By Corinne Murdock |
Applicants to Arizona State University’s (ASU) law school may have to take their admissions test on their own, but they won’t have to do their own applications.
ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law will now allow applicants to use generative artificial intelligence (AI) to complete their applications. In a press release at the end of last month, the law school stated that generative AI will be a necessary tool for upcoming lawyers.
“In our mission to educate and prepare the next generation of lawyers and leaders, law schools also need to embrace the use of technology such as AI with a comprehensive approach,” stated the school.
Stacy Leeds, Willard H. Pedrick Dean and Regents Professor of Law, added that generative AI also allowed for more equitable admissions.
“Our law school is driven by an innovative mindset. By embracing emerging technologies, and teaching students the ethical responsibilities associated with technology, we will enhance legal education and break down barriers that may exist for prospective students,” said Leeds. “By incorporating generative AI into our curriculum, we prepare students for their future careers across all disciplines.”
Generative AI consists of large language model (LLM) tools: one of the most popular models is ChatGPT.
Last month, two New York lawyers were sanctioned for relying on a ChatGPT-generated brief that cited fake cases. The judge punished the pair for not conducting a proper review of the AI brief and for insisting that the fake cases cited were real, not for relying on generative AI in the first place.
The pair paid $5,000 for their oversight. The lawyers stated that they didn’t know that ChatGPT could create fake cases. However, the lawyers’ firm issued a statement disagreeing that the use of generative AI constituted bad faith.
“We made a good faith mistake in failing to believe that a piece of technology could be making up cases out of whole cloth,” stated the firm.
The New York lawyers may well become a case study at ASU. ASU’s law school also offers courses through its Center for Law, Science, and Innovation (LSI) on the legal questions of AI use, especially within the legal field.
One of LSI’s AI-centered projects, the Soft Law Governance of Artificial Intelligence, proposes using “soft law” governance for AI rather than existing legal frameworks. Soft law is a blanket term for recommendations or guidelines, rather than law. The project is funded by the Charles Koch Foundation.
ASU’s law school began allowing AI-generated applications this month.