The Case for Large Language Model Optimism in Legal Research from a Law & Technology Librarian

15 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2023

See all articles by Sean A Harrington

Sean A Harrington

Ross-Blakley Law Library; Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law; University of Oklahoma College of Law

Date Written: June 26, 2023

Abstract

The emergence of Large Language Models (LLMs) in legal research signifies a transformative shift. This article critically evaluates the advent and fine-tuning of Law-Specific LLMs, such as those offered by Westlaw and Lexis. Unlike generalized models, these specialized LLMs draw from databases enriched with authoritative legal resources, ensuring accuracy and relevance. The article highlights the importance of advanced prompting techniques and the innovative utilization of embeddings and vector databases, which enable semantic searching, a critical aspect in retrieving nuanced legal information. Furthermore, the article addresses the ‘Black Box Problem’ and explores remedies for transparency. It also discusses the potential of crowdsourcing secondary materials as a means to democratize legal knowledge. In conclusion, this article emphasizes that Law-Specific LLMs, with proper development and ethical considerations, can revolutionize legal research and practice, while calling for active engagement from the legal community in shaping this emerging technology.

Keywords: LLM, Chatbot, ChatGPT, Large Language Model, Legal Research, Law Librarian

JEL Classification: k

Suggested Citation

Harrington, Sean, The Case for Large Language Model Optimism in Legal Research from a Law & Technology Librarian (June 26, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4492121 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4492121

Sean Harrington (Contact Author)

Ross-Blakley Law Library ( email )

Mail Code: 9620
111 E. Taylor St. Ste 350F
Phoenix, AZ Arizona 85004
United States
4809654865 (Phone)
85004 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://isearch.asu.edu/node/347427/

Arizona State University - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
4809654865 (Phone)
85004 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.asu.edu/

University of Oklahoma College of Law ( email )

300 W Timberdell Rd
Norman, OK 73019
4053256540 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://courtyard.law.ou.edu/s/digital-initiative

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
604
Abstract Views
1,407
Rank
83,038
PlumX Metrics