CALI Tech Briefing 07/14/2023 – Notes

Notes from the 2nd CALI Tech Briefing.

  • The briefing was focused on AI and CALI’s work in that space. I talked about building a small BERT model following this blog article and the code from this jupyter notebook. I used a custom built PC to run the process. The newer, more powerful GTX 4070 ti GPU completed the pre-training of the model in just over 44 hours, down significantly from the 100 hours mentioned in the post. I suspect I could shorten this time by a few more hours if I spent more time optimizing the code.
  • The result was a small pre-trained BERT model intended to be used in a mask situation, think fill in the blank. Testing shows that it works fine but it is limited in its scope. Future plans include working with this model to see what sort of capabilities are possible and training such a model on legal information.
  • There was a good discussion on the practical application of this new technology to legal education, impacts on attorney tech competency, and how to keep legal info current in these models.

More information:


About Elmer Masters

Elmer R. Masters is the Director of Technology at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction ( where he works on interesting projects involving technology and legal education like eLangdell, Classcaster, Lawbooks, QuizWright, and the CALI website. He has over 30 years of experience building tech tools for legal education and systems for accessing law and legal materials on the Internet. He is the admin of the Teknoids mailing list ( and has been blogging about legal education, law, and technology for over 20 years ( He has a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and was employed by Syracuse, Cornell Law School, and Emory University School of Law before joining CALI in 2003. Elmer has presented at the CALI Conference for Law School Computing (where he organizes the program), the AALL and AALS Annual Meetings, Law Via The Internet, and other conferences, symposia, and workshops on topics ranging from IT management in law schools to building open access court reporting systems to information architecture design and implementation in law.
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