Corporate legal departments see use cases for generative AI & ChatGPT, new report finds — from thomsonreuters.com


New legal tech tools showcased at CLOC 2023 — from legaldive.comRobert Freedman
Innovations include a better way to evaluate law firm proposals, centralize all in-house legal requests in a single intake function and analyze agreements.

Guest post: CLOC 2023 – Key insights into how to drive value during changing economic times — from legaltechnology.com by Valerie Chan

Excerpt:

Typically, Legalweek has always been focused on eDiscovery, while CLOC was focused on matter management and contracts management. This time I noticed more balance in the vendor hall and sessions, with a broader range of services providers than before, including staffing providers, contracts management vendors and other new entrants in addition to eDiscovery vendors.

One theme dominated the show floor conversations: Over and over, the legal operators I talked with said if their technologies and vendors were able to develop better workflows, achieve more cost savings and report on the metrics that mattered to their GC, the GC could function as more of a business advisor to the C-suite.


AI is already being used in the legal system—we need to pay more attention to how we use it — by phys.org Morgiane Noel

Excerpt:

While ChatGPT and the use of algorithms in social media get lots of attention, an important area where AI promises to have an impact is law.

The idea of AI deciding guilt in legal proceedings may seem far-fetched, but it’s one we now need to give serious consideration to.

That’s because it raises questions about the compatibility of AI with conducting fair trials. The EU has enacted legislation designed to govern how AI can and can’t be used in criminal law.


Legal Innovation as a Service, Now Enhanced with AI — from denniskennedy.com by Dennis Kennedy

Excerpt:

Over the last semester, I’ve been teaching two classes at Michigan State University College of Law, one called AI and the Law and the other called New Technologies and the Law, and a class at University of Michigan Law School called Legal Technology Literacy and Leadership. All three classes pushed me to keep up-to-date with the nearly-daily developments in AI, ChatGPT, and LLMs. I also did quite a lot of experiments, primarily with ChatGPT, especially GPT-4, and with Notion AI.


Emerging Tech Trends: The rise of GPT tools in contract analysis — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpt:

Below, you’ll learn about many of the solutions currently available. Keep in mind that this overview is not exhaustive. There are other similar tools currently available and the number of products in this category will undoubtedly increase in the months to come.


Politicians need to learn how AI works—fast — link.wired.com

Excerpt:

This week we’ll hear from someone who has deep experience in assessing and regulating potentially harmful uses of automation and artificial intelligence—valuable skills at a moment when many people, including lawmakers, are freaking out about the chaos that the technology could cause.


 

 

Poetry writing about Flint murals allows for ‘creative freedom’ in this high school classroom — from mlive.com  by Dylan Goetz (behind paywall)

Excerpt:

It’s a new tradition in the curriculum of the senior-level English class, where teacher Carrie Mattern asks her students to seek out a mural in Flint and write poetry about it.

This year, there was a focus on writing around cultural grief and the process of healing.

It’s become a favorite assignment for the students who’ve worked on the project, who say it allows them to use “creative freedom” in a way that other classes don’t.
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Also see:

 

Teaching: What You Can Learn From Students About ChatGPT — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Like a lot of you, I have been wondering how students are reacting to the rapid launch of generative AI tools. And I wanted to point you to creative ways in which professors and teaching experts have helped involve them in research and policymaking.

At Kalamazoo College, Autumn Hostetter, a psychology professor, and six of her students surveyed faculty members and students to determine whether they could detect an AI-written essay, and what they thought of the ethics of using various AI tools in writing. You can read their research paper here.

Next, participants were asked about a range of scenarios, such as using Grammarly, using AI to make an outline for a paper, using AI to write a section of a paper, looking up a concept on Google and copying it directly into a paper, and using AI to write an entire paper. As expected, commonly used tools like Grammarly were considered the most ethical, while writing a paper entirely with AI was considered the least. But researchers found variation in how people approached the in-between scenarios. Perhaps most interesting: Students and faculty members shared very similar views with each scenario.

 


Also relevant/see:

This Was Written By a Human: A Real Educator’s Thoughts on Teaching in the Age of ChatGPT — from er.educause.edu educause.org by Jered Borup
The well-founded concerns surrounding ChatGPT shouldn’t distract us from considering how it might be useful.


 

The Broken Higher Education System: Addressing Stakeholder Needs for a More Adaptive Model — from educationoneducation.substack.com

Excerpt:

Higher education Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) must shift their perspective and strive to increase customer satisfaction to ensure the highest quality of educational products. A recent survey by Higher Education found that only 25% of customers were satisfied with the results higher education provided, contradicting the satisfaction differences of 99% of CAOs. Clearly, a disconnect exists between what higher education leaders deliver and what students, employers, and the changing labor market requirements are. To bridge this gap, higher education must develop products focusing on stakeholder feedback in product design, job requirements, and practical skills development.

