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ChatGPT and Generative AI Legal Research Guide

Impact on Legal Education

AI is Coming for our Classrooms! A Survival Guide for the AI Apocalypse, RIPS Law Librarian Blog, Julie Tedjeske Crane, January 8, 2024

This article discusses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on education, specifically in law schools. The author argues that AI is not a threat but an opportunity for legal education. The key points include the need for law schools to adapt their curriculums to include AI and technology. The article suggests that AI can enhance legal education by providing students with skills relevant to the modern legal market. The author also highlights the importance of ethical considerations and the need for future lawyers to understand the implications of AI in their practice. The article concludes that embracing AI in legal education is essential for preparing students for the evolving legal landscape.

We Submitted a ChatGPT-Written Law School Admissions Essay,, Christine Charnosky, October 05, 2023

The article documents an experiment where a law school admissions essay was crafted using ChatGPT. The initiative explores the potential implications and the broader discourse regarding AI's role in legal education admissions. By submitting a ChatGPT-generated essay, the authors delve into questions surrounding authenticity, merit, and the prospective advantages or challenges AI might introduce in such critical processes. The narrative likely discusses the reactions received, shedding light on the legal academia's stance towards AI-generated content within the admissions framework. Furthermore, it may touch upon ethical considerations, stressing the importance of maintaining integrity and personal representation in applications. Through this endeavor, the article contributes to the ongoing conversation about the integration of AI tools like ChatGPT in legal education, probing the boundaries between technological advancement and the preservation of traditional admissions values​.

The Path to Generative AI Proficiency for Legal Professionals, Above the Law, Nicole Black, October 5, 2023

The rapid advancement of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools like Large Language Model (LLM) chatbots is transforming the legal domain. Legal professionals and educational institutions are keen on understanding and leveraging this technology. A focal point is the art of crafting effective prompts to interact with these tools, as prompt engineering significantly impacts the quality of generated responses. While evolving GAI technologies might soon auto-generate prompts, understanding this aspect remains crucial for troubleshooting and optimizing interactions, akin to knowing Boolean inputs for legal research. Law schools and firms are offering various educational programs to equip individuals with essential GAI knowledge, ensuring they stay updated with this swift technological evolution.

Law School Wannabes Don't Think You Should Be Able to Use ChatGPT to Get Through the Application Process, Kathryn Rubine, October 3, 2023

The article discusses the viewpoint of prospective law students, who believe using ChatGPT for aiding in the law school application process could be unfair. They argue that utilizing AI like ChatGPT to craft personal statements or other application materials may not reflect the genuine abilities and experiences of the applicants. This stance underscores a concern for maintaining integrity and authenticity in the law school admissions process. The article also might explore the potential advantages or disadvantages of AI usage in educational admissions, reflecting on how the technology could either level the playing field or further exacerbate disparities among applicants. Through presenting these perspectives, the piece delves into an ongoing discourse around the ethical implications and the role of AI tools like ChatGPT in the law school admissions landscape.

Imagine If Law Schools Cared as Much About Affordable Tuition as They Do About ChatGPT!, Above the Law, Joe Patrice, September 19, 2023.

This speculative piece juxtaposes the attention law schools have been giving to technological advancements like ChatGPT against the issue of affordable tuition. The article suggests that while ChatGPT and similar AI tools are being acknowledged and integrated into legal education due to their potential in enhancing learning and efficiency, the pressing concern of tuition affordability remains seemingly overlooked. It hints at a desire for a balanced focus, where law institutions also address the financial challenges students face, making education more accessible while advancing technologically. Through a tone of wishful thinking, it nudges towards a scenario where the excitement around AI tools like ChatGPT is matched with efforts to tackle tuition affordability, thus presenting a holistic approach to improving the overall law school experience for students.

