Harvard announced that “The Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School Library has completed its Caselaw Access Project, an endeavour to digitize every reported state and federal US legal case from the 1600s to last summer.” The announcement entitled “Harvard just put more than 6 million court cases online to give legal AI a boost” included these details “Between 2013 and 2018, the Library digitized over 40 million pages of U.S. court decisions” to help AI, and explained the following:

Why is this needed? One of the biggest hurdles to developing artificial intelligence for legal applications is the lack of access to data. To train their software, legal AI companies have often had to build their own databases by scraping whatever websites have made information public and making deals with companies for access to their private legal files.

What it means: Now that millions of cases are online for free, a good training source will be easily available. Programs will also be able to more easily search case text to provide lawyers with relevant background research for cases.

This is wonderful news for AI!