From DSC:
So in terms of Design Thinking for reinventing lifelong learning, it seems to me that we need much more collaboration between the existing siloes. That is, we need students, educators, administrators, employers, and other stakeholders at the (re)design table. More experiments and what I call TrimTab Groups are needed.

But I think that the culture of many institutions of traditional higher education will prevent this from occurring. Many in academia shy away from (to put it politely) the world of business (even though they themselves ARE a business). I know, it’s not fair nor does it make sense. But many faculty members lean towards much more noble purposes, while never seeing the mounting gorillas of debt that they’ve heaped upon their students’/graduates’ backs. Those in academia shouldn’t be so quick to see themselves as being so incredibly different from those working in the corporate/business world.

The following quote seems appropriate to place here:


Along the lines of other items in the higher education space, see:

New Data Shows Emergency Pandemic Aid Helped Keep 18 Million Students Enrolled — from forbes.com by Edward Conroy

Excerpt:

The Department of Education (ED) has released new data showing that 18 million students were helped by emergency aid for colleges and universities throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of which was used to provide emergency grants to students. These funds were provided through three rounds of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) In total, $76.2 billion was provided, with half of those funds going to support students directly. Unusually for funding in higher education, the money was not heavily means-tested, and was distributed very quickly.

The report indicates that the funds were used for several essential purposes, including student basic needs, keeping staff employed, and helping keep students enrolled. For example, students used funds to cover things like food and housing at a time when employment was drying up for many students, ensuring that the Pandemic did not plunge students who already had limited funds deeper into basic needs insecurity.

Flagships prosper, while regionals suffer — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner
Competition is getting fierce, and the gap is widening

Excerpts:

Some key numbers are moving in the right direction at the University of Oregon. The flagship institution enrolled 5,338 freshmen in the fall of 2022, its largest entering class ever. First-year enrollment increased 16 percent over 2021, which was also a record year. Meanwhile, Western Oregon University, a regional public institution an hour’s drive north, just outside Salem, lost nearly 7 percent of its enrollment over the same period.

In 28 states, flagships have seen enrollment rise between 2010 to 2021, while regionals have trended down, according to a Chronicle analysis of U.S. Education Department data. Across all states, enrollment at 78 public flagships rose 12.3 percent from 2010 to 2021, the most recent year for which data is available. Enrollment at 396 public regional universities slumped more than 4 percent during the same period.

Chronicle analysis of federal data showed, for example, that in Michigan, a state being hit hard by demographic shifts and with no central higher-ed authority, the flagship University of Michigan at Ann Arbor saw undergraduate enrollment rise 16 percent between 2010 and 2020. Over the same period, it fell at 11 of the state’s 12 other four-year public campuses.

 

63% of educators consider leaving profession — from k12dive.com by Anna Merod

Dive Brief:

  • Thirty percent of surveyed educators said they plan to leave the education profession within the next three years, while another 33% said they would “maybe” do the same, according to a report released Wednesday by Horace Mann Educators Corp., a financial services company that focuses on educators.
  • For those thinking of leaving, the largest share — 42% — said they would retire. Another 28% said they would consider the private sector, and 10% would move to another public sector position, the survey found.
  • What would keep teachers in education?  Respondents largely said higher salaries (57%), followed by improved parent or community support (42%), and better school or district leadership (41%).

From DSC:
Ouch! At one of our daughter’s schools (where she teaches third grade and is in her first year of teaching), many teachers left even before Christmas. As but one example of a flawed system, our daughter and other teachers are required to be there way before school begins (for early dropoffs) and way after school ends (for late pickups). If our society doesn’t start valuing teachers, all Americans are going to pay the price eventually.

And a heads up to the faculty and staff members working in higher education. These students are coming your way. 

And then they’ll be at your doorsteps corporate world. 

Bottom line: We all should care about what’s going on — or what’s NOT going on — in the PreK-12 learning ecosystem!

 

Female scientists challenge stereotypes | Not the Science Type — from 3M.com
Female scientists challenge stereotypes and blaze paths for future generations in this 3M-produced docuseries

Excerpt:

STEM education has an access issue: let’s change that.

Around the world, people believe the we need more people in STEM careers. Eighty-seven percent of people believe we need to do more to encourage and retain girls in STEM education. At the same time, barriers remain – 73% of people believe underrepresented minorities often lack equal access STEM education.

