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Cardinal Courses
Courses for credit

Policy Practicum: AI For Legal Help

Quarter-long course
Law, Policy & Justice
Policy Practicum: AI For Legal Help
The policy client for this project is the Legal Services Corporation ( This project works closely with the Legal Services Corporation's Technology Information Grant Program ( to research how the public interacts with AI platforms to seek legal assistance, and to develop a strategy around how to mitigate risks, ensure quality, and enhance access to justice on these AI platforms. AI increase access to justice, by helping people resolve their legal problems in more accessible, equitable, and effective ways? What are the risks that AI poses for people seeking legal guidance, that technical and policy guardrails should mitigate? In this course, students will conduct research to identify key opportunities and risks around AI's use by the public to deal with common legal problems like bad living conditions, possible evictions, debt collection, divorce, or domestic violence. Especially with the launch of new AI platforms like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing Chat, more people may turn to generative AI platforms for guidance on their legal rights, options, and procedures. How can technology companies, legal institutions, and community groups responsibly advance AI solutions to benefit people in need? Students will explore these questions about AI and access to justice through hands-on interviews, fieldwork, and design workshops with different stakeholders throughout the justice system. They will run interview sessions online and on-site at courts, to hear from various community members about whether they would use AI for legal help and to brainstorm how the ideal AI system would behave. Students will also observe how participants use AI to respond to a fictional legal problem, to assess how the AI performs and understand how people regard the AI's guidance. Students will be required to complete ethical training for human subjects research, which takes approximately 2 hours through the CITI program online. They will then conduct community interviews according to an approved IRB research protocol. Students will synthesize what they learn in these community interviews, observations, and brainstorm sessions, in a presentation to legal and technical experts. They will hold a multi-stakeholder workshop at to explore how their findings may contribute to technical and legal projects to develop responsible, human-centered AI in the legal domain. Students will develop skills in facilitating interdisciplinary policy discussions about how technology and regulation can be developed alongside each other. The students¿ final report will contribute to policy and technology discussions about the principles, benchmarks, and risk typologies that can guide the ethical development of AI platforms for access to justice. Students are asked to enroll in both Fall and Winter quarters of the class. The class may be extended to Spring quarter, depending on the issues raised. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Performance, Class Participation, and Written Assignments. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available at SLS Registrar





September 26, 2023 | 12:00 AM
* This Application Deadline has passed

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