If Law Schools Prohibit ChatGPT in Writing, Can they Back It Up?, Stephanie Francis Ward, August 31, 2023

The University of Michigan Law School mandates applicants to assert they didn't use AI for drafting admission essays, risking offer revocation or expulsion for false claims. This policy aims to uphold writing skill standards, but has garnered surprise within the legal sector. The school intends to compare applicants' essays with LSAT writing samples to discern AI use, despite the challenge posed by evolving AI technologies like ChatGPT. While some back this initiative, others predict a broader acceptance of AI in legal education, analogizing it to calculators in math, and recommend that law schools teach AI application instead.

Legal Education in World of AI Should Follow Medical Model, US Law Week, Marsha Cohen, August 22, 2023

The online shift of bar exams during the pandemic has spotlighted concerns like varied pass rates and costly prep courses. Amid discussions on reforming the outdated legal education model, ChatGPT's passing of the bar exam stirred debate on AI's role in academia. Critics argue the traditional law education, focused on memorization and exams, lacks practical training akin to medical education's clinical practice. A proposed "medical model" for law education, exemplified by the Lawyers for America program, emphasizes experiential learning through externships. Despite resistance to change, advocates suggest these revisions could better prepare students for modern legal practice, urging a review of the "Building a Better Bar" report for actionable insights.

AI In Law School: A Leap into The Unknown, Law360, Daniel Connolly, August 2, 2023

The narrative portrays a divide within legal academia regarding AI's role. At a comedy event at the University of Memphis' Law School, skepticism towards AI, particularly ChatGPT, was humorously displayed. Tiffany Odom-Rodriquez, a law student, voiced concerns about AI breeding plagiarism and diluting essential legal skills. Conversely, some institutions like Arizona State University endorse AI for law school applications, while others like the University of Michigan dissuade it. Despite the enthusiasm in some quarters for AI's efficiency in mundane tasks, a survey revealed a mere 9% of law students currently utilize generative AI, with only 25% planning future use, underlining concerns over AI's accuracy and potential career impacts.

Some Law Profs Are Using ChatGPT in Their Work, Law360, Matt Perez, September 8, 2023

Around 20% of assistant and associate law professors utilize ChatGPT, an AI tool by OpenAI, in their academic endeavors, states a report by Research and Markets. The study explores the challenges law schools face with AI integration and regulation. It reveals that 23.1% of these professors and 12.5% of faculty aged 50 to 59 use ChatGPT for legal research, with public college faculty finding more benefits compared to those at private institutions. However, only 7.32% of full professors believe ChatGPT could revolutionize their field. The findings resonate with legal academics' sentiments on understanding AI's capabilities and ethical implications for effective utilization in legal education.

Students can use AI on applications, Arizona State law school says, Reuters, July 28, 2023

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is allowing students to utilize AI on their admissions material. The university considers this to be comparable to using an admissions consultant, but is more economically accessible. Like with students who utilize consultants, the usage of AI must be disclosed. Prospective students must still "communicate their own life."

Law Schools Must Embrace AI, July 10, 2023, The National Law Journal

The article emphasizes the necessity for law schools to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their curriculum to better prepare students for the modern legal landscape. It highlights how AI can enhance legal research, document review, and contract analysis, leading to increased efficiency and reduced costs for legal services. Embracing AI education ensures law graduates are equipped with essential tech skills, making them more competitive and relevant in the evolving legal industry.

Report: VC Advises To Not Go To Law School And Businesses Are Already Using ChatGPT To Cut Legal Bills, Dana Sanchez, The Moguldom Nation, Jul 24, 2023 

Geoff Lewis, founder of Bedrock Capital, warns that artificial intelligence (AI), particularly AI models like ChatGPT, are disrupting the legal profession, handling tasks such as drafting complex contracts. A study by OpenAI suggests that up to 76% of legal tasks could be done more efficiently by AI. Moreover, AI can also translate legalese, making it more accessible for non-lawyers, and putting roles like legal secretaries at risk. Services like DoNotPay, which uses AI to automate tasks traditionally performed by lawyers, are becoming more popular due to their affordability compared to traditional legal fees. 