Not The Science Type gets to the heart of access and gender inequity in STEM education and STEM fields. This four-part docuseries features four female scientists who are challenging stereotypes and confronting gender, racial and age discrimination as they rise to prominence.

Not The Science Type highlights four brilliant minds, showcasing women who break down boundaries within their fields – biology, engineering and science and technology-based applications.
.

Female scientists challenge stereotypes and blaze paths for future generations in this 3M-produced docuseries.

While each woman has taken a different path to pursue scientific excellence, they are bound by the common experience of feeling excluded, or “not the type” in traditionally homogenous fields.

 

Michigan flags 112 low-performing schools for intensive intervention — from mlive.com by Matthew Miller

Excerpt:

“These are the urban high minority districts, right? So they were the ones that had the highest death rates, the highest case rates, the highest income and economic hits because of the pandemic,” she said. “We know that all of this goes into what we label as school quality even though it’s about so much more than the school or the district.”

The full list is here >>

From DSC:
I surely hope that what’s going on in the image below isn’t what’s going on within the state of Michigan (as well as other states) — but I have my fears/concerns in that regard. Though admittedly, my focus here isn’t so much about the financial pictures, but rather it has to do with the straight-jacketing of the teachers and students by legislators in Lansing (and other state capitals). If I were to redraw this image, I would have legislators in (far-away) Lansing seated in comfortable chairs and offices while frazzled/overworked educators are straight-jacketed in the classrooms.

We have too many standardized tests and too many one-size-fits-all methods of “doing school” that aren’t coming from the people on the front lines. Those same people, given the right environment, could unleash a far greater amount of joy, wonder, relevance, creativity, and counsel — for themselves as well as for their students.

.

The ‘Digital Equity’ Students Need to Learn May Not Come Without Community Outreach — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

And that means, more than ever, getting an education requires access to fast, reliable internet. But while the infrastructure to make sure that everyone can use the internet has improved in the last couple of years, the process isn’t complete.

If we want to keep the digital divide from growing, experts say, it’ll mean districts thinking about themselves as just one part of the larger community composed of families, nonprofits, businesses—all of them potential partners in expanding internet access for students.

.

Missing an Opportunity: Ed Dept. Criticized by GAO for Teacher Shortage Strategy — from the74million.org by Marianna McMurdock
In recent report, GAO finds key recruitment, retention challenges impacting the profession, and why current federal strategy lacks teeth to succeed

Excerpt:

The challenge of cost of entry into the profession and concerns of return on investment, the GAO report found, is also significantly straining the country’s supply of teachers. Compounding the financial reality, many candidates fear being overworked and mistreated.

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare teachers’ discontent with aspects of their jobs, including a lack of support for their safety and value as professionals and an increasingly disrespectful and demanding workplace culture—and exacerbated teacher shortages nationwide,” the GAO stated, pulling data from focus groups held throughout the pandemic.


Addendum on 12/10/22:

 

The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans — from the Legal Services Corporation

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs. LSC’s study found that low-income Americans do not get the help they need for 92% of their civil legal problems, even though 74% of low-income households face at least one civil legal issue in a single year.

The consequences that result from a lack of appropriate counsel can be life-altering – low-income Americans facing civil legal problems can lose their homes, children and healthcare, among other things. Help can be hard to access, so LSC is working to bridge this “justice gap” by providing pro bono civil legal aid for those in need. Find out more about LSC’s work to ensure equal justice for all by tuning in to the rest of the Justice Gap video series.

For more information on the Justice Gap, visit https://justicegap.lsc.gov/.

Also relevant/see:

.

Legal Services Corporation’s 2022 Justice Gap Report provides a comprehensive look at the differences between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

 

Buyer Beware: First-Year Earnings and Debt for 37,000 College Majors at 4,400 Institutions — from cew.georgetown.edu

Summary:

Did you know that in the first year after graduation you can make more money with an associate’s degree in nursing from Santa Rosa Junior College in California than with a graduate degree from some programs at Harvard University? Data from the College Scorecard reveal many more surprising details of post-college outcomes for students and families about that all-important first year after graduation. Buyer Beware: First-Year Earnings and Debt for 37,000 College Majors at 4,400 Institutions finds that first-year earnings for the same degree in the same major can vary by $80,000 at different colleges and universities. It also reveals that workers with less education can often make more than workers with more education, and that higher levels of education do not always result in higher student loan payments.

Speaking of Georgetown, also see:

In the U.S. alone, more than 39 million students leave college without a degree. Black, Latino, and Native American students are overrepresented in this population.

