Law Search In The Age Of The Algorithm

57 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2021

See all articles by Michael A. Livermore

Michael A. Livermore

University of Virginia School of Law

Peter Beling

University of Virginia, Dept. of System & Information Engineering

Keith Carlson

Dartmouth College

Faraz Dadgostari

University of Virginia

Mauricio Guim

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Law School

Daniel Rockmore

Dartmouth College - Department of Mathematics; Dartmouth College - Department of Computer Science

Date Written: April 27, 2021

Abstract

The process of searching for relevant legal materials is fundamental to legal reasoning. However, despite its enormous practical and theoretical importance, law search has not been given significant attention by scholars. In this Article, we define the problem of law search and examine the consequences of new technologies capable of automating this core lawyerly task. We introduce a theory of law search in which legal relevance is a sociological phenomenon that leads to convergence over a shared set of legal materials and explore the normative stakes of law search. We examine ways in which law scholars can understand empirically the phenomenon of law search, argue that computational modeling is a valuable epistemic tool in this domain, and report the results from a multi-year, interdisciplinary effort to develop an advanced law search algorithm based on human-generated data. Finally, we explore how policymakers can manage the challenges posed by new machine learning-based search technologies.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, legal research, search, information retrieval, information behavior

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Livermore, Michael A. and Beling, Peter and Carlson, Keith and Dadgostari, Faraz and Guim, Mauricio and Rockmore, Daniel, Law Search In The Age Of The Algorithm (April 27, 2021). 2020 MICH. ST. L. REV. 1183 , Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2021-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3835362

Michael A. Livermore (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

Peter Beling

University of Virginia, Dept. of System & Information Engineering ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Keith Carlson

Dartmouth College ( email )

Department of Sociology
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Faraz Dadgostari

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Mauricio Guim

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) - Law School ( email )

Río Hondo No.1
Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City
Mexico

Daniel Rockmore

Dartmouth College - Department of Mathematics ( email )

United States

Dartmouth College - Department of Computer Science ( email )

United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
67
Abstract Views
452
rank
403,333
PlumX Metrics