Claude AI ‘is fully capable of acting as a Supreme Court Justice’

The legal sector is not safe from the influence of artificial intelligence. An American attorney and legal blogger believes Claude AI can adjudicate complex legal cases and, in theory, even act as a Supreme Court Justice.

Adam Unikowsky, an award-winning attorney who was listed on Lawdragon’s list of ‘500 Leading Litigators in America’ for 2024, made this bold statement in his legal newsletter on Substack.

“Claude is fully capable of acting as a Supreme Court Justice right now. When used as a law clerk, Claude is easily as insightful and accurate as human clerks, while towering over humans in efficiency,” he writes.

He came to this conclusion by downloading the briefs in every Supreme Court merits case that has been decided so far this Term, then inputting them into Claude 3 Opus before asking a few follow-up questions.

This AI tool is an offering from Anthropic who released the Claude 3 model family in March. At the time, this had beat previous model benchmarks. Now, though, the company has one-upped itself after launching Claude 3.5 Sonnet which was released today (Friday, June 21).

How did the legal expert assess Claude AI’s capabilities in law

The AI tool was first asked to adjudicate the cases and the responses showed they were correctly decided consistently.

“When it gets the case ‘wrong’ – meaning, decides it differently from how the Supreme Court decided it – its disposition is invariably reasonable.”

Of the 37 merits cases that the AI analyzed, it was found to have decided 27 in the same way the Supreme Court did. Unikowsky says he was frequently “more persuaded by Claude’s analysis” in the other 10 that it got wrong.

After running the tool through more work and asking it to adjudicate, the attorney found that Claude is “clearly capable of adjudicating complex cases.”

He even goes one further and places the chatbot assistant’s answers as being “at or above the level of a human Supreme Court clerk.

“Not only is Claude able to make sensible recommendations and draft judicial opinions, but Claude effortlessly does things like generate novel legal standards and spot methodological errors in expert testimony.”

“Claude does occasionally make mistakes, but humans do too,” argues Unikowsky.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson