The Future of Legal Studies: Embracing AI to Unlock Complex Concepts’

By: Jennifer Noctor

Law school is notorious for its rigor, intensity, and complexity. It can be a daunting task for many students to keep up with the material and perform well on exams. For first-year law students, this can be an especially difficult task, as they are learning new legal concepts and terminology for the first time. However, with advancements in technology, students are finding new and innovative ways to study, one of which is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help them understand complex legal concepts.

As a first-year law student myself, I understand the struggles of trying to comprehend legal concepts and case law. During my first semester, I found myself spending more time researching the best study methods and outlining styles than actually studying. I was overwhelmed and stressed, unsure if I had a good grasp of the knowledge required to excel on my exams. It wasn’t until after my finals that I discovered the power of AI in legal studies.

After my first semester final exams, I came across a post about ChatGPT, an AI language model trained by OpenAI. I decided to give it a try and asked it to explain the rules against perpetuities, a notoriously challenging legal concept. To my surprise, the AI model explained it in a way that finally clicked for me. From that moment on, I began to explore the world of AI and its potential applications in legal studies.

Using AI as a personal tutor has been an invaluable resource for me. When I’m struggling to connect the dots in constitutional law or explain the parole evidence rule, I have a tutor helping me learn the material in a way that works for my brain. The more I use it, the more it learns about my learning style and adapts to my needs. While I understand that AI is not a perfect solution and should not be solely relied on, it is an excellent learning tool that can be used alongside other resources to help connect the dots.

As with any technology, there is always the risk of abuse, and AI is no exception. However, with my experience in insurance and risk management, I believe there are ways to regulate and systemize the use of AI in legal studies. It is essential to develop a framework that encourages the ethical and responsible use of AI as a learning tool while minimizing the risks associated with its misuse.

AI is revolutionizing the way we learn and understand complex legal concepts. As a society, we need to adapt to this technological revolution and find ways to regulate its use to ensure its responsible and ethical implementation. While there may be some challenges associated with the use of AI in legal studies, the benefits of using AI as a personal tutor cannot be understated. It has been an invaluable resource for me, and I believe it has the potential to transform legal education for future generations of law students.

This article was originally published in the WBAI Spring 2023 Newsletter on page 36.