Computational Methods in Legal Analysis

Annual Review of Law and Social Science (2020) 16:39-57

Jens Frankenreiter and Michael A. Livermore

The digitization of legal texts and advances in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, text mining, network analysis, and machine learning have led to new forms of legal analysis by lawyers and law scholars. This article provides an overview of how computational methods are affecting research across the varied landscape of legal scholarship, from the interpretation of legal texts to the quantitative estimation of causal factors that shape the law.

As computational tools continue to penetrate legal scholarship, they allow scholars to gain traction on traditional research questions and may engender entirely new research programs. Already, computational methods have facilitated important contributions in a diverse array of law-related research areas. As these tools continue to advance, and law scholars become more familiar with their potential applications, the impact of computational methods is likely to continue to grow.

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