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  • 18 Feb 2024 10:00 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    CALL member Annette Demers, Reference Librarian at the University of Windsor Law School, has written an article that will be of interest to many of us, "Artificial Intelligence AI for Legal Applications: Resources and Updates".

    It originally appeared on on February 13, 2024.

    It is republished here with permission of the author, with minor edits.

    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!

  • 21 Jan 2024 7:35 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    The winners of the 2023 Canadian Law Blog Awards (known as the Clawbies) were announced on New Year's Eve.

    The Clawbies exist to reward the best and most innovative Canadian blogs, podcasts, videos, legal newsletters, and other forms of online commentary. 

    The Canadian Law Libraries Review, the journal of our association, was selected as one of the best newsletters!

    In their synopsis, the organizers of the competition highlighted some of the significant features of the publication and our work as legal information professionals: "…voice of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), sharing news happenings, expertise and book reviews (...) An invaluable contribution to the Canadian legal infosphere!”

    Les lauréats des Prix des meilleurs blogues juridiques canadiens de 2023 (connus sous le nom des Clawbies) furent annoncés la veille du Jour de l'An.

    Les Clawbies existent pour reconnaître et célébrer les meilleurs blogues, balados, vidéos, infolettres et autres formes de commentaire en ligne dans le domaine juridique au Canada.

    La Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit, la revue de notre association, fut reconnue comme une des meilleures publications dans la catégorie des infolettres.

    Dans le résumé publié, les organisateurs ont souligné certaines caractéristiques clés de la revue et de notre travail à titre de professionnels de l’information juridique: « ... [la revue] est la voix de l’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit (CALL/ACBD), qui partage des nouvelles, de l’expertise et des comptes rendus de livres. Elle apporte une contribution inestimable à l’infosphère juridique au Canada! »

  • 11 Jan 2024 2:47 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) is accepting nominations for the 2024 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

    CALL/ACBD has long had an annual award for excellent legal publishing.

    Some years ago, we renamed the award we present after Queens University Professor Hugh Lawford (1933-2009) to recognize his contributions to legal publishing in Canada. 

    As a group of legal information specialists, our work depends on being able to access and share high-quality legal knowledge. We value innovation and this award is open to legal content in all information formats.

    The award honours a publisher (whether for-profit or not-for profit, corporate or non-corporate) that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website, or electronic product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

    Members and non-members of CALL/ACBD are welcome to make nominations. Information about the process is available on our website.

    Please send your nomination to National Office by January 31, 2024.

    The award will be presented to the recipient during the 2024 CALL/ACBD Annual Conference, which will be held in Montreal June 25 - 28, 2024.

    L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques (ACBD/CALL) accepte les mises en candidature pour le Prix d’excellence Hugh Lawford en édition juridique 2024.

    L’ACBD/CALL décerne depuis de nombreuses années un prix annuel pour souligner l’excellence en édition juridique. Depuis quelques années, nous avons renommé le prix que nous décernons en l’honneur du professeur Hugh Lawford de l’Université Queen’s (1933-2009) afin de reconnaître ses contributions à l’édition juridique au Canada.

    En tant que groupe de spécialistes de l’information juridique, notre travail repose sur notre capacité à accéder à des connaissances juridiques de haute qualité et à les partager. Nous avons à cœur l’innovation, et ce prix est ouvert au contenu juridique dans tous les formats d’information.

    Le prix est décerné à un éditeur (à but lucratif ou non, société ou autre) qui a fait preuve d’excellence en publiant un ouvrage, une série de textes, un site Web ou un produit électronique qui apporte une contribution importante à la recherche et l’aide juridiques.

    Les membres et les non-membres de l’ACBD/CALL sont invités à proposer des candidatures. Des renseignements sur le processus sont disponibles sur notre site Web.

    Envoyez les mises en candidature au bureau national avant le 31 janvier 2024.

    Le prix sera remis à la personne lauréate lors du Congrès annuel 2024 de l’ACBD/CALL, qui se tiendra à Montréal du 25 au 28 juin 2024. 

