HomeArtificial IntelligenceWith the proliferation of AI writing tools, this course equips future lawyers...

With the proliferation of AI writing tools, this course equips future lawyers and other professionals to change into higher editors

Course title:

“Editing and advocacy”

What sparked the thought for the course?

In part, I wanted to enhance the profession prospects of the law students, business students, and other aspiring professionals I teach. People who can continually improve the sentences and paragraphs that land on their desk daily have the chance to enhance the best way ideas and messages are communicated. Who wouldn’t wish to add someone like that to their company, government agency, or nonprofit?

Mostly, nonetheless, I designed the course in order that my students could experience the powerful magic that comes with the power to rework a set of words – whether written by themselves or by another person – right into a revised version that’s undeniably higher than the unique.

What will probably be examined within the course?

Students process emails. You process contracts. They edit memos, articles, speeches, proposals, text messages, blog posts—just about anything that lawyers and other professionals write. Sometimes they edit alone. Other times they edit as a part of a team. But the goal is all the time the identical: learn and practice a skill that is prime to becoming a terrific lawyer.

Why is that this course relevant now?

I began teaching Editing and Advocacy several years before the introduction of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. However, now that these tools have significantly reduced the associated fee of drafting, the course's emphasis on revising drafts—for accuracy, clarity, and persuasiveness—has taken on recent relevance.

For example, when asked how AI might impact what he and other members of the knowledge economy do, the tech journalist said Charlie Warzel suggested that “the best skill we are able to all have now could be to be 'editors.'” We could, he noted, spend increasingly time correcting and refining AI-produced material.

Ilona Logvinova, associate general counsel and head of legal innovation at consulting giant McKinsey, made an analogous pointand told attendees at a recent conference on using AI in law: “I actually consider that we as lawyers are at a degree where we are able to move from 'illustrators' to 'editors.'”

What is a crucial lesson from the course?

One of an important lessons is something I put at the center of my curriculum: “Good editors don’t just see the written sentence. You see the sentence that might have been written. They know tips on how to recognize words that shouldn't be included and call out people who don't yet appear. Its value lies not only in avoiding mistakes, but in addition in discovering recent ways to enhance the style, structure and overall effect of a bit.”

The current generation of AI tools are really good at proofreading. But I even have yet to come across a serious language model that has the vision, empathy, and deep understanding of each context and nuance—not to say personal voice—required of a really exceptional editor.

A woman looks at a book while sitting at her desk, which has both a desktop computer and a laptop.
Experts consider that editing will change into more essential within the age of artificial intelligence.
Laurence Dutton via Getty Images

That doesn't mean that technology with these capabilities won't emerge sooner or later, nor that the technology we have already got can't provide extremely useful editing support. In fact, increasingly of my editing and advocacy assignments offer students the chance to mess around with ChatGPT-like tools. I also created a very separate course called “Digital Lawyering: Advocacy within the Age of AI,” which explores the probabilities—and pitfalls—of using artificial intelligence as a type of co-counsel.

But as I often remind students in each classes, editing is as much about imagination, emotional intelligence, and restraint because it is about syntax, semicolons, and subject-verb agreement. approach to get well at it’s to divide the parts to cultivate those of you who’re most human.

What materials does the course include?

Hoping to save lots of my students some money – and make the course materials easily available online – I went with the Publishing team on the University of Michigan to create a series of open access books that anyone with a web connection can read totally free. These include “Editing and advocacy“”Notes on nuance“”Punctuation and persuasion” And “Feedback loops: How to provide and receive high-quality feedback.”

We also use videos, quizzes and exercises from Good with Words: Writing and Editinga series of online courses that I created for the academic platform Coursera.

What does the course prepare students for?

Editorial work is about reliably making well-founded and value-adding decisions. You must know what so as to add. You must know what you should delete. You must know what to separate, mix and rearrange. Students on the course study, evaluate and repeatedly take part in such decisions. In doing so, they develop an especially essential and transferable skill: logic.


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