Legal Innovation & Technology Lab
@ Suffolk Law School
The Legal Innovation and Technology (LIT) Lab is an experiential program combining the vision of our Legal Innovation and Technology Institute with the pedagogy and legal services mission of our Clinical Programs. The Lab allows students to work as part of a consultancy and research & development (R&D) shop focused on legal tech and data science work. Active areas of research involve, but are not limited to, the construction of expert systems/guided interviews (e.g., chatbots) and algorithmic codification of tacit knowledge (i.e., training computers to replicate human decisions). See examples.
Lab students develop legal technology and data science solutions for organizational clients (e.g., legal aid organizations, courts, firms, and non-profits), helping them improve efficiency and effectiveness. Theses services are provided to organizational clients, who frequently do not have in-house expertise in automating tools, engaging in process improvement, and data analytics.
Support the Lab
Become an Affiliate!
Through its new Affiliates Program, the LIT Lab provides members with connections to experts and law students working with emerging legal services technologies, while growing the LIT Lab’s capacity to serve disadvantaged communities.
The Legal Innovation & Technology Lab (LIT Lab) is a collaboration between Suffolk Law’s Clinical Program and Institute on Legal Innovation and Technology. At the core of the nation's No. 1-ranked legal technology program, the LIT Lab:
The Document Assembly Line
The Document Assembly Line project has produced a set of open-source tools and processes to help groups quickly and effectively create mobile-friendly online court forms and pro se materials. The documentation provided here aims to help groups adapt this work and create local versions of the assembly line.
Though we have focused on producing Massachusetts content at https://courtformsonline.org, we have built our tools with replicability in mind. Our novel code is released under an MIT License, and we have intentionally built on the open source docassemble platform.
Spot, an AI Issue Spotter
Spot is an issue spotter. Give Spot a non-lawyer's description of a situation, and it returns a list of likely issues from the National Subject Matter Index (NSMI), Version 2. The NSMI provides the legal aid community with a standard nomenclature for talking about client needs. It includes issues like eviction, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and child support. Spot is provided as a service over an API. Mostly, this means it's built for use by computer programs, not people. Coders can build things (like websites) on top of the API. The hope is that by automating part of issue identification, developers will use Spot to help people in need of legal assistance better access available resources.
Coding the Law
Learn how to think about technologies in the law by building your own. In this project-based course, open to non-programmers and coders alike, we explore the technical, legal, and ethical dimensions behind the use of computer algorithms by legal practitioners and the justice system. Projects range from the creation of simple document review and automation tools to the construction of expert systems and narrow AIs.
Legal Tech Class
The aim of this project is to create a collaboratively built "textbook" for teaching law school classes about legal technology. Currently, the class has contributors from around the world. Exercises help students get started right away building legal technology with open-source tools while touching on theories and motivations for legal technology—including the access to justice gap, the future of the legal profession, and ethical considerations.