  • 17 Dec 2023 3:22 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    The Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) have been working on a Crown Copyright Code of Best Practices for Libraries.

    The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) is a member of the CFLA and has argued for reform of Crown Copyright.

    The draft code is now available for comment

    The review period ends January 15, 2024.

    As the draft explains:

    "The current legal provision related to Crown copyright in Canada is found in Section 12 of the Copyright Act. It is extremely comprehensive in scope, granting the Crown copyright to any work that has been 'prepared or published under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department.' It also preserves the ancient royal prerogative or privilege that predates copyright law and it is silent about term length for unpublished works, leading to the assumption that these works are protected by copyright in perpetuity. These anomalies provide governments with expansive rights that could be used to withhold, censor or control government information to the detriment of the public good."

    "Section 12 also sets out the duration of copyright controls for government works it covers. For published government works, the duration of the term of copyright is 50 years after the year of publication. In addition, and by virtue of Subsection 13(3) of the Copyright Act, the Crown, like any private sector employer, owns copyright in original work authored by its employees in the course of their employment. This copyright lasts until the end of the 70th year past the death of the author. Both Sections 12 and 13(3) may be modified by agreement but such agreements are relatively rare. Both apply to all works of the federal and provincial government and the territories and neither provides for compulsory licensing. In practice, government works are generally assumed to be protected by Crown copyright unless a personal author is named on the title page and the copyright statement does not clearly state that Crown copyright applies (e.g., © Government of Canada)."


    "Confusion about the appropriate interpretation of the Act, and its hampering impact on the efforts of libraries attempting to serve as stewards of government works, was described in numerous submissions and testimonies presented to the Parliamentary Committee responsible for the Copyright Act review of 2018/2019, summarized by librarian Amanda Wakaruk and described in the Committee’s final report. Put briefly, this confusion, compounded by copyright anxiety and related legal chill, has impeded the work of libraries, which has resulted in the loss of innumerable government works, including both born digital files and legacy print materials."

    "At the time of writing, the Government of Canada has yet to address the concerns of those that participated in the most recent legislative review or the near-continuous requests for review and reform made by Canadian library associations and the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Nor has it addressed the comments of the Supreme Court of Canada, that Section 12 be revisited by Parliament."

    The issue was discussed earlier in December at one of the sessions at the Government Information Day(s) 2023.

    Past CALL/ACBD statements on copyright reform including Crown copyright include:

  • 14 Dec 2023 8:13 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    CALL/ACBD is pleased to share the results of the 2023 CALL-TALL Salary Survey.

    This is a joint salary survey report from the Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL) and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L'Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit (CALL/ACBD).

    The purpose is to determine benchmark employment remuneration received by members. This survey reports data collected in February/March 2023. The previous survey was conducted in 2018.

    This analysis is based on 204 survey responses. Respondents were able to skip questions, which results in different “totals” for individual questions throughout this report.


    Nous sommes heureux de vous transmettre les résultats du Sondage sur les salaires 2023 de la TALL et de la CALL/ACBD.

    Il s’agit d’un rapport conjoint de la Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL) et de la Canadian Association of Law Libraries / Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit (CALL/ACBD) portant sur l’enquête salariale.

    Ce sondage visait à établir une référence quant à la rémunération des membres.

    Les données du sondage ont été recueillies en février et mars 2023. Le sondage précédent avait été réalisé en 2018. L’analyse est basée sur 204 réponses.

    Étant donné que les répondants pouvaient sauter des questions, cela explique les différents « totaux » pour les questions individuelles dans le rapport.

  • 19 Nov 2023 5:08 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    On October 25, the Private Law Library and Academic Law Library Special Interest Groups jointly held a session about AI and the student experience.

    Gathering to learn more about what students are learning and using in the school and firm environments, the groups had a lively conversation and left with a better understanding of how we can support students as they start seeing more AI resources during their school and articling careers.

    We had 3 academic speakers sharing their perspectives, which ranged from "not touching on it at all" in lower-year legal research and writing classes to using the "cool mom approach": we know students will use AI, so let’s teach them to use it safely.

