American Bar Association survey highlights growing integration of AI in legal education

Over half of the responding law schools offer classes specifically dedicated to AI

American Bar Association survey highlights growing integration of AI in legal education

The American Bar Association (ABA) and the ABA Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence have released findings from their AI and Legal Education Survey, revealing how law schools are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their curricula.

The survey, conducted between late December 2023 and mid-February 2024, gathered insights from 29 law school deans and faculty members.

The results indicate a significant shift towards integrating AI in legal education. Over half of the responding law schools (55 percent) reported offering classes specifically dedicated to AI. In comparison, an overwhelming majority (83 percent) have curricular opportunities, including clinics, where students can learn to use AI tools effectively. These findings suggest that AI significantly impacts legal education and will likely drive further changes in the coming years.

A substantial percentage of institutions (69 percent) have adapted their academic integrity policies in response to generative AI. The survey revealed differing views on applicants’ use of generative AI in the admissions process. While none of the respondents explicitly permit its use, most law schools (62 percent) have not yet decided how to approach the issue. Additionally, a significant majority of responding law schools (85 percent) are contemplating changes to their curricula due to the increasing prevalence of AI tools.

These findings indicate a trend toward integrating AI literacy across various legal disciplines, from legal writing to clinical practice. This broader acknowledgment suggests that familiarity with AI tools and concepts is becoming essential for future legal professionals. The proactive measures taken by many law schools to update academic integrity policies and consider curriculum changes demonstrate a commitment to preparing students for the challenges and opportunities AI presents in the legal landscape.

The ABA Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence, formed in August 2023, focuses on addressing AI's impact on the legal profession and the practice of law. Its objectives include exploring the ethical implications, identifying potential risks, and developing insights for using AI responsibly. The task force concentrates on several areas involving AI, including legal education, access to justice, the courts, governance, risk management, and challenges the technology may impose on the legal profession.

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