This presentation will examine the advantages of using ChatGPT as a mentor for first-generation law students and professors, specifically focusing on its wealth of knowledge of cultural norms acquired from the corpus on which it has been trained. We will discuss how ChatGPT’s vast knowledge can be harnessed to help traditionally underrepresented groups gain access to the same cultural information and insights, empowering them to excel in their legal careers. The presentation will cover practical approaches to utilize ChatGPT to function as a mentor that provides suggestions to bridge the cultural knowledge gap. This mentorship can foster greater diversity and inclusivity in the legal profession.
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Professor Susan Tanner is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and teaches first-year Legal Research and Writing at the Law Center.
Before coming to LSU, Prof. Tanner served as the Assistant Director of First-Year Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, where she oversaw and mentored new writing faculty and helped develop the curriculum for a new first-year course, Writing about Public Problems, a course on written advocacy and proposal writing.
She received her PhD in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University, where she held the A.W. Mellon Digital Humanities Fellowship in 2016 and the William S. Dietrich II Presidential Doctoral Fellowship in 2017. She holds a Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Arizona State University and a JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where she was a Balfour Merit Scholar and graduated cum laude.
Her scholarship focuses on legal language and linguistic access to justice. For her dissertation, “The Rhetorical Force of the Law: An Analysis of the Language, Genre and Structure of Legal Opinions,” she analyzed the way precedent is formed in legal opinions using large-corpora sociolinguist and micro-level discourse analysis methods.
Before entering academia, Prof. Tanner worked in a variety of legal areas including: complex litigation cases at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, education legislation for Students First, and taxpayer representation at a Low-Income Tax Clinic.
Professor Tracy L. M. Norton is Associate Professor of Professional Practice at LSU and a national and international leader in the fields of legal writing and legal education Professor Norton has taught at Touro Law, Texas Tech University School of Law, and South Texas College of Law. Prior to teaching, Norton practiced criminal law in Texas for four years. Norton is best known for her research and presentations on cross-generational competence in legal education and the legal profession. Among her contributions to the field of legal writing are her Interactive Citation Workbook (formerly with co-author Prof. Christine Hurt) and accompanying online Workstation, published originally in 1999. The ICW was the first digital teaching tool in widespread use in American law schools and is currently used in more than half of American law schools. A longtime member of the Legal Writing Institute, Professor Norton served two four-year terms on its Board of Directors. Professor Susan Tanner is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice and teaches first-year Legal Research and Writing at the Law Center.