T14 Law School Bans ChatGPT on Application Essays, Debra Cassens Weiss, July 21, 2023, ABA Journal 

The University of Michigan Law School has become the first law school to mandate that applicants must verify they did not use ChatGPT or other AI tools in writing their personal statements and essays. According to Reuters via Above the Law, this decision marks a groundbreaking move in admissions policies. 

T14 Law School Bans ChatGPT From Admissions Process In Weird Self-Own, Joe Patrice, Above the Law, July 21, 2023  

The University of Michigan Law School has banned prospective students from using generative AI like ChatGPT in personal statements. The aim is to ensure the material reflects the individual's writing ability and traits, although the policy has faced criticism. Some argue it's no different than the usual writing and editing process. The ban comes at a time when personal statements have gained importance in diversity considerations, following the Supreme Court's blow to affirmative action. Despite this, UC Berkeley School of Law hasn't banned AI usage, arguing their requirement for original work sufficiently covers AI applications, although they may revisit this in the future. 

Learning the Law with AI: Why Law School Students Are Tentative about Using ChatGPT, Sarah Wellen, LawNext, June 2nd, 2023 

A LexisNexis survey shows lawyers use generative AI for research (59%), efficiency (54%), writing emails (34%), and drafting documents (45%). However, law students are apprehensive about AI's use, with only 9% using it currently and only 25% planning to incorporate it in their work. They raise concerns about the accuracy of AI research, as generative AI can produce erroneous or outdated data. Students also fear potential academic integrity issues with AI, leading to plagiarism or cheating. Moreover, they argue that AI's inability to understand nuanced legal aspects may hamper critical thinking. Furthermore, the rise of AI in entry-level legal tasks raises concerns about the career prospects of new lawyers. 

I’m a Student. You Have No Idea How Much We’re Using ChatGPT, Chronical of Higher Education, May 12, 2023

Excerpt: “There’s a remarkable disconnect between how professors and administrators think students use generative AI on written work and how we actually use it. Many assume that if an essay is written with the help of ChatGPT, there will be some sort of evidence — it will have a distinctive “voice,” it won’t make very complex arguments, or it will be written in a way that AI-detection programs will pick up on. Those are dangerous misconceptions. In reality, it’s very easy to use AI to do the lion’s share of the thinking while still submitting work that looks like your own. Once that becomes clear, it follows that massive structural change will be needed if our colleges are going to keep training students to think critically.”

Law School Panel Discusses ChatGPT Use in Legal Field,, March 29, 2023

The College of William and Mary Law School and the Student Intellectual Property Society hosted a discussion on ChatGPT, artificial intelligence and the implications of this technology on law, specifically in terms of education and practice.

How ChatGPT and Generative AI Impact Legal Writing and Research Courses, Association of Legal Writing Directors, February 17, 2023

A panel of law school legal writing professors shared their view that, as AI continues to improve, legal professionals will eventually transition from being writers to editors and fact-checkers. Even as AI-generated text is increasingly well-structured and coherent, it will still require human oversight to verify accuracy and ensure it aligns with the context and specific circumstances of each case. The presenters theorized that continual improvement of these systems will likely lead to a greater emphasis on teaching critical thinking, analytical skills, and research skills to fact check and find additional legal materials missed by AI.

ChatGPT and Other AI Technologies in the Study and Practice of Law, Paul Riermaier, University of Pennsylvania Law, February 6, 2023

The article is an overview of ChatGPT and other AI technologies in the study and practice of law by Penn Carey Law Library. The article explains what ChatGPT is, how it works, how to access it, and how to evaluate its responses. The article also discusses some of the ethical and legal implications of using ChatGPT and other AI tools in legal settings. The article provides links to various resources on ChatGPT and AI law.

