Computational Law Research and Development

This open public research and development site explores the emerging field of computational law and legal informatics as social science, technical capability and business innovation.   This site is curated by MIT Media Lab's Dazza Greenwood as part of Prof. Alex "Sandy" Pentland's MIT Human Dynamics Lab work on Social Physics and Connection Science, with emphasis on the legal and policy dimensions of big data and personal data markets and ecologies. 

2018 Computational Law and Blockchain Festival

March 16-18, 2018
Cambridge Innovation Center & MIT Media Lab
More details on the Boston/Cambridge Node at: https://law.mit.edu/clb-fest
More details about Global distributed event at : www.legalhackers.org/clbfest2018

Learn.  Build.  Discuss.

On March 16-18, 2018, the first annual Computational Law & Blockchain Festival will bring together coders, designers, lawyers, policymakers, researchers, and students from around the world to co-create the future of law, legal practice, and policymaking.  This global initiative will be a push to create and implement computational law (e.g., programmable contracts) and legal blockchain use cases. We will achieve this through a combination of educational sessions, hackathons, and policy discussions. In the spirit of decentralization, this entire event is hosted by independent, self-organized nodes around the world. Join us so you can LEARN, BUILD, and DISCUSS:

  • LEARN: New to computational law or blockchain technologies? Learn the basics from local and global experts at our educational sessions.
  • BUILD: Are you a coder or designer? Come test your hacking skills on one of our global challenges. Opportunities for local and global awards for winners!
  • DISCUSS: What’s the appropriate role of government in the blockchain ecosystem? Are ICOs securities offerings? What are the benefits and drawbacks of computational law for the legal system and society? How can we promote a welcoming and diverse blockchain community? Let’s discuss!

The Festival welcomes enthusiasts of all ages, genders, backgrounds, skill levels, and disciplines, and will be free to attend and participate.  The Boston Node will be located at Cambidge Innovation Center and loosely track to the Internation Schedule for this event.  Registered participants will receive the specific location, schedule and activity meeting details at our node.  

CL+B Fest is Brought to you by:

The Accord Project | Legal.io | OpenLaw | Monax

MIT Media Lab (law.mit.edu) | Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law | Brooklyn Law School | Cornell Tech IC3 | LA Blockchain Lab | Legal Technology Lab | New York Law School | Stanford CodeX Blockchain Working Group

Blockchain Diversity Group | Bootstrap Legal | Legal Hackers


2017 MIT Legal Forum on AI and Blockchain

October 30 & 31, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab

The inaugural MIT Legal Forum on AI & Blockchain mission is to provide a forum for legal scholars, practitioners, technologists and business professionals to (A) discuss the current and likely future impact of AI and blockchain technologies on the law, and (B) develop an initial framework for the evaluation, prioritization and practical application of AI and blockchain technologies to the law.  For more information, see: MIT.edu/Law and Law.MIT.edu/MITLegalForum

2017 Open Access Journal Special Issue: Computation, Law and the Net

"Computation, Law and the Net—The Future of Law in the Computational Social Science Era"

Special Issue:

Join me and my fellow guest editors of this special issue in co-creating this historic volume.  Together with the rise of computational power and the data deluge, the growth of the Internet ecosystem is the driver of a deep change in our lives. We are witnessing a development that not only is reshaping economies, societies and institutions worldwide, but is also impacting the way in which science is done.

According to a growing and heterogeneous literature, the computational social science paradigm is drastically increasing our understanding of social dynamics and our ability to manage social complexity. Seen in this perspective, computational social science (CSS) represents a topic of great interest for the legal world. The law itself is at the same time a social phenomenon and an ordering factor of social life. CSS, on the one hand, promises to shed a new light on socio-legal dynamics, on the other, it is gradually providing innovative tools capable to support public institutions in a series of legally relevant activities spanning from policy design to rule making, from regulatory impact analysis to law enforcement. The use of online experiments, sentiment analysis techniques or agent-based social simulations in the legal world are just a few examples of an uncharted scientific and applicative landscape that is worth being explored.

