Using AI assistants in your work is no different than hiring a junior employee on your team. It possesses broad knowledge on many topics, was trained (as of this writing) on information up to 2021, and can handle various tasks for your firm.
For your content team (or maybe your “team” is you), outlining the article prior to writing is a crucial step. Regrettably, many individuals opt to bypass this step and dive directly into the writing process.
Making that jump may lead you to forget critical information or simply not have a cohesive piece for your reader.
Creating outlines can be time-consuming, involving research, drafting, and implementation. What if we could hire a junior assistant to help us with this work? That’s where AI comes to our aid.
Understanding AI-Assisted Article Outlining
What is AI-Assisted Article Outlining?
We feed a well-defined prompt into a tool like ChatGPT, and then it helps us structure the bones of the piece. The key here is to provide a sufficiently specific prompt that enables you to create a substantial output.
There are many paid tools that can help you do this with their own integrated functions, like:
· Content Harmony
Most of these tools either utilize their proprietary models or integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
How Does Article Outlining Work?
Effective prompting is key to making this work. We need to talk to these tools like we would talk to our own team. The more specific and defined you make a prompt the better the response.
The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is certainly applicable in this context.
A vague prompt like the following will yield subpar results:
create an outline for the keyword “personal injury lawyer.”
Instead, we should delegate a role to the AI and clearly articulate our requirements for producing a great piece of content.
Benefits of AI-Assisted Article Outlining
Efficiency and Speed
There's no doubt that writing from an outline allows you to think more clearly about the topic since you already have a predetermined framework.
When implemented in our teams, we increased QUALITY output by “hiring” an AI assistant for our law firm’s writer. Instead of settling for a single post per day, we can now produce up to three posts daily with the same writer.
Rather than starting from scratch with the outline, we ask our AI assistant for help and then fill in some additional information we think is relevant for the article.
Consistency and Accuracy
Outlines ensure the post flows smoothly and maintains a consistent structure. Another big advantage of having an outline prior to writing is that an editor can quickly check to see if the post covered all main points.
Accuracy in writing, and accuracy in editing.
Challenges and Limitations of AI Outlines
Dependencies on Training Data
As previously mentioned, ChatGPT's training data only extends up to 2021, which means it cannot provide insights on current events or law updates enacted after that time.
It is also subject to “hallucinate” answers which could be bad for law firms if left unchecked. This is why the prompts need to be clear, but also need to be checked by someone within the firm for accuracy.
Lack of Human Creativity and Intuition
Lawyers, with their creative and experiential knowledge, understand how to position the presented evidence in a way that could win a case for their client. AI does not have that same creativity.
This is why we always want to review the outline prior and fill in additional relevant information. The writer will have a better vision for the end article, so we are just using our “AI assistant” to get us started.
Sample Prompt for Law Firm Content Outlines
The prompt for your assistant is the most crucial element that requires time and effort for trial and error. Refer back to our previous simple example, “create an outline for the keyword 'personal injury lawyer,'” and we receive something like:
What if our goal is to expedite the writing process further and provide a structured article that we can quickly pass on to a writer?
The following would be more beneficial for a writer to review and work with:
Wrapping This Up
An AI assistant aiding in content outline creation could significantly save time for your law firm. Firms with in-house staff working on these projects are already crunched for time, so creating a repeatable and efficient process can give a huge boost.
The more specific the prompts are, the better it is for everyone involved, including the AI! We spend hours testing each prompt to figure out what pieces work, and what needs to be changed.
We even used our own “AI assistant” to create the outline for this article! If you want a jump start on prompts to help your team, subscribe and get access to our Law Firm Prompt database to start outsourcing tasks to your own AI assistant.