Teaching Law in the Age of Generative AI
49 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2024
Date Written: January 2, 2024
With the rise of large language models capable of passing law school exams and the Unified Bar Exam, how should legal educators prepare their students for an age of transformative AI advances? Text-generating AI is poised to become a standard tool of legal research and writing, as it is being integrated in legal research and word processing applications (such as LexisNexis and Microsoft Word) that automate the drafting of legal documents based on human prompts. This Article explores the implications of these developments for legal education, focusing on pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment.
The Article draws from four key perspectives relevant to the use of generative AI in law teaching: a survey of law students who participated in an AI-integrated course; a national survey of law faculty; an overview of the current state and projected futures of AI in the legal profession; and a summary of findings from the remarkably extensive educational literature that has arisen around the globe exploring the use of ChatGPT in different teaching contexts. These perspectives tend to support the development of an AI-integrated legal education. Yet, most of the surveyed law faculty, even those who strongly agreed that students should be prepared to use and critically evaluate generative AI, emphasized that they were uninformed about this technology and unsure how to proceed.
This Article provides guidance, recommending that legal educators begin teaching with emerging AI tools, while exploring how implementation might vary across the legal curriculum. These recommendations are based on a number of factors, including consideration of how AI-integrated teaching may affect emerging professional competencies, traditional learning goals, academic integrity, and equity among students. The Article concludes by offering practical suggestions for incorporating generative AI in law teaching, including examples of exercises where students collaborate with generative AI in their writing, evaluate AI outputs, create their own AI tutors and debate partners, role-play with chatbots in classroom simulations, and reflect on the responsible use of generative AI in the legal profession.
Keywords: legal education, artificial intelligence, generative AI
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation