I am currently at Vanderbilt Law School for the 2009 Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law (SEAL) Conference. For those of you not familiar with the organization … “SEAL is a scholarly association dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary exploration of issues at the intersection of law, biology, and evolutionary theory, improving the models of human behavior relevant to law, and promoting the integration of life science and social science perspectives on law-relevant topics through scholarship, teaching, and empirical research.” The organization embraces a wide range of scholarship including those with interests in evolutionary and behavioral biology, complex adaptive systems, economics, psychology, primatology and anthropology.
In the coming days, we will be highlighting our work on The American Legal Academy and previewing extensions of the paper Reproduction of Hierarchy? A Social Network Analysis of the American Law Professoriate. So stay tuned for this and more… please add us to your blogrolls and tell your colleagues about the CLS Blog.
One of our very first posts highlighted a recent article in Science Magazine describing the possibilities of and perils associated with a computational revolution in the social sciences. A very timely article by Paul Ohm (UC-Boulder Law School) entitled Computer Programming and the Law: A New Research Agenda represents the legal studies analog the science magazine article. From information retrieval to analysis to visualization, we believe this article outlines the Computational Legal Studies playbook in a very accessable manner.
Prior to founding this blog, we had little doubt that developments in informatics and the science associated with Web 2.0 would benefit the production of a wide class of theoretical and empirical legal scholarship. In order to lower the costs to collective action and generate a forum for interested scholars, we believed it would be useful to produce the Computational Legal Studies Blog. The early results have been very satisfying. For example, it has helped us link to the work of Paul Ohm.
For those interested in learning more about not only the potential benefits of a computational revolution in legal science but also some of the relevant mechanics, we strongly suggest you consider giving his new article a read!
In the days and weeks ahead, we hope to outline why we believe the application of a computational and complexity informed approach to legal studies will serve as a useful method to consider a wide class of substantive questions. Standing at the intersection of a variety of fields including computer science, applied mathematics, physics, political science, social network analysis as well as others, we hope scholars will be able to leverage relevant techniques to help enrich positive legal theory.
As a entry point, we will highlight relevant developments to date in this new field–including our own work as well as the work of others. So we offer this initial post to say ‘Hello World’ with a promise of more to come….