IE LawX 2017 in Madrid – Presented by IE Law School in Collaboration Stanford CodeX

It was my great pleasure to give the opening Keynote Address at IE LawX 2017.  I would like to extend my thanks to IE Law School, Dean Javier de Cendra and to all of the team who put on a fantastic event on #LegalTech #LegalInnovation #LegalAI! 

Lexpo 2017 Amsterdam – The Legal Innovation Event

Legal Innovation is a global phenomena. US, UK, Canada, Australia, Continental Europe, South America, Asia, Central America, Africa, etc. (and new events in new places popping up everyday).

My view is that despite jurisdiction differences – lawyers are lawyers. No matter where I travel they are a recognizable species with similar business, technology and process improvement challenges.

Lexpo 2017 brings this conversation to the Netherlands for the second straight year.  I will be presenting on Artificial Intelligence and Law.

A General Approach for Predicting the Behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States (PLOS One) – Final Version April 2017

Our SCOTUS Prediction Paper is now live in Plos One (one of my favorite journals) — very happy about this (thanks to Luís A. Nunes Amaral of Northwestern University for serving as our Editor).  #OpenSourceScience #SCOTUS #LegalAnalytics #LegalData #QuantitativeLegalPrediction

FutureLaw 2017 at Stanford CodeX

Yesterday was the 5th Annual Future Law Conference at Stanford CodeX.  As always, it was an exciting day to see the best in cutting edge technology (including chatbots, predictive analytics and rules based A.I.).  I moderated a morning panel entitled The Perils and Promise of Predictive Analytics in Law.  Overall – it is clear that the community is growing both domestically and abroad.

Harnessing Legal Complexity – Bring Tools of Complexity Science to Bear on Improving Law (Ruhl, Katz & Bommarito in Science Magazine)


We have been working in the field of Law + Complex Systems for more than a decade (starting during the time that Mike Bommarito and I were graduate students at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Complex Systems) – today we took a big step forward with publication our article in the March 31 Edition of Science Magazine. It was a great pleasure to work with J.B. Ruhl & Michael Bommarito
on this paper!

A Clickbaity Title but a More Reasonable Set of Content — The Robot Lawyer Thesis / Artificial Intelligence and Law in the New York Times

A more measured article than what we have seen lately regarding the so called ‘Robot Lawyers Thesis.’  I find it pretty funny that the NY Times Facebook link leads to the Click-Bait title but the final online version has the more measured title (see image above).

The article certainly has an Enterprise Law / Big Law undertone. If we focus on this subset of the market for legal services, there are a number of collective trends which together are transforming the market.  It is the combined cocktail that is potent

Here are five of them:
(1) Legal Outsourcing
(2) Insourcing and the Growth of Corporate Legal Departments
(3) Process Improvement (Lean / Six Sigma)
(4) Automation of Legal Tasks using A.I. (a.k.a. robot lawyers)
(5) Financialization of the Law aka  #Fin(Legal)Tech

Plenty has been written about legal outsourcing, insourcing, and the growth of corporate legal departments and the application of process improvement methods (Lean / Six Sigma).

With respect to automation, it is curious to see the Times cite the Remus / Levy paper. At best, this paper is only relevant to the automation of the fraction of the work that is undertaken in Big Law (drawing from data from several years ago).  They suggest an ‘automation rate’ of 2.5% per year. If that were to continue – this implies a rate for the decade of 25% just in Big Law alone. Again, this does not focus upon the other market dynamics highlighted above.

It is worth noting their data comes from a period before the implementation of #MLaaS (Machine Learning as a Service). Since its inception, #MLaaS has made A.I. tools far cheaper to custom build to problems. I have said recently that the best in legal tech has yet to be built (see slide 260).

So thanks to the NY Times for shedding light on this field. But lets remember the #RobotLawyers Thesis is only a small part of the puzzle.

As a matter of strategy, some element of the #LegalInnovation agenda should be part of the strategic portfolio of every legal organization (law firm, law school, corporate legal dept, etc.)  Why? Because those who do so can increase their standing in the relevant market in question. Only those who use the newest and best tools available will thrive in an ever-changing market.