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The Imperative of AI in Legal Education: A Call to Action From Northwestern Law Professor Dan Linna

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December 21, 2023

Northwestern Law Professor, Dan Linna makes clear why law students need to be using AI in law school, something freely available to them.

Freely available from LexisNexis, only their law schools allow the use of AI.

Linna is spot on in his tweet.

If I’m a 1L, I would want access ASAP, including to prepare for work opportunities the summer after my 1L year. Law schools should encourage students to use generative AI tools, and must train students to use them competently and responsibly.

Generative AI tools are being incorporated into the mainstream tools that lawyers use to do their work. If the initial reaction is to ban generative AI, law faculty need to think again and update their methods and practices for teaching and assessing student learning.

Students will be using generative AI as interns and lawyers. We need to prepare them now to use generative AI competently and responsibly.

Could you imagine a law student interviewing for a clerkship and telling a firm that they use ChatGPT, some, on their own, but they can’t use the free legal research tools at the law school being used by students at other law schools because their law school has “outlawed AI.”

The firm would feel sorry for the law student and look at the law school as behind the times and not preparing their students for the present, let alone the future.

I doubt the law school would tell their students and applicants that they’ll be unlikely to get the best clerkships because the school does not permit the use of the latest innovation.

Dan Linna has been at the forefront of innovation and the law for a long time. Law students and law schools would be well advised to heed his comments.