Bend or Snap: Embracing or Banning ChatGPT and its Future in Legal Education, Eveline Komrij, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Jan. 30, 2023 

AI language tool, ChatGPT, has been deemed the "greatest cheating tool ever invented," prompting educational institutions to either ban it or integrate it into their curricula to teach relevant tech skills. The tool performed at a C+ average in law school exams in a study, struggling with critical analysis and issue spotting but still hypothetically earning a J.D. degree. This has led to discussions on reshaping honor codes or embracing AI in legal education. Embracing ChatGPT could equip students for the future, ensuring they can leverage the technology while still acquiring necessary legal training and knowledge. 

ChatGPT Is an OK Law Student. Can It Be an OK Lawyer?, Bloomberg Law, January 27, 2023

The article is an opinion piece by Bloomberg Law on ChatGPT and its potential impact on the legal profession. The article reports that ChatGPT performed at an average level of a C+ student on four law exams at the University of Minnesota Law School, and better on a business exam at Wharton School. The article argues that while ChatGPT may not be able to replace human lawyers, it may offer some advantages such as lower cost, faster service, and broader access to legal advice. The article also acknowledges some of the challenges and risks of using ChatGPT, such as ethical issues, quality control, and liability.

Who’s Afraid of ChatGPT? An Examination of ChatGPT’s Implications for Legal Writing, Ashley B. Armstrong, SSRN, January 26, 2023 

This article delves into the potential implications and applications of OpenAI's AI interface, ChatGPT, in legal writing and research. It explores the performance of ChatGPT in executing common legal tasks, revealing a mix of impressive and inadequate results. The piece highlights limitations such as an inability to conduct effective legal research and a propensity to cite incorrect or fabricated case law and statutes. It also investigates the potential for ChatGPT to write in legal formats taught in law schools. Moreover, the article illuminates potential ethical issues tied to the use of ChatGPT in practice, including potential violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. However, it also recognizes the possible benefits of using ChatGPT as an educational tool, identifying logical flaws in contract clauses, and generating legal writing prompts. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for ongoing research on AI's impact on legal writing. 

ChatGPT Goes to Law School, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 23-03, January 23, 2023

This article is a white paper that describes the experiment of having ChatGPT answer law exam questions from four different courses. It analyzes the results, compares them with human students’ performance and discusses the potential benefits and risks of using AI in legal education and practice.

Can ChatGPT Pass a Minnesota Law Professor’s Final Exam?, WCCO - CBS Minnesota, January 2023 (YouTube)

This video features a report by Adam Duxter on an experiment conducted by four University of Minnesota law professors who tested if ChatGPT could pass their final exams. They gave ChatGPT four exams on different topics: contracts, torts, criminal law and constitutional law. They found that ChatGPT passed all four exams with grades ranging from C+ to B-, but it performed worse than most human students. They also analyzed some strengths and weaknesses of ChatGPT’s answers.

Teach Aspiring Lawyers to use ChatGPT, Says Top Law Prof, LAW360, January 18, 2023

According to Legal Cheek, a UK legal website, Andrew Perlman, dean of Suffolk Law School in Boston, advocates for teaching law students how to use ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can generate text and answer questions. He argues that ChatGPT can help lawyers improve their research, writing and communication skills. However, he also cautions about the reliability, accuracy and ethical implications of ChatGPT. He suggests that law schools should prepare students to critically evaluate and use ChatGPT responsibly.

Some Law Professors Fear ChatGPT's Rise as Others See Opportunity, Reuters, January 10, 2023

The article explores how law professors have different views on ChatGPT, a chatbot that can answer legal questions. Some professors are worried that ChatGPT will enable cheating and undermine legal education. Others see ChatGPT as a useful tool that law students should learn how to use effectively.

