Published on July 2, 2020 by Morgan Black  
artificial intelligence
Cumberland School of Law’s externships department is partnering with Smarter Reality LLC to offer an innovative new externship opportunity for its students that will combine artificial intelligence and law.
Small unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones, are of heightened interest to leadership in business and the U.S. Government (USG) due to their low cost, rapid adoption and potential uses. Nevertheless, the law surrounding drones is rapidly evolving making it hard for users to know what is permitted. Even more importantly, understanding when, how and in what manner individuals and businesses can operate drones on or near a USG facility is a top priority.
The next generation of lawyers will not only need to know the law and how to advise clients, but also how to leverage new technology to respond to new challenges. One of the most important new technologies lawyers can use is a chat bot – a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text, designed to simulate the way a human would behave with a conversational partner.  
As a part of this externship, students will research and understand the rules behind drone use on or near USG facilities including military installations, draft a question and answer framework based on those rules, conduct research and a technology selection around chat bots to identify those that are suitable for use by attorneys without technical skills, and implement the question and answer framework in the selected chat bot technology.
A virtual information session for those interested in the program will be held July 15, 2020 at 7 p.m. To participate, email to receive the virtual meeting information
Smarter Reality LLC is a software company in Austin, Texas led by Frank Coppersmith ’94. The company designs and develops custom software for mobile, web, SAAS and artificial intelligence for clients ranging from entrepreneurs and small business to Fortune 100 companies and the U.S. Government. Coppersmith, founder and chief executive officer, is a graduate of The Citadel where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and Samford University Cumberland School of Law. He also has a master’s in business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an active U.S. Air Force reservist, serving as the senior reserve attorney to the Director of the Operations and International Law Directorate at Headquarters Air Force. He can be reached at
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.