2020 IAP Computational Law Course Website

Course Links


The 2020 MIT IAP Computational Law workshop course is a free, open, and digital-first class. The structure of the course involves a series of lectures that will be recorded and posted on youtube, on-going commentary through our class telegram channel, and other real time collaborations.

The structure of the course will consist of the following:

Overview of Course

The 2020 MIT IAP Computational Law Course pursues a cross-disciplinary exploration of the implications of emerging technologies on law and legal processes, with an emphasis on the development and deployment of automated computational business and legal systems. The course includes special focus areas on rules-driven Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Autonomous Transaction Networks. We will cover a variety of issues, including identification and integration of the business/legal/technical layers or facets of various commercial, industrial, infrastructural, educational, social, political and governmental web-based systems, the complex interaction between governance and sovereignty in public and private sector contexts and the emergence of algorithmic, adaptive methods and mechanisms for regulatory, adjudicative, fiduciary, contractual and other legal processes.

Core Team

Dazza Greenwood Instructor Bryan Wilson Co-Instructor


Day 1: Jan 7, 1:30 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time

Brian Ulicny: Tax as a Computational Legal System

Dazza Greenwood and Bryan Wilson: Introduction to Computational Law

Day 2: Jan 8, 1:30 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time

Prof. Alex “Sandy” Pentland: Legal Algorithms

Navroop Sahdev: Digital Economics and Computational Law

Day 3: Jan 9, 1:30 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time

Scott Kelly: Prototyping Computational Legal Systems

Chris Berendt: Structuring Transactions as Legal Engineering

Day 4 January 24, 2:30 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time

In order to give participants an opportunity to take what they learned in the course and apply it to a domain of computational law that they find interesting, there will be an opportunity toward the end of January to submit a final presentation. We have imagined two types of presentations students can work on, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Project Type 1: Write about something you learned

Discuss the potential impact of computational law on a topic of your choice. Examples might include what Judge Wilfredo Martinez put forth at the end of class on day 2: “what might an international court based on computational law be?” As mentioned during the course, part of the scope of this project might include a look at the drivers and inhibitors of certain types of behavior and ways they can be managed using a computational legal system. Note: the definition of “write” in this context is construed liberally to include written content, slide presentations, and other artifacts that represent your ideas.

Project Type 2: Build a computational law app

Using an Open-Source tool, such as or Docassemble, create an app that computes some aspect of law or legal practice. Examples can include automating the formation documents for a legal entity, creating a computational tax system, or automatically generating a pleading based on different aspects of a case.

Extra Credit: If you are submitting a project of this type, we encourage you (for extra credit) to try adding your work to our GitHub repository. To do this, juyst make a pull request in the Final Projects Folder, here. And here is a tutorial on how to make a pull request (you can also ask for help in our Telegram channel and we’ll walk you through it).

All participants wishing to present final projects should register to submit here so that we can have the schedule organized to include time for everyone.

Format of Final Projects

The format of the final presentations should include the following: 1) Tite of your project (just a few words) 2) Overview of your project in Google Slides, 3) Project pitch on Youtube, and 4) Any additional associated materials (e.g., if you have a project that involves an app in, send us a downloadable version of the YAML file)

Project pitch videos should be no more than 5 minutes long. In the final class, we will watch each submission and follow up with a brief discussion.

Background Materials

MIT Computational Law Report

Past Courses

Code of Conduct