CodeX Prize Awarded During Tenth Annual CodeX FutureLaw Conference for Work on Automated Legal Analysis

STANFORD, CA, APRIL 7, 2022 – CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics announced the recipients of its second annual CodeX Prize at today’s CodeX FutureLaw 2022 Conference. CodeX FutureLaw is an annual conference that brings together researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors, and policy makers from around the world to focus on the way technology is changing the legal profession and the law itself, and the way these changes affect us all.

CodeX Prize

Kevin Ashley

The CodeX Prize is an annual award given to an individual or individuals for a noteworthy contribution to computational law — an idea, article, book, computer application, computer tool, organization, etc., that has had a significant and enduring positive impact on the field. This year’s CodeX Prize was awarded to Edwina Rissland, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Kevin Ashley, University of Pittsburgh, in acknowledgment for their work on case-based reasoning in automated legal analysis and, in particular, the development of the HYPO system, while Ashley was at the University of Massachusetts, for precedent-based legal reasoning.

“Since the late 1980s, many computational models of legal argument have adapted HYPO-style dimensions and factors, stereotypical fact patterns that strengthen or weaken a legal claim,” said Ashley. “An ability to identify factors automatically in case texts would support legal information retrieval of arguments and assist text-based deep learning to explain predictions.”

Edwina Rissland

Rissland noted that, “HYPO-style reasoning became a central component in subsequent systems, including one (CABARET) that combined it with rule-based reasoning in a statutory domain, and others that used it to drive information retrieval.”

On receiving the CodeX Prize, Rissland said, “I hope this recognition spurs on further research on uses of cases, particularly for the critical role of explanation in legal applications.” Ashley added, “Ideally, the Codex Prize will encourage researchers in AI and Law to continue efforts to apply text analytic methods to identify factors in case texts.”

The CodeX award was announced publicly in a short ceremony during this year’s CodeX FutureLaw conference.

Read Edwina Rissland’s Acceptance Speech

CodeX FutureLaw

On April 7, the day-long 10th annual FutureLaw conference provided an opportunity for close to 700 registered participants to share knowledge and debate emerging issues in the legal technology landscape. The conference included a discussion about computational law and the metaverse, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) and the future of work and identity, as well as new opportunities for innovation in legal services. FutureLaw also showcased a series of Law, Education and Experience (LEX) talks to advance discussion across numerous key areas including the CodeX blockchain education initiative;the elasticity of contract language; expanding the civic technology horizon; and scalable change and standards for the courts in eviction, collections, and domestic violence.

Keynote Speaker – Jennifer Newstead, Meta

FutureLaw also featured an opening keynote from Jennifer Newstead, Chief Legal Officer at Meta, formerly Facebook, who oversees all global legal and corporate governance matters on behalf of the company. Prior to joining Meta in 2019, Jennifer served in senior roles in government, most recently as the Senate-confirmed legal adviser of the US Department of State, advising on issues of domestic and international law affecting the conduct of US foreign relations. The keynote was followed by a related speaker panel focused on computational law and the metaverse.

About CodeX

At CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, 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 mechanization of legal reasoning.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.