Artificial Intelligence and its Impacts on the Legal Profession

In a 2015 Altman Weil survey of law firm managing partners, 47% said that, in the next five to ten years, they could envision a law-focused artificial intelligence (AI) tool replacing paralegals, 35% could envision the replacement of first-year associates, and 19% could envision the replacement of second- and third-year associates. As a current law student, I can’t help but wonder whether I can beat the clock and survive a robot invasion. Artificial Intelligence and Continue Reading →

Blockchain in the U.S. Regulatory Setting: Evidentiary Use in Vermont, Delaware, and Elsewhere

Joanna Diane Caytas* I. Introduction In February 2017, the Delaware Court of Chancery faced a conundrum: following settlement of a shareholder action after a contested merger, shareholders representing 49,164,415 shares claimed settlement proceeds, but the class contained only 36,793,758 shares.[1] By definition, holders of over 12 million of these shares must have lacked entitlement to settlement disbursements, yet all claimant shareholders presented valid evidence of ownership. Investigation by class attorneys failed to establish the “current” Continue Reading →

If You’re Going to Delete All My Facebook Posts, Then You Might As Well Do It Right

Judicial benchslap stories are juicy legal fodder, and this story was no different. Recently, the legal community eagerly gossiped about a federal judge that lashed out against a well-known New York law firm. The offense? Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York was infuriated that the firm had sent a mere junior associate instead of a partner to a hearing on two cases that “implicate[] international terrorism and the murder of innocent people Continue Reading →

Machine Learning and Intellectual Property

On March 15, 2016, AlphaGo—a machine designed by researchers at DeepMind, an artificial intelligence laboratory owned by Google—defeated Lee Sedol, the best Go player in the world. Go is a popular board game played by two people; the goal is to surround more points on the board than your opponent. For years, Go had posed a unique challenge to computer scientists. The rate at which possible moves in the game increase was so significant that Continue Reading →

Police Body Cameras and Public Records Requests: Another Privacy Frontier

Police departments around the country have been rolling out body-worn camera (“BWC”) programs among other efforts to address accountability and transparency concerns in police conduct. Police departments, legislatures, and community groups alike believe that BWC programs will provide benefits in many forms, including lowering the incidence of police violence, reducing civilian complaints against officers, and streamlining internal police investigations. Public opinion polls overwhelmingly support their use, and news outlets have been eager to report early Continue Reading →

First Grocery Shopping and Now Courts: Unfolding the Proposed Online-Court System for the UK.

In the latest Civil Justice Council report, Professor Richard Susskind proposes to reduce expenses to the judicial system by establishing “Her Majesty’s Online Court” (HMOC), an Online Dispute Resolution system for civil court cases below £25,000. Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has successfully allowed parties who are unable to meet face-to-face to negotiate and resolve their disputes over the internet. Most often, ODR has been used to bridge the gap between consumer and supplier in an online Continue Reading →

How Digital Resources are Helping NY Communities, One Car at a Time

Over the past three years, students in Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic have teamed up with the judges at New York City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings and the Legal Aid Society to create a website to help people who had their cars confiscated during an arrest get their cars back. The NYC Police Department can seize a car during the course of an arrest for a variety of reasons, Continue Reading →

RE: Cloud Science, Dropbox, and Behavioral Economics

What is a cloud?  I’m no meteorologist. In fact I can hardly spell the word (I mean, I have troubling spelling “meteorologist”; I can spell “cloud”). But I know what I see – and that’s that clouds are externally opaque.  Still we assume they work. In the context of cloud computing, this much is true as well. What is cloud computing? The National Institute for Science and Technology defines cloud computing in richly technical NIST-speak. Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 5)

(Links to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.) Smart document generation If giving legal advice is one of the two core skills of legal practitioners, the other is drafting legal documents. No matter what area of the law you practice in, you will need to generate a brief, a lease, a will, a contract, a certificate of incorporation—you name it. It is no surprise therefore that ever since PCs were first introduced into law firms, Continue Reading →

Semantic Lawyering: How the Semantic Web Will Transform the Practice of Law (Part 4)

(Links to parts 1, 2, and 3.) What can you do with the Semantic Web that you can’t do without it? The Semantic Web is a powerful way of structuring data and giving it a precise, machine-readable meaning. The most obvious and immediate benefit of semantic technologies is in organizing large quantities of information in a particular domain to make it easier to retrieve and analyze. This is reflected in the contexts in which these Continue Reading →