Artificial Intelligence AI for Legal Applications: Resources and Updates

It’s been fun pulling together regulations and standards for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in legal applications over the past few months!

CALL/ACBD AI Working Group

Last fall, I proposed a working group (WG) through the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD).

Ultimately, the CALL/ACBD Executive did approved an Artificial Intelligence WG, whose terms of reference are on the CALL website. We are a group of 13 law librarians from across the country, representing a variety of interested parties, from firms, to academia to courthouse and legislative libraries. Our focus is primarily on AI in legal research and writing applications. Our progress will be reported on as a Lightening Talk at the upcoming CALL Conference in Montreal this June, 2024.

ISO/IEC Committee on Artificial Intelligence

Similarly, representing CALL on the Standards Council of Canada mirror committee to the joint ISO/IEC Committee on Artificial Intelligence has also been eye-opening.

AI for Legal Applications: Guides, Guidelines and Resources

As reported on Library Boy blog in January, I have begun compiling a list of AI-related polices, guidelines and regulations in Canada. I think the list is fairly comprehensive, and includes what I’ve found so far for the US (federal and state), EU and a few other interesting tools currently available. It is continuously being updated.

Additionally, I compiled a list of AI-driven tools that our law students already have access to. Admittedly, the list is pretty thin at present, and calls in products that have been using NLP for a decade or more, but I hope to keep it updated as more resources become available.

AI in Legal Applications: Guidance for Law Students

AI Guidance for Law Students is a set of guidelines that I drafted for discussion purposes. Please feel free to send feedback my way! An ongoing open dialogue about the impact of AI on legal applications is going to be necessary as the technology evolves!

Next on my AI Reading List

Artificial Intelligence AI Book Guidelines

I’ve just ordered (and our staff immediately delivered the e-book link for) Roman V Yampolskiy, AI: Unexplainable, Unpredictable, Uncontrollable (Taylor and Francis Group, 2024). It ought to be interesting to draw upon as I write my next post “The Robots are Already in Control”. Stay tuned!

I look forward to keeping people posted with periodic updates now that I’m back to SLAW!

Comments

  1. This is an excellent post, and your LibGuides on AI are super helpful. I think your AI Guidance document for students should be required reading for ALL lawyers and law firm management across the country. Thanks for your efforts on this topic. I look forward to hearing what the CALL working group comes up with as well.

  2. Thank you for doing this information gathering. I remember penning a Slaw post over six years ago that questioned what professional regulators (mainly the Law Society of BC, but it’s broadly applicable to all regulators of legal services) would do (or need to do?) to ensure that the “practice of law” was still within their reach when the empowering legislation is hinged on language that assumes it’s always a “somebody” who’s doing the practicing, and not an increasingly autonomous web of algorithms running on computing machines.

    That post from Nov 2017 is here: https://www.slaw.ca/2017/11/08/who-dunnit-artificial-intelligence-and-unauthorized-practiced/

    I’d be curious to know if you encountered anything related to the question of whether professional regulatory bodies are sufficiently equipped to actually handle unauthorized practice of law by machines.

    Relevant quote from my old blog post is below the line.
    ————

    Currently in BC, Part 2 of the Legal Profession Act says this (emphasis added):

    Authority to practise law
    15 (1) No person, other than a practising lawyer, is permitted to engage in the practice of law, [except the discreet list of those who are not lawyers but can anyway]

    […]

    (6) The benchers may make rules prohibiting lawyers from facilitating or participating in the practice of law by persons who are not authorized to practise law.

    You will notice I liberally emphasized the words “NO PERSON“? It doesn’t say robots or computers.

    Well, perhaps the ambit of the term “practice of law” might save us?

    No. Earlier in the definitions, the LPA explains what is and what is not meant by “practising law”. It does include:

    (a) appearing as counsel or advocate,

    (b) drawing, revising or settling [the usual legal docs]

    (c) doing an act or negotiating in any way for the settlement of, or settling, a claim or demand for damages,

    (d) agreeing to place at the disposal of another person the services of a lawyer,

    (e) giving legal advice,

    (f) making an offer to do anything referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e), and

    (g) making a representation by a person that he or she is qualified or entitled to do anything referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e).

    It does not say:

    (h) installing or causing to be installed a computer program that is capable of doing anything referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g), unless [carefully worded exceptions]

    What I’d ask readers to reflect upon are some questions, namely:

    Do you agree that the LPA has no hope of shoehorning a chatbot, i.e. some computer code processing inputs, within the plain and ordinary meaning of the word “person”?
    Because if so, we have a problem.
    Has anyone considered something like the above addition to the definition of practicing law?

  3. Hi Nate!

    You raise an extremely important question!

    I agree with you that our governance rules may not be equipped to deal with AI.
    May I suggest that you tune in to Windsor Law’s upcoming panel presentation on March 1st:

    “Disruptive Technology: AI and its impact on the legal profession and the automotive industry – what path(s) for regulation?” https://www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/event/disruptive-technology-ai-and-its-impact-on-the-legal-profession-and-the-automotive-industry/

    I’ll be moderating the 9:45 am panel presentation “AI and the Legal Profession” where that question will be specifically addressed.

    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

(Your email address will not be published or distributed)