Legal Informatics – Cambridge University Press (2021)

We are very pleased to announce pre-orders for “Legal Informatics” (Cambridge University Press – (Coming in early 2021) are now available on Amazon / Cambridge. Our book is designed to be an introduction to the academic discipline underlying the economic and technological transformation of the legal industry. Legal Informatics features contributions from more than two dozen academic and industry experts, chapters cover the history and principles of legal informatics and background technical concepts – including natural language processing and distributed ledger technology. The volume also presents real-world case studies that offer important insights into document review, due diligence, compliance, case prediction, billing, negotiation and settlement, contracting, patent management, legal research, and online dispute resolution. It is hardbound book ~600 pages in length.

#LegalInformatics #LegalTech #LegalInnovation #MachineLearning #NetworkScience #NLP #LegalScience

Complex Societies and the Growth of the Law – Published Today in Scientific Reports (Nature Research)

Access the Full Article via Scientific Reports (Nature Research). This article is part of a special compilation for Scientific Reports devoted to Social Physics.

ABSTRACT: While many informal factors influence how people interact, modern societies rely upon law as a primary mechanism to formally control human behaviour. How legal rules impact societal development depends on the interplay between two types of actors: the people who create the rules and the people to which the rules potentially apply. We hypothesise that an increasingly diverse and interconnected society might create increasingly diverse and interconnected rules, and assert that legal networks provide a useful lens through which to observe the interaction between law and society. To evaluate these propositions, we present a novel and generalizable model of statutory materials as multidimensional, time-evolving document networks. Applying this model to the federal legislation of the United States and Germany, we find impressive expansion in the size and complexity of laws over the past two and a half decades. We investigate the sources of this development using methods from network science and natural language processing. To allow for cross-country comparisons over time, based on the explicit cross-references between legal rules, we algorithmically reorganise the legislative materials of the United States and Germany into cluster families that reflect legal topics. This reorganisation reveals that the main driver behind the growth of the law in both jurisdictions is the expansion of the welfare state, backed by an expansion of the tax state. Hence, our findings highlight the power of document network analysis for understanding the evolution of law and its relationship with society.

It has been a real pleasure to work with my transatlantic colleagues Corinna Coupette (Max Planck Institute for Informatics), Janis Beckedorf (Heidelberg University) and Dirk Hartung (Bucerius Law School). We have other projects also in the works — so stay tuned!

The #MakeLawBetter Confernce – Presented by The Law Lab at Illinois Tech (Chicago Kent Law)

On August 15, 2019 – The Law Lab at Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law presents #MakeLawBetter – A Conference on Legal Innovation. Tickets are *FREE* but registration is required. So please visit for a registration link.

Continuing its legacy as an academic leader in legal technology and innovation, Chicago-Kent will bring together a wide-ranging and diverse group of industry leaders and academics for this day long event. Speakers will be announced over the coming weeks but videos from previous Law Lab events can be found at

We will see you in Chicago on 08.15.19 ! #LegalInnovation #LegalTech #LegalData #LegalEducation 
#LegalTechnology #LegalAI

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!

Measuring the Temperature and Diversity of the U.S. Regulatory Ecosystem (Preprint on arXiv + SSRN)

From the Abstract:  Over the last 23 years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has required over 34,000 companies to file over 165,000 annual reports. These reports, the so-called “Form 10-Ks,” contain a characterization of a company’s financial performance and its risks, including the regulatory environment in which a company operates. In this paper, we analyze over 4.5 million references to U.S. Federal Acts and Agencies contained within these reports to build a mean-field measurement of temperature and diversity in this regulatory ecosystem. While individuals across the political, economic, and academic world frequently refer to trends in this regulatory ecosystem, there has been far less attention paid to supporting such claims with large-scale, longitudinal data. In this paper, we document an increase in the regulatory energy per filing, i.e., a warming “temperature.” We also find that the diversity of the regulatory ecosystem has been increasing over the past two decades, as measured by the dimensionality of the regulatory space and distance between the “regulatory bitstrings” of companies. This measurement framework and its ongoing application contribute an important step towards improving academic and policy discussions around legal complexity and the regulation of large-scale human techno-social systems.

Available in PrePrint on SSRN and on the Physics arXiv.