Research News

Law school to host conference with top minds in artificial intelligence

How shall we manage machines that practice law?

And will they replace lawyers, become their greatest resource, or both?

For the first time, experts in the field of artificial intelligence will gather at an event dedicated to a full discussion of the future of machine learning in the legal profession. On April 13 and 14, Vanderbilt Law School will host this two-day conference, titled “Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine?”

Bloomberg Law recently described the conference as “injecting rationalism into the artificial intelligence discussion.” Larry Bridgesmith, adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School and one of the organizers of the event, told Bloomberg:

“[rquote]Artificial intelligence is neither a panacea nor an alternative to professionalism.[/rquote] It will require professionals to deliver services in a different way.”

Keynote Speaker: Richard Susskind is an author, speaker and adviser to major law firms and to national governments, including the lord chief justice of England and Wales. He is the author of Tomorrow’s Lawyers, and his latest book, The Future of the Professions, has been recognized as one of the “7 most important new books of 2016” by Inc. magazine and named one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times. Susskind’s insights are rapidly shaping change across the professions.

Other featured speakers:

  • Andrew Arruda, whose firm ROSS Intelligence helped build ROSS, the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney, in conjunction with IBM Watson. Arruda will provide a demonstration of ROSS, which is currently being used by a subsidiary of Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, to handle research in place of the typical associate.
  • Andy Daws, vice president of Riverview Law North America, often referred to as “the most innovative law firm in the world.” Riverview created Kim, which serves as a virtual assistant that allows legal teams to make quicker and better decisions.
  • Dan Katz, associate professor of law at IIT–Chicago Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology). He is the editor of the International Journal of Law and Information Technology (Oxford University Press) and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence & Law (Springer Scientific). He is also a member of the ABA Task Force on Big Data and the Law.
  • Irina Matveeva, head of machine learning at NexLP and an adjunct professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. She has significant experience in enterprise search, cloud-based applications and Amazon Web services. She has a vast amount of experience developing and applying machine learning and natural language processing within business applications.
  • Dave Lewis, co-founder of NIST TREC Legal Track and creator of the first public data set for e-discovery research. He also works as a consulting computer scientist and has consulted in issues of patent litigation and e-discovery in civil litigation.
  • Richard Stout, director of the managed services division at Counsel On Call; Clinton Sanko, shareholder at Baker Donelson; and John Tredennick, founder and CEO of Catalyst Repository Systems, who help identify and deploy advanced technologies with many of the largest corporations and law firms in the world, will have an open discussion about where we are, where we’re going, and the quantifiable and theoretical results to be expected.

To see the full conference agenda and learn how you can participate, visit