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Computational Law Course

Working Course Syllabus:

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Day 2 Live Videocast

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Day 1 Video Archive

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Day 1: Monday, January 30

Optional Social Activities & Mock Trial Exercise

  • 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm Post Class Networking (venue tentatiely MIT Media Lab)

  • 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Prep Session for Online Mock Trial (timing tentative)

Day 2: Tuesday, January 31

  • 2:00 pm Convene Day 2
  • 3:00 pm "From Supply Chain to Blockchain" with Guest Speaker Michael Casey, Senior Advisor, Blockchain Research at MIT Media Lab
  • 4:00 pm "Legal Hackers" with Co-Instructor Jonathan Askin
  • 4:30 pm Online Mock Trial
  • 5:30 pm TBA
  • 6:00 pm Conclude Day 2

Optional Post Class Networking Reception

  • 6:15 pm - 7:00 pm (tentatively at Cambridge Innovation Center)

Optional "Tuesday Hack Night" Launch Event

From 7-9pm on January 31st, join the inaugural computational law "Tuesday Hack Night" series with Mass Data Science Legal Hackers and Code for America's Boston Brigade at Cambridge Innovation Center, 1 Broadway, Cambridge. Teams plan to work on development of open soure computational law projects, including:

  • The "Automated Loan Fund" blockchain project
  • Using VR to understand and work with civic data, legal data and educational data
  • Other projects and other activities to be announced.

Preparatory Activities and Events

Thurday, January 26

Preview Hangout: Legal Seminar Overview With Q&A

  • We will conduct a live hangout on Thursday, January 26th at 7pm to review the ABA Legal Analytics hacking project challenge and preview and discuss the January 30 + 31 lecture/discussion courses on Digital Assets, Identity, Contracts and a preview of the planned online mock trial exercise.
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  • Legal Hacking: Optional pre-course "Legal Analytics" data challenge with the American Bar Association. Join the collaborative team of Mass Data Analytics Legal Hackers and the Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab for this project to use data science for understanding and making decisions about software as a service contracts. This activity will include project working sessions during the day and a special late-night session for those intersted to participate online at the American Bar Association "Prototype Jam" legal analytics event happening physically in San Diego, California. For more information, see:

Pre-Course DataVR Workshop

In-Person: Room E15-341

Questions? If you are enrolled in the course, use our GiHub issues tool and a course instructor or volunteer will reply directly:

Team Projects:

Video Archive

January 23 Video Archive:

  • DataVR Wrap Up Session for Day One - Project Presentations
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January 24 Video Start of Day Archive 1

  • Computational Law DataVR Workshop Day 2: Small Group Project Breakouts
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January 24 Video End of Day Archive:

  • Computational Law DataVR Workshop Day 2: Project Demos/Discussions and Workshop Wrapup
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Workshop Syllabus and Resources Page

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Workshop Participant Scratch Pad

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Workshop Photos:

Posted at:

DataVR Day 1: January 23

* 2-3pm - Talks and Tutorials

Live broadcast:

Welcome & Overview:

  • Dazza Greenwood, Course Instructor




Use Cases and Context:

3-3:30 Team and Project Formation:

Quick round of project idea pitches

  • Break into teams to develop project ideas
  • Note: Instructors, collaborators and volunteers will work with teams

Project Pitches:

3:30-5:30pm - Rapid Project Design/Prototyping

5:45-6:15pm - Wrap Up First Day and Next Steps

DataVR Day 2: January 24

2:00-2:30pm - Team Project Updates and Logistics

2:30-4:30pm - Rapid Project Design/Prototyping

  • Teams work on projects
  • Roving mentors

4:30pm - Pizza Break!

  • Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab brings pizza, beverages and other means of innovating law

4:45-6:00pm - Project Presentations and Feedback

Project Slides for: Before It's Too Late

Project Slides for: ScatterViz

Project Slides for: VR Data and Education

Project Slides for: Legal Analytics Data Challenge (TBA)

  • Project Scratchpad (TBA)

6:00-6:15pm - (Optional) Wrap up and Next Steps

  • Thanks and Wrap Up for Data Visualization with VR Workshop Module
  • Preview of January 30 + 31 Digital Law Lecture and Discussion Sessions

Other Relevant Links and Info

Participating Online?

