BPP University Law School adopts AI to help train future lawyers

Artificial intelligence is set to play an important role in legal education, as BPP University Law School unveils a new AI-powered learning platform to help prepare tomorrow’s lawyers for success in their examinations.

 BPP has announced new learning technology to help students succeed in their centralised Solicitors Qualifying Examinations (SQE), Bar Standards Board (BSB) assessments and in their careers as practising lawyers.

The new technology, which has been in development over the last year and has cost the legal training giant over £1.5 million to develop, will underpin every stage of each student’s learning. The technology, which will initially be available to students studying for the BTC and PGDL from this September, will ensure that students benefit from the optimum balance of expert teaching and feedback, collaborative peer learning, and reflective self-study. Regular testing integrated across the programme will help ensure maximum retention, recall and multiple-choice question assessment practice.

The first of the new tools being introduced is an innovative, machine learning-driven, study platform called BPP Adapt.

Complementing face-to-face teaching, BPP Adapt will give tomorrow’s lawyers access to a rich range of resources including recorded presentations, online texts and primary and secondary sources of law that will help embed and build up knowledge with regular testing and instant feedback. 

Developed in partnership with leading AI education developers CENTURY Tech and using the latest findings in educational research, neuroscience and artificial intelligence applied to learning, BPP Adapt will create a unique, personalised learning path for each student that will identify the specific materials that an individual student needs and allow them to move through those materials at their own pace.

Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, said: “AI is transforming education across the world, from schools and universities to training providers. As a former barrister, I know how important it is for legal education to maximize the talents of each student while ensuring lecturers are equipped with the tools and data they need to succeed.

“AI has the potential to give every student education and training personalised to their needs. It also assists trainers and lecturers by providing them with helpful, in-depth data on their students’ performance, in turn improving their teaching.”

BPP Adapt will also support the Law School’s increasing focus on student wellbeing by providing tutors with insights on study patterns that may be impacting a student’s mental wellbeing. Tutors will be able to work with individual students to review their study plans and, where required, coach them through a more sustainable approach to their studies.

Andrew Chadwick, Dean of BPP University Law School, said: “The BPP Adapt platform will generate a personalised learning plan for every student to ensure that each individual is presented with the right resources, in the right way, at the right time. This, along with tutor guidance, will help every student to build, apply and consolidate their knowledge and be better prepared for the centralised assessments and for practice.” 

Having acquired new knowledge, students will then engage in the second of BPP’s new EdTech investments – a virtual practice environment, which has been purpose-built to deliver a series of online experiential learning tasks for each student to contextualise and embed their learning.

The virtual practice environment will replicate a typical law firm or barrister’s chambers intranet, emulate real-world practice and help keep students motivated and engaged as they identify with the typical tasks of a future trainee or pupil barrister.  It has been designed to familiarise students with the interface they will typically use in practice, simulate realistic document handling and case management, and crucially provide them with the opportunity to consolidate and apply their new knowledge.

Mr Chadwick added: “We believe that both our new learning platform and our virtual practice environment are unique in legal vocational education. This is not about shiny tech that just offers a dry ‘drill and test’ approach where content is learned, regurgitated in an assessment and then forgotten.  Our investments will underpin every stage of a student’s learning and help them achieve long-term, deep learning which will both prepare them better for assessment and for practice through applying new knowledge to realistic, simulated, case-based experiences. 

We know that collaborative peer learning that is guided by an expert tutor is still the core of the highest quality teaching programmes around the world.  Our enhancements will provide students with the opportunity to collaboratively construct their new learning and exchange their grasp of it with both peers and tutors to really refine their understanding.

 “Technology will not isolate our students – it will bring them closer together, both with each other and with their tutors.  That personal relationship of tutor, student and peers, will continue to remain at the heart of our learning strategy.”