    Each speaker stressed the importance of teaching students to question data sets and results, try multiple approaches, and not rely solely on AI for their research.

    Our 3 firm speakers touched on the role and scope of internal AI committees setting policies and guidance for responsible AI use. Firms are also using research sessions to remind students to learn the limitations of AI tools and understand how to evaluate results for accuracy and authority.

    While articling, students must also consider how client privacy requirements might influence how and when they would incorporate AI tools into their work.

    Ending with a roundtable, the groups agreed that we have an important role in building AI skills, becoming experts in using AI tools for research efficiency, identifying training and development gaps, shaping use policy, and piloting new tools.

    The AI landscape is still rapidly shifting, and we concluded with a recognition that academic and firm librarians will all succeed more effectively in this space if we continue to meet and share our experiences.

    Carolyn Petrie, Library Services Director,  Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP / S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l. (Vancouver)

  • 29 Oct 2023 6:50 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    The Membership Development Committee (MDC) is excited to be back in the full swing of things, with an excellent group of volunteers and plans in the works for membership events to come later this season.

    In the immediate, however, the return of fall means the return of school visits on behalf of the Association.

    As it has been a few years since we have had the opportunity to visit many of the professional and technical programs across Canada, the MDC is working on updating and expanding our list of contacts at the various school programs.

    We would like to encourage our CALL/ACBD membership to forward along to us your ideas and suggestions for programs we should connect with; your contacts at your alma mater, and of course, your interest in attending a school visit, should you wish!

    The MDC Co-Chairs Beth Galbraith and Katherine Melville can be reached at: 

    Le Comité de recrutement des membres (CRM) est ravi d’être de retour dans le feu de l’action grâce à un excellent groupe de bénévoles et aux projets d’activités à venir plus tard cette saison.

    En attendant, l’arrivée de l’automne est synonyme du retour des visites dans les établissements d’enseignement pour l’Association.

    Étant donné que nous n’avons pas eu la possibilité de visiter les programmes professionnels et techniques au Canada depuis quelques années, le CRM s’efforce de mettre à jour et d’élargir sa liste de contacts dans les différents programmes d’études.

    Nous invitons les membres de l’ACBD/CALL à nous faire part de leurs idées et de leurs suggestions concernant des programmes avec lesquels nous devrions établir des liens, des personnes à contacter auprès de leur ancienne université et, notamment, de leur intérêt à participer à une de ces visites!

    N’hésitez pas à contacter les coprésidentes du CRM, Beth Galbraith et Katherine Melville:

  • 02 Oct 2023 7:25 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    As you all know, 2024 is another election year for our association and a Nominations Committee has been struck to solicit expressions of interest, or the names of members who are willing to stand for election to the Executive Board.

    The members of the Nominations Committee are Daniel Boyer, Vicki Jay Leung, Allyssa McFadyen, Carolyn Petrie, and George Tsiakos (Chair). Our sincerest thanks to these CALL/ACBD members for taking time to serve on this important committee.

    In 2024, there will be one position open for election: Second Vice-President.

    If you are interested in standing for office, please contact any member of the Nominations Committee [contact info available in the Members Directory in the members-only section of the CALL webesite].

    Current Executive Board members also welcome inquiries about serving on the Board. The Committee will present an initial slate of candidates to the President by mid-November, and the President will communicate the names to the membership by Dec. 1.

    Afterwards, a write-in process outlined in our Bylaws facilitates nominations from the general membership.

    Serving on the Executive Board provides a tremendous opportunity to build your professional network and skill set. It is also personally rewarding and a great way to give back to the community.

    We hope that you will give some thought to providing leadership to the association. The investment in time and effort is worthwhile.

    Comme vous le savez, 2024 est de nouveau une année d’élection pour notre association. Un Comité des candidatures a été mis sur pied pour solliciter des déclarations d’intérêt ou le nom des membres qui sont disposés à se présenter à l’élection du Conseil exécutif.

    Le Comité des candidatures est composé des membres suivants: Daniel Boyer, Vicki Jay Leung, Allyssa McFadyen, Carolyn Petrie et George Tsiakos (président). Nos remerciements les plus sincères à ces membres de l’ACBD/CALL qui se rendent disponibles pour siéger à cet important comité.

