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updated on 23 May 2023
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Injury law experts National Accident Helpline has reopened its annual law competition, Future Legal Mind, for the ninth consecutive year. The competition, open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, is one of the leading law essay competitions in the UK.
This year’s topic has been inspired by the launch of ChatGPT and several other AI platforms, with students being asked to get to grips with “AI from a legal perspective and consider the potential future role AI may play in improving outcomes in the legal system and more widely society”.
This year’s Future Legal Mind question:
Sir Geoffrey Vos, the master of the rolls, has said there is a “real possibility that AI may become more intelligent and capable than humans” and that robots could even one day help resolve court disputes.
To what extent do you believe AI could ever replace the role of human judges? And what would be the benefits or potential drawbacks of integrating artificial intelligence in this way?
The answers submitted must be up to 1,200 words in length, with cash prizes available for the undergraduate and postgraduate winner and runner-up. As well as the coveted Future Legal Mind crown, the winner will receive £1,500 and the chance to take part in a mentoring session with one of National Accident Helpline’s experienced in-house lawyers. There will also be a £500 prize for the runners-up in each category.
Speaking about this year’s question choice, Jonathan White, legal and compliance director at National Accident Helpline, said: “AI has dominated the headlines recently, but we’re asking students to look past that and consider what the real benefits could be for the legal profession.”
He added that the strongest answers will “display a real understanding of the issues facing the legal sector currently, and how we might realistically resolve them”.
Once submitted, the essays will be judged by a panel who’ll select a shortlist of five entries in each category, before the competition judges choose the final winners.
Last year’s winners Syed Adil (undergraduate) and Matthew Johnson (postgraduate) provided the stand-out answers to the undergraduate question: “Now that the UK has officially left the EU, what legal changes would you recommend making over the next 10 years?” While the postgraduates were asked: “Is the UK court system fit for purpose and what role should other, alternative forms of dispute resolution play?”
The Future Legal Mind competion will close on Monday 31 July.