LLMs in the Legal Profession: Assessing Impact and Building a Benchmark

American attorneys and administrators are reconsidering the legal profession because of advances in large language models (LLMs). These LLMs have the potential to change how attorneys approach tasks like brief writing and corporate compliance. They could also help increase access to legal services and address the access to justice issue in the United States. LLMs have unique qualities that make them well-suited for legal work, such as their ability to learn new tasks from small amounts of labeled data and their aptitude for deciphering complex texts with legal jargon.

However, there are concerns about the use of LLMs in legal contexts. Research has shown that LLMs can produce offensive, deceptive, and factually incorrect information. This poses risks, especially for marginalized and under-resourced individuals who may be disproportionately affected. It is crucial to establish infrastructure and procedures for evaluating LLMs in legal contexts to ensure safety.

One major obstacle to assessing the legal reasoning skills of LLMs is the lack of suitable benchmarks. Existing benchmarks mainly focus on specific tasks learned from task-specific data, while attorneys recognize that legal reasoning encompasses various forms of reasoning. The legal community needs to be involved in the benchmarking process to accurately evaluate LLMs’ performance in real-world legal applications.

To address this challenge, the researchers behind LEGALBENCH have developed an interdisciplinary collaborative legal reasoning benchmark for English. LEGALBENCH is an open-source project that includes 162 tasks designed to test different forms of legal reasoning. The tasks are created by legal experts and are organized into a typology familiar to the legal community. LEGALBENCH aims to serve as a platform for further research and collaboration between AI researchers and legal practitioners.

The researchers provide a typology for classifying legal duties based on the necessary justifications, an overview of the LEGALBENCH tasks, and an analysis of various LLM models using LEGALBENCH. They hope that this benchmark will be valuable for practitioners looking to incorporate LLMs into their workflows and for researchers studying the potential impact and capabilities of LLMs in the legal field.

While the goal of this work is not to replace legal professionals, it aims to provide insights into how well LLMs can perform legal duties. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of LLMs is crucial to ensure their secure and ethical use in the legal domain.

To learn more about this research and project, you can check out the paper and project page. Additionally, you can join the ML subreddit, Facebook community, Discord channel, and email newsletter for updates on the latest AI research news and projects.

Aneesh Tickoo, a consulting intern at MarktechPost and a student pursuing a degree in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, wrote this article. Tickoo is passionate about harnessing the power of machine learning, particularly in the field of image processing. He enjoys collaborating on interesting projects and connecting with people in the industry.

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