New York State Bar Association releases guidelines for AI adoption

The New York State Bar Association issued a report that includes guidelines for adoption of generative AI.
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Lawyers practicing in the state of New York are advised to use generative artificial intelligence with caution, according to a new report by the state bar, which explores the legal, social and ethical impact of AI on the profession.

The New York State Bar Association report, which includes guidelines for generative AI adoption, was presented to the state legislature last week, as state and local courts consider the benefits and risks of using generative AI. State bar associations in Florida and California have also issued recommendations on the technology’s use.

“While AI and generative AI offer immense potential for innovation and efficiency, the technology also presents challenges that require careful management, including ethical considerations, privacy concerns and labor impact,” the New York report reads. “This Task Force undertook the challenge to assess its evolution, benefits and risks, and impact on the legal profession.”

The report notes that a task force urged lawyers to prioritize protecting client information and maintaining confidentiality when using the technology and to not solely rely on information produced by generative AI tools.


The guidelines emphasize educating judges, lawyers, law students and regulators about generative AI so they can regulate the technology through existing laws. The report also encourages the state legislature and regulators to identify any risks presented by the technology that laws don’t currently address. 

“Where risks are not addressed by existing laws, legislatures should adopt rules to govern AI as needed,” the report reads.

The task force also recommends that lawyers tell clients when AI tools are used in their cases, according to the report, which provides an example of a disclosure statement that could be included in a client engagement letter.

In June 2023, a district judge in New York imposed sanctions on lawyers who submitted briefs citing nonexistent cases, generated by AI tools, which prompted the American Bar Association to establish an AI task force in August to address the legal challenges of generative AI.

Finally, the task force acknowledges that because generative artificial intelligence is advancing at a rapid pace, their recommendations must evolve.


“As a profession, we must continue to refine the initial guidelines suggested in this report and audit the efficacy of proposed rules and regulations,” the report concludes. “We liken this journey to the mindset of ancient explorers: be cautious, be curious, be vigilant and be brave.”

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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