SCS’s program is designed to help students of all backgrounds complete their degrees and unlock their earning potential. The degree’s most recent on-campus cohort is composed of 62% students of color and 40% military-connected learners. SCS is introducing this fully online degree to scale this program to learners worldwide.

 

2022 Winners of the LegalTech Breakthrough Awards — from legaltechbreakthrough.com

Categories include:

  • Case Management
  • Client Relations
  • Data & Analytics
  • Documentation
  • Legal Education
  • Practice Management
  • Legal Entity Management
  • Legal Research
  • Online Dispute Resolution
  • Contract Management
  • eDiscovery
  • Marketplaces
  • RegTech
  • Leadership

Also see:

With the cost of international air travel rising sharply, remote hearings are a practical alternative to in-person proceedings. International travel is expensive, and the virtual option means that it is no longer necessary to count travel as a “cost of doing business” when pursuing an international dispute. The widespread use of technology in global dispute resolution proceedings gives attorneys and their clients the option to participate remotely, which is a compelling cost saver for all parties. 

  • Most debt lawsuits get decided without a fight. Michigan leaders want to change the rules. — from mlive.com by Matthew Miller
    Excerpt:
    Most of the 1.9 million debt collection cases filed in Michigan’s district courts over the past decade or so never went to trial. Usually, the defendants don’t show up to court, and debt collectors win by default, according to data compiled by the Michigan Justice for All Commission. In most cases, the courts end up garnishing defendants’ wages, income tax returns or other assets, sometimes on the basis of complaints that include little more than the name of the creditor, an account number and the balance due.

And both debt lawsuits and garnishment are more common for people living in primarily Black neighborhoods, regardless of their income.

Members of the Commission say Michigan’s rules around debt collection lawsuits don’t do enough to protect regular people, who sometimes don’t find out they’ve been sued until they see money coming out of their paychecks.

They say those rules need to change.

An early participant in the Law Society of BC’s Innovation Sandbox, the Clinic offers the in-person and virtual help of 25 articling students located in 15 different BC communities —from Tofino to Cranbrook— with the support of 15 supervising lawyers, four staff and dozens of local mentors. Together, they provide fixed-fee services in a wide range of areas covering everyday legal problems.

 

The Shrinking of Higher Ed — A Special Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
A special report on the implications of the enrollment contraction.

Excerpt:

Nearly 1.3 million students have disappeared from American colleges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. That enrollment contraction comes at a precarious moment for the sector. Inflation is driving up costs and straining budgets, stock-market volatility is putting downward pressure on endowment returns, and federal stimulus funds are running out. Why is the enrollment crunch happening now? How are colleges responding? What might turn things around? Those are the questions fueling this special report.

A Public Regional on the Edge — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman
New Jersey City University’s plan to grow its way out of financial trouble backfired. What went wrong?

Excerpts:

NJCU’s story is a cautionary tale for similar institutions — small public regional colleges with ambitions to expand in a crowded higher-education market. While its real-estate dealings have drawn unfavorable scrutiny, the university was responding to challenges that face its peers, in northern New Jersey and around the country: increased competition for a declining number of high-school graduates.

Public regional universities, like NJCU, enroll about 40 percent of all college students nationally, and a far larger percentage of minority, low-income, and first-generation students than better-known flagships and top research universities do.

But a lack of state support, limited ability to attract students from outside the region, and sparse fund raising have made the university vulnerable to economic downturns and demographic shifts that have led to fewer high-school graduates, especially in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

Linked to in the above article was this article:

Declining enrollment has Western Michigan University on budgetary tightrope — from mlive.com by Julie Mack

Excerpts:

KALAMAZOO, MI — Western Michigan University has 17,835 students this fall, its lowest enrollment since the 1960s.

The number is down 6% from last fall. Down 27% from a decade ago, when the fall headcount was 24,598. Down 41% from 20 years ago, when WMU’s fall count peaked at 29,732.

And thanks to a declining birthrate and a shrinking percentage of new high school graduates enrolling in college, that downward enrollment trend is likely to continue indefinitely.

Rather, “what COVID did was force our hand after years of pressure created by declining enrollment and demographic trends that suggest declines will continue for the next decade,” she said. “So while COVID brought our financial situation into sharp relief, the budget cut was a measure taken to relieve pressure created over many, many years.”


A relevant addendum here:

Avoiding the Trap of Too Little Too Late — from tytonpartners.com by Trace Urdan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

The challenges facing higher education are well understood: a demographic cliff of traditional-aged applicants, a declining proportion of full-pay families, and a growing skepticism of the value of (ever-more) expensive post-secondary degrees with resulting student consumerism. Add to this rapidly rising technological complexity, deferred maintenance on deteriorating physical assets, escalating administrative costs associated with student services and supports, and a burgeoning array of college substitutes, and the challenges are clear. The combination of lower tuition revenue and higher costs points toward an inevitable sector consolidation. And while many college administrators will readily acknowledge this point in the abstract, few will consider that it might apply to them.

