Computer Programming and the Law: A New Research Agenda

38 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009

See all articles by Paul Ohm

Paul Ohm

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: March 30, 2009


This essay proposes a new interdisciplinary research agenda called Computer Programming and the Law. By harnessing the power of computer programming, legal scholars can develop better tools, data, and insights for advancing their research interests. This essay presents the case for this new research agenda, highlights some examples of those who have begun to blaze the trail, and includes code samples to demonstrate the power and potential of developing software for legal scholarship. The code samples in this essay can be run like a piece of software - thanks to a technique known as literate programming - making this the world's first law review article that is also a working computer program.

Keywords: computer programming, empirical, experimental, cyberlaw, perl, scraping

JEL Classification: C8, C81, C82

Suggested Citation

Ohm, Paul, Computer Programming and the Law: A New Research Agenda (March 30, 2009). Villanova Law Review, Forthcoming, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-08, Available at SSRN:

Paul Ohm (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9685 (Phone)

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