Guidance statement a national first

The Queensland Law Society has issued a guidance statement for solicitors on the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI), making it the first law society in Australia to do so.

It was released today and contains a list of ethical obligations solicitors should consider when appropriately using AI in legal practice.

Queensland Law Society President Rebecca Fogerty said: “Amid the rapidly evolving nature of AI technology, it is crucial that solicitors have a guidance framework in order to navigate the complex issues proposed by AI use.

“Despite common fears around the increasing use of AI, the technology, when used correctly, has the potential to provide numerous benefits to legal practice, including improving efficiency and making legal services more accessible.

“However, adopting and maintaining AI tools in legal practice requires extensive due diligence and ongoing supervision. We must ensure there are safeguards in place for the protection of clients, solicitors, and the legal profession as a whole.”

The statement includes some of these considerations:

  • Competence and diligence: If a practitioner uses AI technology in their practice, they must ensure they and all staff possess and have access to the relevant skills necessary to do so appropriately.
  • Confidentiality: Solicitors should take reasonable steps to ensure that any AI tool they employ does not misuse access to confidential data or expose such confidential information to dissemination.
  • Transparency and disclosure: Where feasible, clients should be advised if an AI tool will be used when performing their work.
  • Supervision and accountability: AI tools should be used as an aid to, and not a replacement for, professional judgment.
  • Legal costs: Consideration should be given to the costs charged to clients for services involving the use of AI. Legal costs must be fair and reasonable, disclosed if required by the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) and calculated in accordance with the contract of retainer.

The template policy for the use of AI in legal practice can also be found here.

For solicitors who require further assistance, contact an Ethics Solicitor in the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre on 07 3842 5843 or, or a QLS Senior Counsellor.

Guidelines for the responsible use of Generative AI in the courts were released by the Chief Justice of Queensland last month and can be found here.

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