awarding $30,000 in damages, after determining that ABC Ltd.'s unauthorized use of the "Sunset Serenity" photograph in an advertisement infringed on XYZ Corp's copyright and did not qualify as "fair use."

Diving into Practical Legal Scenarios with ChatGPT

  • Contract Analysis: Contracts often come with myriad clauses, some of which might be unclear.
					Explain the 'Force Majeure' clause in layman's terms.

The 'Force Majeure' clause is like the "Act of God" rule in a contract. It means that if unexpected and uncontrollable events, such as natural disasters, wars, or pandemics, prevent someone from fulfilling their part of an agreement, they can't be held responsible because those events were beyond their control. Think of it as a "get out of jail free" card for situations that nobody could see coming or prevent.

Crafting Effective Prompts

Your interaction with ChatGPT is akin to instructing an associate in your law firm. The clearer your instruction (prompt), the more precise and relevant the output. With practice, you’ll master the art of asking the right questions, ensuring ChatGPT becomes an invaluable asset in your legal toolkit.

In Conclusion:

You’ve now ventured into the world of ChatGPT, marking a significant step in merging traditional legal practice with technology. The subsequent lessons in this module will provide deeper insights into maximizing AI’s potential in legal scenarios. Stay tuned for the next lesson, “How to Ask AI Questions,” where we’ll refine our prompting skills for optimal outcomes in legal contexts.
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