Article: Using ChatGPT in legal writing

Post by Stephen Horowitz, Professor of Legal English

Prof. Joe Regalia

Joe Regalia, Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law at University of Nevada Las Vegas, recently shared on the Legal Writing Institute listserv that he’s been working on a chapter of a book that he will be publishing with Aspen Publishing later this year—tentatively called Leveling Up Your Legal Writing: Techniques and Technology to Create Amazing Documents.

The chapter–still in draft form–aims to be a practical guide for using ChatGPT in legal writing and can be viewed at this link for free in PDF format:

Joe noted that even though he hasn’t even added sources yet to the draft chapter, he wanted to share in case any of the ideas are helpful to folks exploring using GPT in their classes.

With the book, he’s planning on including a link to an evolving table with hundreds of legal-writing prompts (and I will keep adding prompt ideas to the public draft in case folks are interested). 

He added that he’s received so many questions lately from folks trying to wrap their heads around using ChatGPT in a practical way, and he figured that if any of the ideas are helpful now, he’s happy to share them now.

It’s a really terrific list of practical suggestions and tips and insights for anyone teaching legal writing to be aware of. So thanks Joe for putting this out there.

Here’s the abstract:


ChatGPT and Legal Writing: The Perfect Union?

15 Pages Posted:

Joseph Regalia

William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV

Date Written: February 26, 2023


ChatGPT is having a moment in legal. And for good reason: Generative AI (tools like ChatGPT that generate text or data for you) was already disrupting legal before OpenAI’s new chatbot came on the scene. But ChatGPT marks a new era. The brain behind OpenAI’s latest AI, GPT-3, contains 175 billion artificial neurons and was trained on around 500 billion pieces of text gathered on the web. All that data and computing power makes for the smartest AI to date.

GPT-3 is particularly powerful for legal writers. Looking for a better verb for your sentence? GPT-3 can give you some great examples using your own writing. Looking for a quick summary of a motion that you’re responding to? GPT-3 has you covered there as well. GPT-3 can even help you craft an analogy for your opening sentence in a brief, brainstorm a theme for your motion, or put all your citations in order.

Generative AI has a long way to go before it’s drafting briefs and contracts on its own. But there’s no need to wait to start using these tools. With just a bit of background knowledge, you can start using GPT-3 to boost your legal writing today.

You’ll need a bit of context about how this technology works. Then you’ll need a few best practices for crafting effective instructions for GPT-3—called Prompt Engineering. Finally, we’ll share some simple prompts to get you started.

This article was made possible with the support of the team at has developed interactive GPT-powered legal writing practice for law students and lawyers across the world. Working with our development team—while also working with law students and practitioners on ways they can use this technology in legal writing—has helped demystify this technology for myself. I’m aiming to pass on what I’m learning in a series of these short articles so that law students, legal writing teachers, and practitioners can benefit.

Keywords: generative AI, ChatGPT, GPT

Suggested Citation:

Regalia, Joseph, ChatGPT and Legal Writing: The Perfect Union? (February 26, 2023). Available at SSRN:

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