CodeX—The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, is a center at Stanford University, jointly operated by Stanford Law School and the Stanford Computer Science Department. Forward-looking scholars, students, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, product designers, and policy makers work side by side to invent and develop technologies ranging from initiatives that solve content licensing inefficiencies in today’s digital media markets, to initiatives that provide greater access to justice and increase transparency in public markets.
CodeX projects typically fall into one or more of the following areas:
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 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.
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.