How AI is Changing Marketing in the Legal Industry Marketers who work in the legal industry know that the landscape can rapidly change, and to stay ahead, one must innovate to stay relevant.

By Hank Stout

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The legal space is ultra-competitive. Attorneys and legal professionals will already know this not-so-secret fact. Marketing yourself and your team is vital to attract clients to your firm/organization.

Historically, the legal space has been dominated by bombastic personalities taking to television and billboards that line the busy highways of America. While both methods have their positive attributes, a trend has begun to emerge throughout the industry; the rise of AI integration into general marketing.

AI's growing prevalence in the industry and the general public has confused many people. So let's start here, what exactly is AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined by Britannica as "the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings."

Related: Small Businesses Can and Should Consider Investing in AI Technology — With a Cautious Approach

AI has long been a staple tool among professionals in the legal field. Many law firms or legal organizations feature an AI chatbot on their homepage and landing pages. These bots assist with the intake of new clients. The bots are trained to collect relevant information and direct clients to helpful links and pages on a firm's site.

AI bots like ChatGPT or Google's Bard primarily sparked the current buzz surrounding AI. Both of these AI bots are conversational AIs. Both have shown to have extensive ability to generate content quickly. Savvy marketers know that content plays a significant factor in converting potential clients and helping drive you up the Google rankings.

Some marketing professionals use Bard and ChatGPT to transform how they generate content internally. VentureBeat's editorial director Michale Nuñez recently disclosed that his team is using AI to assist in content generation. The exact details of the full scope of AI-generated content were not fully explained.

Deep conversations regarding its ethical framework are emerging with the prevalence of AI-generated content. Concerns regarding plagiarism and misinformation are among the most common points of contention. Is it ethical to eliminate the human element associated with written content? How deep is the oversight on this content before it's published? Can AI show an inherent bias?

The debate on the ethical ramifications is still ongoing and unclear. However, this is not stopping many marketers from dipping their toes into the pool. Beyond Google Bard, the company wants to integrate AI assistance into general searches.

Google has been very active in looking to integrate AI into more aspects of its services beyond Bard. In the company's own words, they are "supercharging" searches. Through the integration of generative AI, Google is working to simplify searching; one way is by suggesting questions related to the topic.

Related: Why AI is Changing the Future of Personal Branding

Currently, Google is allowing users to experiment with AI in searches. Upon searching a term in the experimental new system, users are given the option for AI to suggest content based on their inquiry.

If a potential client were to look up a search term like "How much does a personal injury lawyer cost," they would likely see a list of local PI attorneys optimizing for that content. The AI-empowered may suggest an inquiry like "How much does a PI attorney charge?"

The AI bot will pull a snippet from a website with relevant inquiry to the search and attempt to answer the question without users having to click the link. In this case, it will be pertinent regarding the cost of attorneys. However, they are encouraged to follow the link if the inquiry is sufficient or need additional information.

For marketers working in the legal field, this is especially interesting. Take, for example, a search for a local personal injury lawyer. In the trial, we tested this by searching for a PI lawyer near me. The AI suggested a handful of local attorneys and a follow-up question for the inquiry, which would offer more content.

Some marketers may question how different this is compared to already existing searches? In short, they're different. Comparing a search of the same topic in the AI-recommended environment versus the standard search shows two different results in the featured snippet and several ranking pages for the search term.

This isn't always the case, though. Searching for "PI lawyers near me" in the AI search generated similar results from the traditional search, which featured the Map Pack at the top.

There is concern about whether an AI-powered bot can decipher content to determine fact or fiction. The more these new AI-powered tools are used, the more they will learn and grow.

Factual, informative, and educational content may be critical if AI prioritizes learning. The best advice for creating high-converting content may be to write from an expert point of view.

Related: What Happens When Self-Driving Cars Crash? The Legal Ramifications of Automation

As AI becomes increasingly integrated into the daily activities of marketing professionals, the narrative and scope of how to optimize content will surely change. Already, AI is being used to optimize content for search engines, moderate chats, create web pages, and even more.

Hank Stout

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Attorney at Law

Hank Stout co-founded Sutliff & Stout, Injury & Accident Law Firm because he wanted to help real people with real problems. Raised in a small West Texas town, Hank was taught the value of hard work, determination, fairness and helping others.

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