This Special Issue aims at bringing together contributions discussing research issues at a theoretical level or presenting projects and applications of CSS that can be considered relevant for the legal field.  For more inforat http://www.mdpi.com/journal/futureinternet/special_issues/future_of_law

Dazza Greenwood, JD
Guest Edit


computational social science


rule making

policy design

big data

data-led science



social network analysis

social media analysis

social simulation

data visualization

quantitative legal prediction

online experiment



Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

2017 MIT Computational Law Lecture Series Kickoff

"The Path to Predictive Coding: eDiscovery Search in the Big Data Era"

Tuesday Hack Night is Back: February 7th, 2017

Refactoring  Warehouse Receipts From Paper Documents to Electronic Transferable Records

Join Massachusetts Legal Hackers and MIT Computational Law researchers for a focused legal hack session with Mark Weber of the MIT Digital Currency Initiative as we use law governing Electronic Transferable Records to help refactor paper-based warehouse receipts into the form of blockchain-backed digital, networked objects!  Hacknight Wiki page of background resources and context:  https://github.com/ComputationalLaw/TransferableRecords-LegalHacking/wiki/Hack-Night-With-Mark-Weber  

The general idea is to refactor legally valid and enforceable warehouse receipts from paper documents to digital records.  we will explore:

1) Identifying system design requirements or constraints by starting with a walk through of the rules governing "Transferable Records" under UETA and ESIGN; and

2) Identifying contract design requirements or constraints by starting with a walkthrough of a standard, international "Trading Partner Agreement" appropriate for participation in relatively open commerce platforms, exchange networks and multi-player market systems (not a big buyer supply chain trading partner).  

The goal for this hack night is to develop a bullet list of potentially important requirements, constraints and other design goals for migration from paper to digital Warehouse Receipts, derived from a rapid but focused walk through of relevant legal rules.  The intention is to derive that bullet list from legal rules governing warehouse receipts in the form of electronic transferable records in the practical context of some likely types of rules governing parties using the digital warehouse receipt system derived from very standard trading partner and other commercial umbrella agreements.  While these two sources are far from comprehensive sets of all the legal rules impacting a system for digital warehouse receipts, they do provide a core "DNA-like" set of coherent, widely accepted, authoritative, definite, timely, relevant and achievable foundation to build upon.

RSVP at: https://www.meetup.com/Massachusetts-Legal-Hackers/events/237379403

2017 MIT/IAP Computational Law Course


exploring legal issues and technology options arising from data analytis, blockchains, individual identity systems and automated transactions

The January 2017 computational law course features a two-day module exploring use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for data analytics, we call DataVR.  For more information on this module, see: http://datavr.xyz  The 2017 course covers data analytics, blockchain smart contracts and other emerging legal technology topics, featuring expert lectures, self-study materials, groups discussion and hands-on, project-centered experiential learning. For more information on this Continuing Legal Education (CLE) offering, see: law.MIT.edu/Computational-Law-Course

Enrolled participants in the January 23+24 module on DataVR can use the syllabus as a live workshop schedule

Analytics and Blockchain for Community Centered Financial Institutions

A collaborative day of roundtable discussions co-hosted by the MIT Human Dynamics Lab and MIT Digital Currency Initiative, October 18, 2016


The Fully Automated Legal Entity Prototype

For more information: https://law.mit.edu/automated-credit-union

To request updates or get involved: contact us


How Can Blockchain Enable People to Own Their Individual Identity and Personal Data?

Keynote address by Sam Cassatt, of ConsenSys, at the MIT/law Blockchain Legal Intensive demo night at the Media Lab.

What is Computable Law?


    Blockchain Legal Intensive

    A month-long PrototypeJam at http://MIT.edu/law/blockchain


    Research Spotlight: Temporal Public Data Exploration of US Code

    Use the below interactive public data visualization tool to compare the rate of change in each title of the US Code. This visualization tool is being shared now as an example of how law can be presented as data in a way that enables any person to do basic data exploration. Note however, the underlying data is still in the process of being cleaned and not yet reliable as an accurate measure.  

    Ongoing Research: Uniform Law Adoption Analytics

    There are many facets of the law to which data science and computational legal science methods can be applies and many aspects of such science that can be applied to any given facet of the law.  One of the promising entry points being pursued by the Legal Science research team here at the MIT Media Lab is with an important body of statutes known as "Uniform Law".  The #LegalScience research team is now commencing a research study to explore the data and systems comprising uniform laws of the states and territories of the United States.


                     Preliminary Uniforn Law Analytics and Visualizations

                     Please Share Your Comments/Questions/Ideas? 


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    Law.MIT.edu Google+ Page

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