    En 2024, il y aura un poste à pourvoir, celui de deuxième vice-président.e.

    Si vous souhaitez vous porter candidat.e, veuillez contacter l’un des membres du Comité des candidatures [vous pouvez trouver leurs coordonnées dans le Répertoire des membres dans la section réservée aux membres du site de l'ACBD].

    Les membres du Conseil exécutif se feront également un plaisir de répondre à toute question à propos des mandats au Conseil.

    Le Comité des candidatures présentera une première liste de candidats à la présidente à la mi-novembre, et cette dernière communiquera les noms aux membres avant le 1er décembre. Par la suite, une procédure de vote par correspondance, prévue dans nos Statuts, facilitera la nomination par l’ensemble des membres.

    Siéger au Conseil exécutif constitue une formidable occasion d’élargir votre réseau professionnel et de perfectionner vos compétences. C’est également une expérience enrichissante sur le plan personnel et un excellent moyen de redonner à la communauté.

    Nous espérons que vous songerez à la possibilité d’assurer le leadership de l’association. L’investissement en temps et en efforts en vaut la peine.

  • 18 Sep 2023 4:19 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    The CALL/ACBD Board recently approved the creation of a new AI Standards Working Group as a sub committee of the Vendor Liaison Committee.

    This group currently includes members from Ontario and Alberta, representing Academic and firm libraries.

    We are currently seeking to add new members to the group.

    Members from courthouse or government libraries from jurisdictions outside of Ontario and Alberta would be preferred, however all interested people are welcome to contact us with expressions of interest.

    Please send an email to Annette Demers (chair) at "ademers AT" to express interest.

    Le Conseil exécutif de l’ACBD/CALL a récemment approuvé la création d’un nouveau Groupe de travail sur les normes de l’intelligence artificielle à titre de sous-comité du Comité de liaison avec les éditeurs.

    Ce groupe est actuellement composé de membres de l’Ontario et de l’Alberta représentant des bibliothèques du milieu universitaire et de cabinets d’avocats, et nous recherchons de nouveaux membres pour y siéger.

    Des membres travaillant dans une bibliothèque gouvernementale ou de palais de justice dans une province autre que l’Ontario et l’Alberta seraient préférables, mais toute personne intéressée est invitée à nous contacter pour nous faire part de leur intérêt.

    Veuillez transmettre votre déclaration d’intérêt par courriel à Annette Demers (présidente) à l'adresse "ademers a commercial".

  • 18 Aug 2023 4:06 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)
    CALL member Hannah Rosborough, Instruction & Reference Librarian at the Sir James Dunn Law Library at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Nova Scotia), recently wrote an article on "Thoughts From the Classroom: Addressing Generative AI and Legal Research & Writing". It originally appeared on on August 16, 2023.

    It is republished here with permission of the author, with minor edits.

    Generative AI will disrupt legal research. Its negative impact has been highlighted in mainstream media in the UK and the US. Many legal information professionals have valid concerns about how generative AI’s application in legal research may impact the integrity of the profession. Meanwhile, social media (e.g., LinkedIn and Twitter) is flooded with legal tech companies’ commentary on how it can be harnessed to streamline legal research, improving efficiency and productivity. I reached out to several colleagues to hear their thoughts and ideas on how to address this contentious topic in their legal research classrooms.

    Determining whether the impact is net negative or net positive will take years, but while we wait, it is important to figure out how to address existing and developing generative AI applications with new legal researchers. Students will use them whether it is discussed in the legal research classroom or not. Once they graduate, students will be faced with AI laws, policies, and guidelines they will be required to follow as it becomes embedded in legal practice and daily-use tools. Ensuring they have the technological literacy to assess generative AI tools is crucial.

    For the purpose of this post, I am using definition of generative AI with LLMs as presented by the MLA-CCCC Joint Task Force on Writing and AI, “… computer systems that can produce, or generate, various forms of traditionally human expression, in the form of digital content including language, images, video, and music. LLMs are a subset of generative AI used to deliver text-based formats like prose, poetry, or even programming code.” This post does not address academic integrity explicitly, but there is, of course, overlap given that the context is law school.

