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Daily Archives: January 4, 2016

Can Robots Be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law

Remus, Dana and Levy, Frank S., Can Robots Be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law (December 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

“We assess frequently-advanced arguments that automation will soon replace much of the work currently performed by lawyers. Our assessment addresses three core weaknesses in the existing literature: (i) a failure to engage with technical details to appreciate the capacities and limits of existing and emerging software; (ii) an absence of data on how lawyers divide their time among various tasks, only some of which can be automated; and (iii) inadequate consideration of whether algorithmic performance of a task conforms to the values, ideals and challenges of the legal profession.  Combining a detailed technical analysis with a unique data set on time allocation in large law firms, we estimate that automation has an impact on the demand for lawyers’ time that while measureable, is far less significant than popular accounts suggest. We then argue that the existing literature’s narrow focus on employment effects should be broadened to include the many ways in which computers are changing (as opposed to replacing) the work of lawyers. We show that the relevant evaluative and normative inquiries must begin with the ways in which computers perform various lawyering tasks differently than humans. These differences inform the desirability of automating various aspects of legal practice, while also shedding light on the core values of legal professionalism.”

Effects of Monetary and Macroprudential Policies on Financial Conditions : Evidence from the US

IMF Working Paper No. 15/288 – Aleksandra Zdzienicka; Sally Chen; Federico Diaz Kalan; Stefan Laseen; Katsiaryna Svirydzenka. December 31, 2015. “The Global Financial Crisis has reopened discussions on the role of the monetary policy in preserving financial stability. Determining whether monetary policy affects financial variables domestically—especially compared to the effects of macroprudential policies— and across… Continue Reading

Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues

CRS – Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues, Alissa M. Dolan, Legislative Attorney. December 28, 2015. “Recent data breaches at major U.S. retailers have placed a spotlight on concerns about the security of personal information stored in electronic form by corporations and other private entities. A data breach occurs when data containing… Continue Reading

Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law

CRS – Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law, Jody Feder, Legislative Attorney. December 30, 2015. “In its sex discrimination decisions, the United States Supreme Court not only has defined the applicability of the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution and the nondiscriminatory policies of federal statutes, but also has… Continue Reading

Pew – Immigrant Employment by State and Industry

“The employment patterns of immigrants differ from those of U.S.-born workers across industries and states. This interactive captures the variation by measuring the employment distribution ratio, which compares the likelihood that an immigrant worker is employed in each of 13 industries with that of an U.S.-born worker in each of the 50 states and the… Continue Reading

White House announces new gun restrictions by executive action

Washington Post – White House outlines new gun restrictions, bypassing Congress – “The 10-provision package will require more gun sellers to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers, and all federally licensed dealers will have to report any lost or stolen firearms to the authorities.” CNN – “These are… Continue Reading

DoD Needs an Effective Process to Identify Cloud Computing Service Contracts

Audit – DoD Needs an Effective Process to Identify Cloud Computing Service Contracts, DODIG-2016-038, December 28, 2015. “Objective – Our objective was to determine whether selected DoD Components performed a cost-benefit analysis before acquiring cloud computing services. In addition, we were to identify whether those DoD Components achieved actual savings as a result of adopting… Continue Reading

Report From the Student Privacy Frontlines: 2015 in Review

EFF: “This year the fight to protect student privacy hit a boiling point with our Spying on Students campaign, an effort to help students, parents, teachers, and school administrators learn more about the privacy issues surrounding school-issued devices and cloud services. We’re also working to push vendors like Google to put students and their parents… Continue Reading

GAO Report on Corporate Boards and Representation of Women

Corporate Boards: Strategies to Address Representation of Women Include Federal Disclosure Requirements, GAO-16-30: Published: Dec 3, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 4, 2016: “Representation of women on the boards of U.S. publicly-traded companies has been increasing, but greater gender balance could take many years. In 2014, women comprised about 16 percent of board seats in the… Continue Reading