Dean Chris Guthrie announced the creation of the Vanderbilt AI Legal Lab (VAILL) to explore how artificial intelligence intersects with the delivery of legal services and access to justice.
“AI has the potential to reshape the law and legal services in an unprecedented fashion,” said Guthrie. “Through this new lab, Vanderbilt Law has a unique opportunity to play a pivotal role in this transformative era.”
Housed within the school’s Program on Law & Innovation (PoLI), VAILL’s mission is to harness AI to expand access to legal services and knowledge and improve the delivery of legal services. Its objectives include training students to navigate an AI-driven landscape, pioneering ethical applications of the technology, and forging partnerships between academia, industry, and the legal community to bring projects to life.
“Through cross-sector partnerships, VAILL will extend the impact of Vanderbilt’s groundbreaking work in AI locally and globally,” said Cat Moon, Founding Co-Director of VAILL and Director of Innovation Design at PoLI.
VAILL plans to build coursework focused on both applications within the law and technological skill-building, with help from thought leaders across Vanderbilt, including Jules White, Associate Dean for Strategic Learning Programs and Associate Professor of Computer Science, as well as off-campus partners like John Nay, a Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt and a Fellow at CodeX, The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics.
VAILL’s immediate plans also include co-development of service delivery solutions with legal aid organizations as well as law firms and legal departments, and the development of executive education programming focused on using AI in various practice settings.
“Through innovative applications of AI and other emerging technologies, the Lab will expand opportunities for our faculty and students to engage as researchers, innovators, and problem-solvers,” said Mark Williams, Founding Co-Director of VAILL and Associate Director for Collections and Innovation at the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library.
Moon and Williams serve as Co-Directors of VAILL. Other faculty members currently working in collaboration with the Lab include Cara Suvall, Jennifer Safstrom, and JB Ruhl.