    There have been multiple accounts of generative AI passing law school exams and the bar, however these are examples of replacing a student or lawyer, not examples of an assistive technology. I intend to teach it explicitly as a supplemental tool in a way that encourages critical thinking and analysis. Most importantly, discussions and activities will communicate that AI should not be used to generate legal research from scratch. Foundational legal research skills are required for productive, accurate use of generative AI. I anticipate it will be an ongoing discussion throughout the year and not isolated to a single class.

    I intend to introduce existing general-purpose tools, like ChatGPT, as I teach legal citation to highlight the significance of a well-crafted prompt and why the review and assessment of AI output are crucial. I will continue to do a comparison activity between the common legal research platforms and the variations in search results that I’ve done every year, but with the addition of generative AI legal research tools as a new comparator (e.g. Jurisage). I am also in the early stages of organising a Legal Research Technology day for my LRW class for this upcoming academic year that will inevitably include some generative AI tools, whether standalone or embedded in existing platforms.

    To see how other legal research instructors are approaching generative AI, I reached out to several colleagues across Canada and the US to hear their thoughts and get some inspiration. They kindly responded to the following questions:

    • 1.      Will you address generative AI in your legal research classroom(s) this upcoming academic year?
      • a.      Have you already introduced it in previous years?
    • 2.      Could you briefly explain why you are introducing it to law students?
    • 3.     If you are introducing generative AI, could you provide a brief summary of how you intend to introduce it to your students? 

    Annette Demers, Reference Librarian at the Paul Martin Law Library, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor

    For the fall semester, 2023, I have carved out one week to discuss the use of generative AI for law. I have two guest speakers slated to discuss the issues on the first day of class. On the second day of class that week, it is my intention to provide two very short examples of AI responses to a very contained (and specially designed) legal problem.  One will be from Chat GPT and one will be from a provider that is built specifically for Canadian law.  From there, I’m going to have the students work in groups to analyze the outputs of each. Students will need to submit their analyses and we’ll have an in-class discussion about the students’ findings versus my own observations.

    Marcelo Rodriguez, Assistant Librarian & Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian at the Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, University of Arizona

    Will you address generative AI in your legal research classroom(s) this upcoming academic year? Or have you already introduced it in previous years? 

    Absolutely! I already touched on this topic in the previous academic year. Earlier this year, when ChatGPT made a splash in everyone’s lives, our colleague, Sarah Gotschall made a LibGuide called, ChatGPT and Bing Chat: Generative AI Legal Research. This is a great source which I used to craft a discussion in class around this topic and just assess where the students were, their thoughts and present different angles and perspectives on Generative AI and the Law. When it comes to these emerging and cutting-edge topics, sometimes the students are way more exposed and knowledgeable than you are. Therefore, I strive for a more socratic method and to foster critical thinking. I want to ignite their sense of curiosity, listen to their views and thoughts, and bring it all back to legal research.  

    Could you briefly explain why you are introducing it to law students?

    There is no doubt that Generative AI is the new kid on the block. However, if you dig a little deeper, you realize that this is yet another head in the longer body of conversations we have had for a while now: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Tech Law, Ethics, Bias in AI, etc. I’m convinced that it’s your job as a Legal Research Professor or any professor for that matter, to guide students and help them connect the dots. 

    If you are introducing generative AI, could you provide a brief summary of how you intend to introduce it to your students? 

    I will probably follow the same approach I did last academic year: discussion, real examples on the big screen and present different points of view regarding the impact of generative AI on the law. This approach is not set in stone and it can’t be. Inevitably, such a new conversation will continue to develop in multiple ways, some of which no one has foreseen at all. In my class, I want that novelty and rapid change to be my students’ catalyst for curiosity. However, as a professor, I strive to connect these fast changing developments and their sense of curiosity to larger conversations which will empower them to be resilient critical thinkers and researchers no matter the new shiny technology that comes along.

