Oklahoma Law Review Symposium Examines the Influence of Artificial Intelligence on the Legal Profession

February 11, 2019 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
Dean Harroz, Joshua Davis (San Francisco Law), Stephen Henderson, Hayley Parker, Collen Steffen, Susan Morse (UT Austin), Christine Chambers Goodman (Pepperdine University), Brad Wendel (Cornell), Emily Taylor Poppe (University of California), Mary Sue Backus, Melissa Mortazavi, Susan Saab Fortney (Texas A&M), Kenton Brice.

From Left to Right: OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr., Joshua Davis, Stephen Henderson, Hayley Parker, Collen Steffen, Susan Morse, Christine Chambers Goodman, Brad Wendel, Emily Taylor Poppe, Mary Sue Backus, Melissa Mortazavi, Susan Saab Fortney, Kenton Brice.

Media Contact: 
Melissa Caperton
(405) 325-2227

NORMAN — On Feb. 8, the Oklahoma Law Review’s Symposium, “Lawyering in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” brought together legal scholars from across the country to interrogate the questions: in a world where increasingly robots can synthesize much of law and fact, why does civil society need lawyers at all? What are the limitations on the use of artificial intelligence in the legal profession, and what challenges does AI pose for legal ethics?

“One of the most pressing issues facing the legal profession today is the extent to which emerging technology, like AI, will disrupt legal practice,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “By delving into how AI impacts the lawyer’s role in society and existing professional conduct norms, our symposium is at the forefront of fostering cutting-edge scholarship and research. Our students and the wider community benefited enormously from the insights these national experts brought to discussing how these innovations modify what lawyers will do in the future. This informs how OU Law is preparing law students to meet that need.”

The symposium ran in three consecutive workshop sessions featuring the following speakers and their work:

Lawyers: What Are They Good For? 

  • Joshua Davis, Professor, Director of the Center for Law and Ethics, Dean’s Circle Scholar, University of San Francisco School of Law, Artificial Wisdom? A Potential Limit on AI in Law (and Elsewhere)
  • Stephen Henderson, Judge Haskell A. Holloman Professor of Law, OU College of Law, Should Robots Prosecute and Defend?
  • Brad Wendel, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Yoshimi Battles the Legal Robots: The Promise and Limitations of Artificial Intelligence in the Practice of Law

Self-Policing: AI and the Regulation of Lawyers 

  • Anita Bernstein, Anita and Stuart Subotnick Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, and Anne Accettella, Law Student, Co-Author with Professor Bernstein, Brooklyn Law School, Minding the Gap
  • Susan Saab Fortney, Professor of Law, Director of the Program for the Advancement of Legal Ethics, Texas A&M University School of Law, Online Legal Document Providers and the Public Interest: Using a Certification Approach to Balance Access to Justice and Public Protection

Ten Seconds to Self-Destruct: The Fallibility of AI 

  • Christine Chambers Goodman, Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law, Impacts of Artificial Intelligence in Lawyer-Client Relationships
  • Susan Morse, Angus G. Wynne Sr. Professor in Civil Jurisprudence, University of Texas at Austin School of Law, When Robots Make Legal Mistakes
  • Emily Taylor Poppe, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law, AI, Apps, and the Art and Science of Lawyering

Final papers are forthcoming with the Oklahoma Law Review and will be available for citation and download at law.ou.edu/faculty-and-scholarship/journals/oklahoma-law-review.

The Oklahoma Law Review is OU Law’s flagship publication, published quarterly since its founding in 1948. Its student editors seek to serve their readership with timely and comprehensive analyses across the entire spectrum of legal issues.

Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is one of the nation’s premier law schools. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 800 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit law.ou.edu.

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