Thursday, January 11 • 8:30am - 9:45am
Averting the Law's Robopocalypse: How to Shape the Future of Law

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Human decision making is flawed. The promise of machines making data-driven decisions might seem like a welcome innovation. However, such systems are themselves subject to bias. Created by people and trained on historical data, algorithms can bake in existing prejudices behind a gloss of mathematics. You can prevent the Law’s Robopocalypse by helping to shape our digital future. Lawyers must echo the words of Justice Warren and insist on an answer to the question “is it fair?” while learning to partner with technology to augment, not replace, the practice of lawyering. To do this, they will need an understanding of the justice system informed by randomized control trials and rigorous evaluation, and powerful open source tools that work to address market failures in legal tech. Such a future, however, depends in large part on access to accurate, standardized court data and an understanding of its importance. In this session, participants will learn specific steps to help create such a future while gaining an introductory understanding of algorithmic bias, data standards, open source software, and randomized control trials.


David Colarusso

Director Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, Suffolk University Law School
David Colarusso is the Director of Suffolk University Law School's Legal Innovation and Technology Lab. An attorney and educator by training, he has worked as a public defender, data scientist, software engineer, and high school physics teacher. He is the author of a programming language... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Glassmeyer

Sarah Glassmeyer

Project Specialist Manager, American Bar Association
Sarah Glassmeyer is a lawyer, technologist and librarian working at the intersection of law, technology and access to justice. She is a firm believer in all things Open.
avatar for Erika J Rickard

Erika J Rickard

Associate Director of Field Research, Access to Justice Lab, Harvard Law School
Erika is a researcher at Harvard's Access to Justice Lab, connecting the practice of law and court administration to other disciplines through rigorous evaluation. Let's chat about strengthening researcher-practitioner partnerships, plain language and useful tools for people without... Read More →

Thursday January 11, 2018 8:30am - 9:45am CST
Muses - 8th Floor