LLAW6285 Computer programming, data mining, and the law — an applied introduction

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6285 / JDOC6285
Course name: Computer Programming, Data Mining, and the Law — An Applied Introduction
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30

1.2 Course description

This course will introduce students to using data analytics and computational methods in legal studies (or, broadly speaking, empirical studies of law). The course will cover a range of empirical methods that are widely used in sciences and social sciences, including statistical tests, regression analysis, machine learning, and causal inference, and it will use real-world examples to introduce how these methods can be applied into the study and the practice of law. The course will guide students in a hands-on way, focusing on substantive projects that are relevant to legal research and practice.

Designed to serve as an introduction to the field, students can expect to leave the class with an experience of conducting empirical legal study, that is, finding a research question, designing an empirical research, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting the results. Students who aspire to develop a career in law and new technologies, or who plan to pursue a graduate degree (e.g., Ph.D. or JSD), are encouraged to take the course.

Computer programming or statistical analysis experience would help, but is not required. Students without such experience can take LLAW6280 / JDOC6280 “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Law.”

Topics covered will include:

Basic statistical tests

Regression analysis

Causal inference

Natural Language Processing

Machine learning

The application of these methods in a range of legal areas, including contract law, property, intellectual property, criminal law, corporate and financial regulation, judicial behavior, and law and development.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor John Liu liuz@hku.hk CCT 902 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Understand the principles and basic methods of data analysis in law.

CLO 2 Achieve a critical appreciation for empirical methods and data analytical thinking.

CLO 3 Gain experience collecting and analyzing data and conducting empirical legal research.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs) & Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation N/A 10% 1 1, 2, 3
Oral presentation TBC 20% 5 1, 2, 3
Essay TBC 20% 1 1, 2, 3
Designing an empirical research TBC 50% 1 1, 2, 3
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.