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Ethics & Artificial Intelligence: What Lawyers Should Know

December 10, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The use of artificial intelligence is not some distant prospect.  Many of the tools lawyers use today – online research platforms that suggest other areas for research, software packages that help complete forms or propose or assemble language, and discovery tools that sort through documents – are driven by artificial intelligence. These and other AI engineered legal tools raise substantial ethical issues. Are they the unauthorized practice of law? Have lawyers researched their capabilities such that they are competent to use them? How must lawyers supervise their use by non-lawyer staff?  This program will provide you with a guide to ethics issues when using software and other technology tools based on AI in law practice.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hour, including 1 ethics hour


  • What duties do lawyers have to investigate and understand AI in the tools they use?
  • Does AI constitute the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) in a state?
  • Do software packages that draft language and assemble forms violate ethics rules?
  • What supervisory and training obligations do lawyers have for non-lawyer staff using these tools?
  • Are there ethics concerns of using AI in discovery?
  • Must lawyers warn clients that they use AI?


Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods, LLP – McLean, Virginia