Concerns About Cheating in Law Schools

Best Practices for Disclosure and Citation When Using Artificial Intelligence Tools, Mark Shope, Georgetown Law Journal Online, January 2023 

This article serves as a guide to best practices for disclosing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in legal writing, specifically focusing on their application in drafting law review articles and law school course materials. It proposes a framework for disclosure and citation of AI tools, such as ChatGPT, in writing. The guide is designed to be adaptable to various authors, institutions, and academic communities, based on their specific norms and philosophies. It provides concrete examples of AI usage and offers suggestions for properly disclosing and citing the AI's contribution in textual output. Moreover, it offers policies that professors and journals can implement in classrooms and submission guidelines, respectively. 

ChatGPT and Law Exams, EJIL Talk, April 28, 2023

The article delves into the use of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot created by OpenAI, in academic exams, with a particular emphasis on law school exams. While the program has the capability to answer complicated exam questions impressively, its application raises concerns about cheating and fairness, given that exams are intended to assess the student's abilities. The author suggests prohibiting the use of ChatGPT in exams as a potential solution, but enforcing it may pose challenges, particularly for online exams. The article also discusses the possibility of imposing a watermark on ChatGPT type programs as a solution, but this is regarded as unfeasible. The use of ChatGPT in academic settings presents a distinct challenge, necessitating long-term adaptation.

T14 Law School Is One of First to Set Guidelines For Student Use Of ChatGPT, Above the Law, April 24, 2023

According to the article, the University of California, Berkeley has established guidelines for student usage of ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot created by OpenAI, making it one of the first law schools to do so. The guidelines permit students to utilize ChatGPT for research and grammar correction, but they prohibit the usage of the chatbot for exams or assignments that are to be submitted.

Some Law Professors Fear ChatGPT's Rise as Others See Opportunity, Reuters, January 10, 2023

The article explores how law professors have different views on ChatGPT, a chatbot that can answer legal questions. Some professors are worried that ChatGPT will enable cheating and undermine legal education. Others see ChatGPT as a useful tool that law students should learn how to use effectively.

Enraged Worries That Generative AI ChatGPT Spurs Students to Vastly Cheat When Writing Essays, Spawns Spellbound Attention for AI Ethics and AI Law, Forbes, December 18, 2022

The article discusses concerns about students using AI like ChatGPT to cheat on essays, raising ethical and legal questions. It highlights the growing attention on AI ethics and regulations due to the potential for widespread cheating and the need to address these issues in the education system.

Generative AI Impact on the Future of Legal Education

Report: VC Advises To Not Go To Law School And Businesses Are Already Using ChatGPT To Cut Legal Bills, Dana Sanchez, The Moguldom Nation, Jul 24, 2023 

Geoff Lewis, founder of Bedrock Capital, warns that artificial intelligence (AI), particularly AI models like ChatGPT, are disrupting the legal profession, handling tasks such as drafting complex contracts. A study by OpenAI suggests that up to 76% of legal tasks could be done more efficiently by AI. Moreover, AI can also translate legalese, making it more accessible for non-lawyers, and putting roles like legal secretaries at risk. Services like DoNotPay, which uses AI to automate tasks traditionally performed by lawyers, are becoming more popular due to their affordability compared to traditional legal fees. 

Do AI Large Language Models Like ChatGPT Make Law School Less Worth It As An Investment?, Jonathan Wolf, Above the Law, July 5, 2023  

While AI and large language models like ChatGPT are revolutionizing many tasks in the legal profession, they won't replace lawyers entirely. AI is enhancing transactional drafting and document review, often providing superior first drafts than less-experienced associates. However, AI can't replicate tasks involving personal interactions, oral arguments in court, or business development. Yet, it could displace younger, tech-savvy attorneys who often handle tasks now automatable. This automation may deepen the division in the profession, where rewarding tasks are held by senior lawyers. The future legal profession may see a limited increase in positions, not due to growth, but from retirements. As AI adoption increases, aspiring lawyers should consider the career path's risks and rewards, and only choose law if they're passionate about practicing it.