 

From DSC:
I virtually attended the Law 2030 Conference (Nov 3-4, 2022). Jennifer Leonard and staff from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School put together a super conference! It highlighted the need for change within the legal industry. A major shout out to Jennifer Leonard, Theodore Ruger (Law School Dean), and others!

I really appreciate Jen’s vision here, because she recognizes that the legal industry needs to involve more disciplines, more specialists, and others who don’t have a JD Degree and/or who haven’t passed the Bar. On Day 1 of the conference (in the afternoon), Jen enlisted the help of several others to use Design Thinking to start to get at possible solutions to our entrenched issues.

America, our legal system is being tightly controlled and protected — by lawyers. They are out to protect their turf — no matter the ramifications/consequences of doing so. This is a bad move on many lawyers part. It’s a bad move on many Bar Associations part. Lawyers already have some major PR work to do — but when America finds out what they’ve been doing, their PR problems are going to be that much larger. I’d recommend that they change their ways and really start innovating to address the major access to justice issues that we have in the United States.

One of the highlights for me was listening to the powerful, well-thought-out presentation from Michigan’s Chief Justice Bridget McCormack — it was one of the best I’ve ever heard at a conference! She mentioned the various stakeholders that need to come to the table — which includes law schools/legal education. I also appreciated Jordan Furlong’s efforts to deliver a 15-minute presentation (virtual), which it sounded like he worked on most of the night when he found out he couldn’t be there in person! He nicely outlined the experimentation that’s going on in Canada.

Here’s the recording from Day 1:

 


Jeff Selingo’s comments this week reminded me that those of us who have worked in higher education for much of our careers also have a lot of work to do as well.


 

Addendum on 11/8/22:

 


 

11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.

From DSC:
I thought about this verse the other day as I opened up a brand-new box of cereal. The box made it look like I was getting a lot of cereal — making it look like a decent value for the price. But when I opened it up, it was about half full (I realize some of this occurs by pushing out the box as the contents settle, but come on!). In fairness, I realize that the amount of the cereal is written on the box, but the manufacture likely kept the size of the box the same but decreased the amount that they put within it. They kept the price the same, but changed the quantity sold.

This shrinkification of items seems to be happening more these days — as companies don’t want to change their prices, so they’ll change the amounts of their products that you get.

  • It just strikes me as yet another deception.
  • We BS each other too much.
  • We rip each other off too much.
  • We bury stuff in the fine print.
  • Our advertising is not always truthful — words are easy to say, and much harder to back up.
  • We treat people as though they just exist to make money off of. It’s like Philip Morris did to people for years, and it still occurs today with other companies.
  • In today’s perspective, people are to be competed against but not to be in relationships with. 

I hope that we can all build and offer solid products and services — while putting some serious quality into those things. Let’s make those things and offer those services as if we were making them for ourselves and/or our families. Let’s use “accurate weights.” And while we’re trying to do the right things, let’s aim to be in caring relationships with others.

 

Michigan’s public universities have lost 45,000 students since 2011. It’s about to get worse. — from mlive.com by Matthew Miller

Excerpt:

The decline is partly a pandemic phenomenon. It’s mostly the product of a shrinking number of 18 to 22-year-olds and a slow decline in the percentage of high school graduates choosing to enroll in college.

It is almost certain to get worse. After 2025, the number of students graduating each year from Michigan high schools is projected to drop steadily for more than a decade.

Barring significant and unlikely shifts in the number of high school graduates enrolling in college or in the ability of the state’s less selective regional universities to draw out-of-state and adult students, those schools are simply going to get smaller.

Also related/see (and also recently from mlive.com):

 

From DSC:
I’m very proud of our sister Sue Ellen — who worked hard to bring this idea/vision/exhibit to reality.

Sue Ellen Christian


Kalamazoo Valley Museum explores media & its messages — from woodtv.com by Jessica Jurczak

Excerpt:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – We are constantly on the lookout for fun ideas that also involve learning and one of our go-to spots is the Kalamazoo Valley Museum! There’s a big exhibition there now called “Wonder Media: Ask the Questions!” As we all know, we’re bombarded everyday with messages from all types of media: TV, movies, social media and this exhibit encourages us to stop and evaluate some of those messages. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum also has a planetarium, and vast science and history galleries and today, we’re taking you inside!

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian