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May 09, 2024 Law Student Engagement Committee News

Artificial Intelligence and the Law

Law Student Engagement Committee News

David Husband and Caylan Fazio

The Law Student Engagement Committee (LSEC) has kept busy providing students an opportunity to engage with practicing lawyers in developing areas of law, such as generative Artificial Intelligence. Recently, LSEC hosted a well-attended and popular Fireside Chat with the leaders of SciTech’s AI and Robotics Committee. The discussion was wide-ranging, from the question of how AI could enable the human conquest of space, to how AI might enable enhanced productivity both in law school and practice. Below, LSEC member Caylan Fazio reflects on how AI is impacting her studies and asks wide-ranging questions about its possible effects on society and the legal profession. We continue to encourage law students to join our Fireside Chats, which will have included Homeland Security by publication, with Privacy still to come.
David Husband
—Co-Chair of LSEC

AI and the Law

I remember the headlines from about a year ago: ChatGPT-4 had passed the bar exam. It was the Spring of my 1L year, and I had given little thought to AI beyond a few specific interests in technology and privacy regulations. Within the past year, I found myself discussing generative AI tools, and how they might be relevant to case readings and research projects in law school. While finding it beneficial to academic pursuits, students and professors are also questioning the limitations of this technology. How much should we permit it to be used as a tool? How do we maintain academic integrity while using generative AI tools?

Alongside students, the legal community has grappled with similar issues over the past year, truly running the gamut of both legal and ethical questions. We are only in the initial stages of AI’s involvement in the practice of law, yet it is already clear that the opportunities for innovation expand to all edges of the legal profession, from research database products to understanding the rules of professional conduct.

This past year has already demonstrated some limits and cautionary tales for generative AI. The need for a deeper understanding is crucial for its mindful and responsible involvement. Law students, as the next generation of legal professionals, have the opportunity to embrace these questions and contribute to discussions in the ABA’s SciTech Committees.

Students’ involvement in AI is crucial, and the ABA is a perfect platform for students to explore their interests. Rapidly changing technology only adds to the skills expected from a new lawyer, including skills in appropriately querying AI sources and awareness of its limitations and ethical use. Beyond these technical skills, students should think deeply about how they are involving AI to safeguard justice. Will AI allow for greater access to justice? Or will inequity in this emerging technology further gaps in access to justice? This generation of law students will be crucial in shaping the framework for responsible use.

The recent fireside chat with co-chairs Matt Henshon, George A. Long, and Luke Rushing of the AI and Robotics Committee highlighted the novel challenges AI poses to law and society in general. Discussions like this encourage students to explore fast-growing legal areas and build connections with professionals. We encourage students to attend the fireside chats as opportunities to learn more about the committee’s work and expertise in that field. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events.

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David Husband

Federal Reserve System

David Husband is co-chair of the Law Student Engagement Committee in ABA’s SciTech Section and works as a senior counsel for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Caylan Fazio

Cleveland State University College of Law

Caylan Fazio is a second-year law student at Cleveland State University College of Law. Her legal interests include space law, data privacy, and tax law.