Legal Education's Role in Combating Automation Bias and Complacency with Generative AI in the Practice of Law

KILAW Journal, Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 14 May 2024

See all articles by Anna Conley

Anna Conley

University of Montana - Alexander Blewett III School of Law

Date Written: March 29, 2024

Abstract

Market-driven efficiencies will result in generative AI as an integral part of the practice of law. Despite this reality, however, recent judicial decisions highlight the risks of generative AI in the practice of law. In each case, an attorney filed documents with the court that included nonexistent cases “hallucinated” by generative AI. The attorneys did not confirm the cases’ actual existence before relying on them and were subsequently sanctioned by the court.

These cases illustrate that, like aviation, self-driving vehicles and healthcare, the legal industry is not immune from automation bias and complacency. Automation bias is the blind reliance on AI by humans despite not understanding the AI’s process. Automation complacency is the long-term degradation of human skill in a profession due to reliance on AI. Such complacency occurs when humans become passive monitors of AI-generated work, as opposed to producing the work themselves.

The stakes in humans’ lives and societies based on sound legal infrastructure are high. Because all lawyers go to law school, legal education has unique potential to act as a counter measure to automation bias and complacency by ensuring that students learn to use generative AI with an understanding of these risks. Importantly, law schools can train students to not only develop subject-matter expertise, but about the importance of retaining and expanding that expertise.

Keywords: Legal Education, Generative AI, Practice of Law, Automation Bias, Automation Complacency, Sanctions, Professional responsibility

Suggested Citation

Conley, Anna, Legal Education's Role in Combating Automation Bias and Complacency with Generative AI in the Practice of Law (March 29, 2024). KILAW Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4778017 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4778017

Anna Conley (Contact Author)

University of Montana - Alexander Blewett III School of Law ( email )

Missoula, MT 59812-0002
United States

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