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5 Compelling Reasons to Think Twice Before Using GPT-4 in Law School

AI and machine learning technologies like GPT-4 have been hailed as revolutionary tools that can enhance various aspects of education and professional life. However, when it comes to law school—a domain that requires keen critical thinking, ethical rigor, and a deep understanding of complex issues—there are valid reasons to exercise caution. Here are five reasons why law students might want to think twice before jumping on the GPT-4 bandwagon.

1. Risk of Inaccuracy

Legal academia is built on the foundations of precision and verifiable facts. GPT-4, for all its capabilities, is not infallible. It can sometimes generate incorrect or misleading information, posing a significant risk in a field where minute details can have massive implications. Relying on GPT-4 for legal research or case summaries can lead to a shaky understanding of the law.

2. Potential Ethical Pitfalls

Ethics play a central role in legal education and practice. Using AI-generated content in research papers, essays, or exams without proper attribution could raise ethical concerns and even academic misconduct issues. While the technology might be tempting to use, navigating the ethical boundaries can be tricky.

3. Stunted Development of Critical Skills

Law students need to hone a variety of skills, from legal writing to case analysis. Over-reliance on GPT-4 for drafting memos, briefs, or other legal documents can impede the development of these vital skills. Tools like GPT-4 should supplement, not replace, traditional methods of legal research and writing.

4. False Sense of Expertise

GPT-4 can provide quick answers and summaries, but these shortcuts can sometimes foster a false sense of expertise. Without delving deep into case law, statutes, or academic articles, students may miss out on the nuanced understanding necessary for legal practice. This superficial grasp of topics can prove detrimental in both exams and future legal careers.

5. Unequal Access and Fairness Concerns

Access to advanced technologies like GPT-4 is not universally available, potentially creating a divide between those who can afford such tools and those who cannot. This discrepancy could exacerbate existing inequalities within the educational system, creating an unfair advantage for some students over others.

While GPT-4 and similar technologies offer exciting possibilities, they come with their own set of challenges and limitations—especially in a demanding and nuanced field like law. Students should be aware of these limitations and think critically about how to incorporate AI tools into their academic life in a responsible and effective manner. After all, becoming a good lawyer involves more than just leveraging technology; it requires a deep, nuanced understanding of the law and a commitment to ethical practice.

*I used Chat GPT-4 to generate this article. I thought it would be a fun counter-point to another article I generated about the benefits of using Chat GPT-4 as a law student. Personally speaking, the cost and worries about accuracy are the biggest issues. It's not for everyone...yet.

 

If our collective knowledge is being used for new creations, is there a debt owed for the use of that knowledge? 

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