In Conversation With Prof. Dr. Krishna Deva Rao, VC, NALSAR

In this conversation with BW Legal World, Prof. Dr. Krishna Deva Rao, VC, NALSAR, speaks about ethical and regulatory concerns about artificial intelligence, Bar Council's policy to allow foreign law firms and the implications of ChatGPT on academic writing

  1. What are your views on the advent of Artificial Intelligence in legal academia? How do you plan to utilise Artificial Intelligence in NALSAR?

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in legal academia has the potential to revolutionize various aspects of legal education and research. AI technologies can assist in legal research, contract analysis, due diligence, and even predictive analytics for case outcomes. Embracing AI in legal academia can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and access to information.

As the Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR, I would strive to utilize AI in the following ways:

a) Legal Research: Implementing AI-powered tools and databases that can efficiently search and analyze vast amounts of legal information, thereby aiding faculty and students in their research endeavors.

b) Curriculum Enhancement: Introducing courses or modules on AI and law, which would provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the legal challenges arising from the use of AI.

c) Collaboration and Innovation: Encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations between the law school and other departments, such as computer science or data science, to foster research and development of AI applications for the legal domain.

d) Ethical and Regulatory Considerations: Promoting discussions and research on the ethical, social, and legal implications of AI in the legal field, ensuring that the use of AI remains aligned with legal and ethical frameworks.

     2. What are your views on the new Bar Council of India policy to allow foreign law firms to operate in India on a reciprocal basis? How is it going to positively impact students’ career prospects?

The Bar Council of India's policy to allow foreign law firms to operate in India on a reciprocal basis can have several positive impacts on students' career prospects. Here are some potential benefits:

a) Increased Exposure: Opening up the legal market to foreign law firms would expose Indian law students to international legal practices, standards, and diverse areas of law. This exposure can broaden their horizons and enhance their understanding of global legal systems.

b) Enhanced Job Opportunities: The presence of foreign law firms can create more job opportunities for Indian law graduates. Students may have the chance to work with international clients, gain experience in cross-border transactions, and collaborate with legal professionals from different jurisdictions.

c) Professional Development: Interacting with lawyers from foreign law firms can provide valuable learning opportunities, enabling students to acquire new skills, expand their networks, and develop a global perspective on legal practice.

d) Knowledge Exchange: The entry of foreign law firms can facilitate knowledge exchange between Indian and international legal professionals. This exchange of ideas, best practices, and expertise can contribute to the overall growth and development of the legal profession in India.

It's important to note that the impact of this policy would depend on the specific regulations, safeguards, and implementation strategies put in place by the Bar Council of India to maintain a balance between protecting domestic interests and promoting opportunities for students and legal professionals.

    3.  Is ChatGPT a threat to academic writing and integrity? What are your observations?

ChatGPT and similar AI language models have undoubtedly brought significant advancements in language processing and generation. While they can be useful tools for various purposes, including academic writing, it is important to consider their implications for academic integrity.

One potential concern is the misuse of AI models like ChatGPT for plagiarism or generating content without proper attribution. Institutions and educators need to emphasize the importance of originality, citation practices, and ethical writing standards to ensure academic integrity is maintained. It is crucial that students understand the ethical and responsible use of AI tools and the consequences of plagiarism.

However, it is also important to note that AI models like ChatGPT can be valuable resources for students and researchers. They can provide assistance, generate ideas, and help refine arguments. The responsible use of AI technologies in academic writing can enhance productivity and complement the learning process.

   4. What reforms are required in legal education to make students future ready?

To make students future ready in the field of law, several reforms are necessary:

a) Technological Integration: Legal education should incorporate technology-focused subjects, such as legal technology, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Students need to be equipped with digital skills, knowledge of emerging technologies, and an understanding of their implications in the legal profession.

b) Interdisciplinary Approach: Collaboration between law schools and other disciplines like technology, business, or policy studies can provide students with a holistic understanding of the complex issues they will face in their careers. Interdisciplinary programs and courses can foster innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

c) Practical Training and Skills Development: Legal education should prioritize practical training, including internships, moot court competitions, legal clinics, and simulations. These experiences help students develop critical skills such as legal research, drafting, advocacy, negotiation, and client counseling.

d) Professional Ethics and Values: Emphasis should be placed on cultivating professional ethics, integrity, and a sense of social responsibility among students. Ethics modules, clinical programs focusing on public interest, and pro bono initiatives can instill a strong commitment to justice and ethical practice.

e) Continuous Learning and Adaptability: Given the evolving nature of the legal profession, students should be encouraged to engage in lifelong learning. Law schools can promote continuing education programs, encourage participation in professional development activities, and foster a culture of adaptability to keep pace with changes in law and society.

f) Global Perspective: Exposure to international legal systems, comparative law studies, and opportunities for global exchanges can broaden students' horizons and equip them with a global perspective. This prepares them to navigate the complexities of an interconnected legal landscape.

These reforms can help shape students into well-rounded professionals who are equipped to tackle the challenges of the future legal profession effectively.

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