New law school study says students who use generative AI finish work quicker

The Minnesota Daily reports

Law students who use generative artificial intelligence (AI) like ChatGPT to help them complete classwork are more likely to finish their assignments sooner, according to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota Law School.

The study, which was published in the Social Science Research Network on Nov. 9, also said law students who are less familiar with the source material are more likely to see a higher grade when using AI to assist them in completing their classwork.

While the speed of completed work increased, the quality remained the same, according to the results of the survey.

Daniel Schwarcz, a law professor and one of the primary researchers involved with the study , said the use of generative AI will likely become one of the primary tools in the toolkit for law.

“It’s probably gonna vary across tasks and across legal settings, but I think we can very confidently say it will be a big disruptor of legal services,” Schwarcz said.

Schwarcz is an active professor at the University and said the results of the survey were mostly consistent with what he saw in his own law classrooms.

As part of his lesson plan to control when AI is used for assignments, Schwarcz proctors all of his exams and papers. He recommends other professors do the same if they choose to disallow AI use in the classroom for they can actually enforce it.

Schwarcz added there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to allowing the use of generative AI in the classroom. According to Schwarcz, AI should be either fully banned or fully usable in classrooms.

If teachers just assume students are not using ChatGPT without actually enacting strict policies, then there is a higher potential for students to use it to cheat, Schwarcz said.

“There are just a lot of professors living in la-la land about the incentives that real people face,” Schwarcz said.

Schwarcz added it is necessary for students to have a good understanding of the topic so they can use AI as a supplement to their own knowledge as opposed to a tool for completing a task based solely on the knowledge of the generative AI.

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New law school study says students who use generative AI finish work quicker