Paul L. Caron

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Should ChatGPT Be In Law School?

Stephen Embry (TechLaw Crossroads), Should ChatGPT Be In Law School?:

Open AI ChatGPTLots of questions and unease surround the use of ChatGPT in the classroom and education. The issue may be particularly acute for law schools and professors. Law schools are charged with teaching core legal concepts that (should) equip students to practice law.

Many law school professors reportedly question how they can do that if students can have the concepts laid out for them by ChatGPT. Even ChatGPT questions how this can be done if students can use ChatGPT on such things as exams.

Says ChatGPT, “Law school exams are typically designed to test a student’s ability to think critically and apply legal reasoning, which is something that cannot be easily replicated by an AI language model. Allowing students to use an AI language model could make it difficult to assess their true understanding of the law and their ability to apply legal principles.”

Some professors (albeit not law professors) have reportedly gone so far as to require students to write first drafts in the classroom, using browsers that monitor and restrict computer activity. And in later drafts, students will be required to explain each revision.

But law schools that think hiding your head in the sand is a good way to prepare students to be lawyers are misguided. (yes, I believe the ChatGPT answer was a hallucination). There’s little doubt that generative AI is here to stay and will impact those in all walks of life. Thinking that law school graduates won’t harness the power of tools like ChatGPT is foolhardy. And those who do will be at a decided disadvantage. ...

I go back to something Pablo Arrendondo told me. I asked him if tools like generative AI would replace lawyers. As I previously reported, he told me, “the lawyers that will be replaced are the ones that don’t use these tools.”

The great lawyer of the future will marry their talents and knowledge with the abilities of computers so that they can both do what they do best. Law schools need to devote themselves to preparing students to be those great lawyers.

(Hat Tip: Darryl Towell)

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