I’ve been following the #legalhackCHI tweets today as the Chicago legal innovation and technology meetup holds what sounds like it has been a very well-attended introductory meeting. Daniel Katz of Michigan State spoke about his data-driven, algorithmic, modeling and prediction of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Andrew Baker and Amani Smathers, who help Seyfarth Shaw integrate data-driven decision-making into its client services model (which also integrates Six Sigma process-management techniques into legal services) spoke about “tiny data.” Carla Goldstein, formerly of Seyfarth Shaw and now with BMO Financial Group, gave an in-house counsel perspective on legal innovation.
These kinds of events, along with somewhat related “hackathons” to bring coders/developers and the legal community together at a low-level, practical, level, have been going on around the country for a while. Rob Richards, of the Legal Informatics Blog has been listing and digesting posts from these events — describing them as a movement — since 2012. The CALI folks have been involved, promoting their A2J (Access to Justice) platform for automating/scripting “interviews” to provide web-based document assembly.
The Computational Legal Studies blog likens this movement to the Homebrew Computer Club of the 1970s.