One of the greatest characteristics of artificial intelligence – as it currently stands – is its ability to impress us by being almost perfect. We are impressed by what we see and assume that perfection is just around the corner. But when it comes to AI, the step between impressively close to perfect, and actual perfection, is large indeed. To test ChatGPT’s abilities, Dan Svantesson puts it to the ‘beer making test’.
For many lawyers, writing complex contracts that only the initiated can understand is a point of pride. But for the non-lawyers whose lives and finances are affected by these contracts, this can be a major problem. They may not be able to understand the contract and may not have the resources to hire a lawyer to interpret it for them. However, a new generation of legal thinkers and designers are challenging this status quo and working to make contracts more understandable and accessible to non-lawyers.
Australian lawyers specialising in transactional work are, according to legal recruiters, the most in-demand by overseas head-hunters looking to fill global talent shortages. The pay both domestically and overseas is high and demand for graduate jobs in top-tier commercial firms is fierce. Law students should learn as much as they can about the different fields of practice before they make important career choices. Why don’t law schools teach more transactional lawyering?
PART 2 OF 4: This week my focus will be upon ensuring the assessment I will be administering in my subject is appropriate, rigorous and aligned with my learning outcomes. This final point is important: as explained last week, the notion of constructive alignment tells us that the assessment tasks we give our students should evaluate the extent to which the students have achieved the learning outcomes we set for the subject.
Many of these works are of considerable historical significance, including:
Christopher Roper, Career Intentions of Australian Law Students (1995)
Gordon Joughin, A Framework for Teaching and Learning Law (1996)
Mark Wojcik, Introduction to Legal English: An Introduction to Legal Terminology, Reasoning, and Writing in Plain English (1998)
Phillip Jones, Competences, Learning Outcomes and Legal Education (1994)
William Duncan, Skills Training (1991)
There was a time when we as academics used to love debating about online exams, their nuances, pros and cons… The thought that we would ever depart from our comfortably set routine of traditional end-of-semester exams was limited to seminars and staff meetings… and then a one-in-a-hundred-year event jolted us into action. What was once an interesting option suddenly became the only viable way forward.
Now more than ever it’s important that we maintain our own well-being. Much is being asked of us as legal educators. Our students are needing our support and we need to have capacity to be responsive to them – not only in terms of their learning as we move to online approaches, but also just generally. We are having to be adaptive and agile in adopting new ways of being legal academics.