The Path of Big Data and the Law

Chapter in "Big Data and the Law" (West Academic Press, 2014)

9 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2013

See all articles by Josh Blackman

Josh Blackman

South Texas College of Law Houston

Date Written: September 28, 2013


Advances in artificial intelligence are transforming many aspects of our society, from Google’s autonomous cars to IBM’s Watson defeating the Jeopardy! world champion. The legal profession, as well, is evolving from today’s time-consuming, customized labor-intensive legal market to tomorrow’s on-demand, commoditized legal services market. Today, the legal services industry is standing at the dawn of what Professor Larry Ribstein referred to as Law’s Information Revolution. The promise of this revolution is the intersection, if not the collision, of the power of big data, and the law.

This essay opens the first chapter in this process, and sets forth an agenda of issues to consider as the intersection between law, technology, and justice merges. First, I break down the role of the lawyer, and posit how these familiar tasks can be automated. Next, I explore the ethical, jurisprudential, and regulatory implications of algorithms offering legal services. I conclude by offering a sketch of what the law offices of Robot, Esq. will be like.

Suggested Citation

Blackman, Josh, The Path of Big Data and the Law (September 28, 2013). Chapter in "Big Data and the Law" (West Academic Press, 2014), Available at SSRN:

Josh Blackman (Contact Author)

South Texas College of Law Houston ( email )

1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States

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