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Student Guide to ChatGPT

What is ChatGPT?

Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, or ChatGPT, is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI. It is a large language model (LLM) chatbot and was designed to mimic human conversation but has developed a broad range of functions. Chat GPT is a versatile program, with the capacity to debug code, compose music, and more!

How do I use ChatGPT?

To use ChatGPT, first you must create a free OpenAI account. Then you type in a question or request for the bot to process. ChatGPT analyzes your request to provide an appropriate response, based on the information it has available. It has been trained on a wide range of textual data: webpages, programming languages, and text databases from across the internet.

What can ChatGPT do?

ChatGPT can generate a wide variety of texts on a range of subjects. ChatGPT has been used to:

  • Write essays
  • Write news articles
  • Craft legal research searches
  • Write blog posts
  • Write legal briefs
  • Draft legal memos
  • Create recipes
  • Write jokes
  • Solve math problems
  • Offer advice
  • Debug code

Are there limits to what ChatGPT can do?

ChatGPT makes mistakes, such as making up academic sources. It can also plagiarize. ChatGPT will respond to the same question asked multiple times with different answers; these answers are not always correct.

How is ChatGPT being used by lawyers?

Lawyers, law firms, and legaltech vendors are developing numerous ways to incorporate ChatGPT and other large language model chatbots into the practice of law.  See The Use of Large Language Models in LegalTech (Feb. 18, 2023) for some examples, including legal research, document and clause drafting, and summarizing documents and cases.


What can I do with ChatGPT?

If you're thinking of using ChatGPT or something similar for your coursework, you'll need to make sure that doing so doesn't violate the law school's Academic Integrity policy.  In short, any work you submit must be your own language, ideas, and format.  If you're not sure, it would be best to check with your professor before going forward.

The situation could be similar when you are completing assignments for work or an internship.  Your supervisor likely expects that what you turn in is your own work, so you should ask about whether using something like ChatGPT is allowed.

If you want to use ChatGPT to review for class or prepare for exams you could ask it to write practice questions for you or explain concepts to help you better understand them.  Just keep in mind that you might not always get the correct answer.

Where can I learn more about ChatGPT?

You can learn more by visiting OpenAI's ChatGPT FAQ.