DataVR Tutorials:

Preview of Simmetri

Amedeo Mapelli and members of his team will be on hand during the DataVR Module to work with students who wish to use Simmetri to develop VR environments for their team projects. In some cases, student teams with little or no technical skills will be able to use new data visualizations tools being added to Simmetri to get a variety of simple projects started quickly. Amedeo has kindly offered to assist student teams to develop more complex design goals as part of this course, as time permits. Below is a preview of some of the new data ingestion, transformation, modeling, visualization and exploration features currently being added to Simmetri:

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DataVR Links and Resources:

Overview of Course Themes and Activities

  • MIT Course Landing Page:

  • Legal Analytics, including 1) AI/Machine Learning for solving legal use cases; and 2) Using VR for data-driven visualization of complex financial relationships and legal contexts

  • Digital Assets, including: 1) Ownership rights, valuation and provenance of digital property; and 2) Storage and exchange of digital property with electronic contracts, automated transactions and autonomous agents

  • Digital Identity, including: 1) Technology and architecture for autonomy and control of self-sourced digital identity and personal data; and 2) Using individual identity for valid, verifiable login to apps or services and for providing legal acknowledgement, assent or authorization.

  • Digital Contracts, including 1) Business, legal and technical interlinkage of blockchain "smart contracts" and legal contracts in automated individual or business transactions; and 2) Standard open-web stack design patterns for executing multiple digital signatures and electronic notarization on digital legal contracts.

  • Online Mock Trial & Design Charrette: Applying basic legal rules to common business scenaries using new technology, class participants are challenged to argue for or against digital evidence of "enforceable intent to digitally sign" and "valid informed consent" existed among parties in distributed blockchain transactions, automated web-based systems and self-driving vehicles or other autonomous devices. We explore business, legal and technical approaches to predict, prevent, avoid, reduce, shift or absorb the risks identified in the mock trial exercise.

  • Legal Hackathon Data Projects: This course also provides optional opportunities to participate on project teams as part of "Legal Hackathon" style events, including 1) the Cyberlaw Committee of the American Bar Association Cyberlaw Committee "Legal Analytics Prototype Jam" and 2) the Financial Entity Identification and Information Integration (FEIII) "data challenge". For more information, see:

  • This course will adapt the specific content based in part on the priority interests of participants and guest lecturers.

Computational Law Course Legal Hackathon Project Challenge

Legal Analytics Prototype Jam

  • As part of the 2017 Computational Law course, MIT and Thomson Reuters Labs got together to hack the Legal Analytics Prototype Jam for the ABA Business Law Section. We prototyped a dashboard to understand jurisdictional issues of cloud contracts. The use case we chose is a tool to help small businesses understand their exposures to the new EU privacy law by automatically analyzing cloud contracts.

  • Working demo site, showing geo-coded jurisdictional law for the same 30 contracts provided by the Legal Analytics subcommittee:

  • Our working project directory for this demo:

  • Video walkthrough of the demo:

  • Our team project page, see:

30 Second Overview Demo

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Video Walk Through of Our Team Prototype Jam Project

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For More Information About


NOTE: We are no longer accepting applications for this course

  • Request Permission of Instructor to Enroll: Using the form embedded below:
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  • Special Opportunity for Area Professionals: Top practitioners, thought leaders and industry innovators in the areas of digital property, digital transactions and digital identity will be invited to participate in select lecture and discussion sessions of this course and to provide feedback for student projects. Interested Boston area professionals with expertice and creative ideas related to computational law are invited to contact Dazza Greenwood about potential opportunities to get involved.


Note: This space will provide interfaces and links to Google Forms and other methods for questions, ideas and other comments by participants in the course. Please note, the forms and other processes provided on this page for engaging in this course will change based on the activity happening from time to time during this course.

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