The ability of chatGPT to pass a law school exam illustrates that artificial intelligence can, indeed, be taught to “think like a lawyer” and spot relevant issues like a lawyer.
While there are many legitimate fears about the misuse of things like chat GPT; on the upside, if one can filter out misinformation, the potential to deliver quality tailored legal information and relevant issues starting to low-income consumers is immense.
I remember when I entered the University of Michigan law school in 1981, they promised that they would teach me to “think like a lawyer.”
At the time, at age 21, just finishing a degree in political science and philosophy and studying Hobbes and Burke and fascinated with the power and the nature of rules and law, I was more of a gestalt thinker and liked studying political philosophy and the larger questions of collective human behavior.
I was not prepared to think like a lawyer.
I had to really be taught to think in the reductionist, slice-and-dice, legalistic that lawyers are paid to think.
I can do it, like a parlor trick almost. I got pretty good at it. I did it well enough to make Michigan Law Review and go on to clerk for a Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court of California after law school…
But I also know it’s a trained way of thinking. A method of analyzing issues and lumping them or splitting them depending on the outcome you want. Hopefully, the outcome you want is justice.
But when you’re a lawyer, you’re paid to get the most for your client, whether it’s fair or not. For example, Donald Trump uses lawyers like this as a weapon.
Lawyers get very good at this. And there’s no reason that AI can’t get as good or better.
While there are plenty of sinister possibilities for this new capability, there are also plenty of worthwhile and needed uses for this same capability;
Imagine for the first time that consumers of all incomes will be able to get quality well, written legal information tailored specifically to their situation at little or no cost. This can only help consumers become savvier and legally educated, provided they are not bombarded with a cloud of misinformation.
I hope LegalConsumer.com can continue as a needed beacon of accurate information and what may soon be a sea of sharks. I look forward to the creative challenge of using these new tools to deliver law to everyone in a way they can easily digest and make use of in their daily lives.
ChatGPT could revolutionize the way ordinary Americans have their legal needs met.
Already a traffic ticket is going to be fought by a robot lawyer sometime next month.
We are only at the beginning of this.
Legal Services has technology conferences that discuss how it can be used to keep people from being evicted, quickly steering them to relevant local resources.
There is no telling where we will be two years from now.