    Dominique Garingan, Sessional Instructor, University of Calgary Faculty of Law

    Will you address generative AI in your legal research classroom(s) this upcoming academic year? Or have you already introduced it in previous years?

    I will be addressing generative AI in my advanced legal research (ALR) course this year. I did not address it in my class last year, as it was not as widespread then. Because the course is comprehensive and the class will be meeting once a week, I only have part of one meeting dedicated to the topic. However, I anticipate it coming up in other meetings and being part of ongoing discussions.

    Could you briefly explain why you are introducing it to law students?

    Generative AI is a subject that taps into both research competence and technological competence. Reflecting on the current legal environment, organizations that students are set to join once they graduate may be introducing or implementing AI policies and practices, conducting trials, and/or evaluating AI’s use cases, risks, and returns on investment in various legal processes or workflows. This may include the use of generative AI in legal research.

    Introducing generative AI to students in an ALR course, alongside responsibilities surrounding technological competence, critical thinking, information evaluation, and accountability for errors and omissions, may help students as they enter professional practice, which is arguably becoming more exposed to AI, automation, and other assistive technologies. On a more holistic note, addressing generative AI in ALR may help students allay any personal concerns, detect the limitations and capabilities of the AI tools they will be exploring, determine the immense value they bring as practitioners, and help reframe legal research as a process involving higher-level and critical thinking.

    If you are introducing generative AI, could you provide a brief summary of how you intend to introduce it to your students?

    I am still thinking about the how and haven’t quite settled on things yet. Because of the evolving nature of AI (the technology) and the course context, I may focus class activities on AI outputs that may, given accountability and extreme caution, be involved in the preparation of research deliverables.

    I’m hoping to do a brief lecture on critical evaluation criteria that may be used for evaluating outputs (errors, omissions, and limitations) and an exercise using open-access generative AI tools. For the exercise, I’m hoping to have a question on prompt engineering and another on evaluating gaps and limitations in AI outputs. Because generative AI is a great subject upon which to exercise critical thinking skills, I’m hoping we can do an open discussion or debrief afterward. Much of this will be time-dependent.

    Matthew Renaud, Law Librarian, E.K. Williams Law Library, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

    Will you address generative AI in your legal research classroom(s) this upcoming academic year? Or have you already introduced it in previous years?

    Yes, the plan is to address/discuss AI in my Advanced Legal Research course this upcoming academic year. I am aiming to have both a productive discussion on the topic and incorporate it into one of the major student assignments.

    Could you briefly explain why you are introducing it to law students?

    Law students are already well aware of AI tools like ChatGPT (with many having begun to use them) and we are no longer have the luxury of ignoring this topic. The disruption of the legal profession and legal research by AI is well underway, so not acknowledging it would be doing a disservice to students taking my Advanced Legal Research course.

    If you are introducing generative AI, could you provide a brief summary of how you intend to introduce it to your students?

    The tentative plan right now is to introduce generative AI in the classroom by highlighting pre-existing tools (such as ChatGPT) to showcase their impact on legal citation and legal research. This will likely take up a single, 3-hour seminar block, but I imagine an organic discussion will take place throughout the semester.


    The common theme presented is that this is an ongoing, evolving discussion that reiterates the importance of critical thinking and analysis.

    Wikipedia was black-listed for academic research in the early aughts as being unreliable and lacking authority. Now there is an understanding that while it cannot replace robust academic resources or steps in the research process, Wikipedia can be used in the same manner as a traditional encyclopedia by providing researchers with an introduction to an unfamiliar topic and identifying key concepts and terms to assist further searches on appropriate platforms to find authoritative sources. It is important to figure out where generative AI may supplement, but not replace, steps in the legal research process. While there are valid reasons for concern, it is important to consider areas of advancement as well.

    Addressing generative AI as an assistive tool in the legal research classroom while maintaining focus on teaching foundational legal research skills to new legal researchers should preserve professional integrity and prepare them for a profession undergoing an overdue technological evolution.

    Thank you Anette, Marcelo, Dominique, and Matthew for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

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