Law 2050 – A Forum about the Legal Future (via JB Ruhl @ Vanderbilt Law)

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 10.47.19 AMLaw 2050 is a blog operated by J.B. Ruhl from Vanderbilt Law School in conjunction with his course on legal futurism offered to 2L + 3L students @ Vandy.  There are two major classes of legal futurism and J.B.’s course does a nice of covering both.

First, there are changes in the world that require lawyers, judges, lawmakers, etc. to develop new legal rules to take stock of shifting realities over time.  Driverless cars and drones, 3-D printing, the internet of things, humans living until age 120, climate change, augmented reality and many other related innovations/developments will transform society. Law schools must produce agile and creative lawyers who can craft appropriate solutions to these developments (as they come online).  Lawyers who are able to operate in such ever changing environments are the true value creators whose bespoke expertise will *never* be subjected to automation, etc.

Changes in way the lawyer work is the other class of changes for which we must prepare our students. Technology, design thinking, process engineering (lean six sigma, etc.), analytics, outsourcing, etc. have already changed and will continue to modify the legal production function.  Law’s information revolution will continue to unfold and creep up the value chain.  Organizing / managing / participating in this unfolding dynamic is also a form of bespoke activity. Unfortunately for many students at many schools, it has received very little (typically zero) curricular coverage (with MSU (and Vandy) excluded).

Students in J.B. Ruhl’s Law 2050 course are extremely lucky as they get the opportunity — while in law school — to consider how they fit into one or both of these forms of legal futurism.

Author Mentoring Program @ 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence & Law (ICAIL 2015)

ICAIL_MentorshipProgramThe International Association of Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL) is offering a mentoring program for papers being submitted to its biennial ICAIL conference, the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. The program is intended primarily for junior authors who have not previously published an Artificial Intelligence and Law paper at a conference or in a journal. If you would like help with your submission, you may ask for a mentor ― a person who will help you with your submission to the IAAIL audience through one-on-one advising, usually via e-mail. A mentor can also familiarize you with the standards and deadlines of ICAIL submissions. Mentors are volunteers familiar with successful submissions. To request a mentor, please contact us by the Mentoring Program Request Deadline.

This Computer Program Can Predict 7 out of 10 Supreme Court Decisions (via Vox.com)

scotus_predictionThe story is here.  Full form interview with Mike + Josh is here. (I unfortunately could not participate because I was teaching my ICPSR class).  Our paper is available on SSRN and on the physics arXiv.

This is Law School? Socrates Takes a Back Seat to Business and Tech (via New York Times)

ThisIsLawSchoolNice coverage of our efforts at MSU Law to inject our students with important skills that can be competitive differentiator in this difficult legal marketplace.  As Dan Rodriguez described it – one sweet spot for differentiation is located somewhere in and around “the law/business/technology interface.” I completely agree.  While it is far from the only mission, there is arbitrage located in this sweet spot because many law schools do not have faculty with the appropriate technical skills necessary to teach in this space (see also a lack of desire/vision).  This creates room for others.  I outlined all of this in some detail in my Keynote Address at the Stanford CodeX Conference last year (and in the forthcoming paper called “The MIT School of Law“).  As MSU Law Dean Joan Howarth said “[L]egal education has been stronger on tradition than innovation …. What we’re trying to do is educate lawyers for the future, not the past.” Well said!  I joined the faculty at MSU three years ago with the goal doing the very things that are now up and running – however – there is always more to do – so stay tuned for more.

Call for Papers! – 15th International Conference on AI and Law (ICAIL 2015) June 8-12, 2015, at the University of San Diego School of Law

The 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2015) will be held at the University of San Diego School of Law from Monday, June 8 to Friday, June 12, 2015.

Artificial Intelligence and Law is a vibrant research field that focuses on:

  • Legal reasoning and development of computational methods of such reasoning
  • Applications of AI and other advanced information technologies that are intended to support the legal domain
  • Discovery of electronically stored information for legal applications (eDiscovery)
  • Machine learning and data mining for legal applications
  • Formal models of norms, normative systems, and norm-governed societies

Since it began in 1987, the ICAIL conference has been established as the primary international conference addressing research in Artificial Intelligence and Law.  It is organized biennially under the auspices of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law (IAAIL). The conference proceedings are published by ACM. The journal Artificial Intelligence and Lawregularly publishes expanded versions of selected ICAIL papers.

The field serves as an excellent setting for AI researchers to demonstrate the application of their work in a rich, real-world domain. The conference also serves as a venue for researchers to showcase their work on the theoretical foundations of computational models of law. Accordingly, authors are invited to submit papers on a broad spectrum of research topics that include, but are not restricted to:

  • Formal and computational models of legal reasoning
  • Computational models of argumentation and decision making
  • Computational models of evidential reasoning
  • Legal reasoning in multi-agent systems
  • Knowledge acquisition techniques for the legal domain, including natural language processing and data mining
  • Legal knowledge representation including legal ontologies and common sense knowledge
  • Automatic legal text classification and summarization
  • Automated information extraction from legal databases and texts
  • Data mining applied to the legal domain
  • Conceptual or model-based legal information retrieval
  • E-government, e-democracy and e-justice
  • Modeling norms for multi-agent systems
  • Modeling negotiation and contract formation
  • Online dispute resolution
  • Intelligent legal tutoring systems
  • Intelligent support systems for the legal domain
  • Interdisciplinary applications of legal informatics methods and systems

ICAIL is keen to broaden its scope to include topics of growing importance in artificial intelligence research. Therefore, papers are invited on the following featured categories:

  • eDiscovery and eDisclosure
  • Open data, linked data, and big data
  • Machine learning
  • Argument mining

Papers will be assessed in a rigorous reviewing procedure. Standard assessment criteria for research papers will apply to all submissions (relevance, originality, significance, technical quality, evaluation, presentation). Papers proposing formal or computational models should provide examples and/or simulations that show the models’ applicability to a realistic legal problem or domain. Papers on applications should describe clearly the underlying motivations, the techniques employed, and the current state of both implementation and evaluation. All papers should make clear their relation to prior work.

  • Submission of workshop and tutorial proposals: December 5, 2014
  • Submission of papers deadline: January 16, 2015     

Local Committee:
Richard Belew, University of California, San Diego
Karl Gruben, University of San Diego School of Law
Daniel Katz, Michigan State University College of Law
Ted Sichelman, University of San Diego School of Law
Thomas Smith, University of San Diego School of Law
Roland Vogl, Stanford Law School

Program Chair
Katie Atkinson
Department of Computer Science,
University of Liverpool, UK

Conference Chair(s)
Ted Sichelman
University of San Diego School of Law
Richard Belew
Cognitive Science Department,
University of California – San Diego

Secretary/Treasurer
Anne Gardner
Atherton, CA, USA

For More Information – Access the Full Call for Papers

Visual Law Services are Worth a Thousand Words—and Big Money (via ABA Journal)

Mike and I have been on this beat for quite a while and are happy to see this getting coverage.  The basic proposition is that dashboards, histograms, network visualization, etc. allow the end user to more effectively identify the relevant data/information.  Here are a few examples of work we have undertaken:

3D Hi-Def Visualization of the Structure in the Citation Network of the United States Supreme Court

Legal Language Explorer (Visualizing the n-gram space) 

The Structure and Complexity of the United States Code