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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Making Public Law: Artificial Intelligence for Legal Accessibility and Judicial Legitimacy

Lena Song (University of Illinois), joint with Elliott Ash, Aniket Kesari, Suresh Naidu, and Dominik Stammbach

Tuesday 12 March 2024 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

Laws have increasingly become difficult for the public to understand due to their complexity and the decline in trusted legal journalism. We build a novel AI-powered legal summarizer to produce easy-to-read summaries of the reasoning in judicial opinions. We study the effects of these summaries in three related experiments. First, we show in a survey experiment that, compared to existing expert-written summaries, these AI-generated simple summaries of U.S. Supreme Court judicial opinions are more accessible to the public and more easily understood by non-experts. They help respondents understand the key features of a ruling, and have higher perceived quality, especially for respondents with less formal education. Second, we study how these summaries affect policy attitudes and institutional legitimacy in a large-scale survey experiment around the release of the affirmative action decision in June 2023. While the summaries enhance understanding of judicial opinions across issues, they have mixed effects on the acceptance of court decisions. Finally, we explore the effect of these summaries on public discourse in a social media experiment.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room SAL 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

For further information please contact Maddie Giles: gov.comms@lse.ac.uk.