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Workshop on Natural Language Processing in Legal Research

Jul 12, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021

taught by Jens Frankenreiter (Columbia Law School)

The workshop is offered jointly with the German Law and Economics Association on the occasion of its annual meeting GLEA 2021.

The law is inexorably tied to documents written in human language, such as statutes, court opinions, contracts, and filings. The advances of quantitative techniques that allow for a computer-based processing and analyzing of natural language therefore offer exciting new opportunities for em­pirical research in law (and economics).

The workshop will provide an overview of existing approaches to using natural language processing in the context of legal research as well as a hands-on introduction to some of the most important tools. For the latter, the workshop will use data from a sample study and introduce participants to the programming tools used in the analysis (most importantly, Python and R). Instructions for setting up the software and introductory readings will be provided ahead of the course.  

Jens Frankenreiter is currently a postdoctoral fellow in empirical law and economics at Columbia Law School (https://www.jensfrankenreiter.com/). He has extensive experience in using natural language processing in empirical legal research.

Depending on the public health situation, the workshop (like GLEA 2021) will be held either as

  • a virtual event on July 12, 14, and 15, 4:00–6:00 pm, or
  • as a live event before GLEA on July 21, 3:00–6:00 pm, and July 26, 9:00–12:00.

We will inform about the format (virtual/live) in early May 2021.

The workshop fee is €50 (€25 for doctoral students). Researchers affiliated with the Berlin University Alliance can attend free of charge.

Participation will be allocated on a first-come basis. To secure your slot, pre-register at https://forms.gle/Yi4Y1UnBuzwbmZw2A. When we know the format and dates, we will ask you to submit a binding registration and to pay the fee.

See also the call for papers for the conference: https://easychair.org/cfp/GLEA2021

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Berlin University Alliance as part of the project LSC—Laws of Social Cohesion.