Talk Justice, an LSC Podcast: Building Guidance for Legal Uses of Generative AI


Carl Rauscher

Director of Communications and Media Relations  

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WASHINGTON—Experts discuss the role of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal field and creating guidance on the latest episode of LSC’s “Talk Justice” podcast, released today. Host Cat Moon is joined by Sam Harden, program manager at Pro Bono Net, and Shellie Reid, manager of Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project. 

AI has immense potential, but unfamiliarity with the technology can make lawyers hesitant to use it. According to Reid, many attorneys are reluctant to try new technology for fear of making mistakes. 

“We try to provide resources that can help dispel those fears, that can educate and give the resources that attorneys need to make decisions,” Reid says. 

Reid and her team have created a website database with resources to help attorneys better understand generative AI. She says the project was inspired by her own experience trying to locate information for a presentation. 

“I wanted to track down all of the cases that have been decided on artificial intelligence, and then other conversations led the database to expand,” she says. “Currently we’re adding court cases, attorney guidance, judicial opinions, state bar ruminations, any guidance that we find that’s related to AI.” 

Often contributing to fear among attorneys is the fact that different jurisdictions do not have uniform regulations on technology. Harden uses California and Florida’s messaging on generative AI to exemplify the varying levels of guidance provided by the respective state bar associations. 

“California’s proposal, when I read through it, struck me as very smart because it comes at it from a practical guidance point of view. They reiterated that even though this is a new technology, they didn’t think that it required issuing new rules of professional responsibility.” 

In contrast, Harden says that Florida’s guidance was less practical. While it didn’t explicitly call for reevaluating the practice of law, he explains, it suggested that an AI chatbot needs legal supervision from a lawyer, which implies that AI could practice law or give legal advice without a license. 

To explore this, Harden has run multiple experiments, feeding real legal questions people have posted on Reddit to generative AI bots, and then asking lawyers to rate the quality of the response and whether it was legal advice or legal information. 

Both Reid and Harden emphasized that those who cannot afford a lawyer frequently use AI and search engines like Google for legal assistance. They say that legal aid can leverage AI to increase access to justice. 

“We already know that when people have a legal problem, almost by default their first step is to go on Google or go to the internet and get information,” Harden says. “We have to get the legal aid field to embrace the technology and harness these things to allow for advances in how we help people.” 

Talk Justice episodes are available online and on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple and other popular podcast apps. The podcast is sponsored by LSC’s Leaders Council. The next episode of the podcast will explore the causes and consequences of eviction. 

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974. For 50 years, LSC has provided financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 131 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.