LEGAL EMPOWERMENT THROUGH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY— At CodeX, researchers, lawyers, entrepreneurs and technologists work side-by-side to advance the frontier of legal technology, bringing new levels of legal efficiency, transparency, and access to legal systems around the world. CodeX‘s emphasis is on the research and development of computational law — the branch of legal informatics concerned with the automation and mechanization of legal analysis.

CodeX projects typically fall into one or more of the following areas:

Computational Law and Embedded Law

Computational law is an innovative approach to legal informatics, based on the explicit representation of laws and regulations in computable form.Computational Law can:

  • Embed the law in systems individuals use;
  • Automate certain legal decision-making processes; and
  • Bring the legal information as close to the human-decision making as possible.

The Center’s work in this area includes:

  • Theoretical research on representations of legal information;
  • The creation of technology for processing and using information expressed within these representations; and
  • The development of legal structures for ratifying and exploiting such technology.

Initial applications include systems for helping individuals navigate contractual regimes and administrative procedures, within relatively discrete e-commerce and governmental domains.

Legal Document Management

Legal Document Management involves creating, storing, and retrieving legal documents of all types—statutes, case law, patents, and regulations. The multi-billion dollar e-discovery market is heavily dependent on Information Retrieval (IR) technology. Automating information retrieval dramatically reduces cost and can often outperform manual search in terms of accuracy. CodeX is investigating various innovative legal document management methodologies, and helping to facilitate the use of such methods throughout the legal industry.

Legal Infrastructure

Some CodeX projects focus on building the systems, which allow stakeholders in the legal system to connect and collaborate more efficiently. Leveraging advances in the field of computer science and building upon national and international standardization efforts, these projects have the potential to provide economic and social benefits by streamlining the interactions of individuals, organizations, legal professionals and government as they acquire and deliver legal services. By combining the development of these platforms with multi-jurisdictional research on relevant regulations issued by governments and bar associations, CodeX supports responsible, forward-looking innovation in the legal industry.

These three approaches to solving legal information problems can build on each other, leveraging the strengths of each technique to provide the most effective solutions.

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Ravel focuses on visualization-based search of legal data. Specifically, Ravel is a search platform for lawyers and law students with a clean, collaborative interface that provides visualization of how legal data (primarily cases) rank and connect. In addition, the platform offers features that enable annotation of case law and collaboration across caseboards. Ravel leverages recent advances in the fields of network analysis and data visualization to show not just a case’s relevance but also how case law evolves and how legal topics cluster.

The Stanford Computable Contracts Initiative (SCCI) is working on legal technology that will help move the world from natural language based contracts toward a world of computable contacts.

Fair Document, seeks to drive down the cost of legal services by making the process of performing high-volume transactional legal work more efficient...

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