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Computable Contracts: Next Generation Legal Assistance Technology

Updated on August 14, 2014

One of the problems which has always been inherent in the legal profession is the need for an automated process to take care of the small but necessary tasks which require both speed and efficiency. One of these tasks is the issue of contractual agreements. People rely on their legal experts to help them with their legal contracts and agreements and these need to be done in a fast and reliable manner. The problem is that many computerized automated systems are not reliable to detect the essential legal aspects of the contract or they often overlook key elements of the legal document in the process of analyzing it for digital form.


The problem with legal assistance technology is that it takes the human factor out of the mix, and sometimes creates scenarios which risk sacrificing quality in legal help for the use of the technologies for the sake of convenience. The key to solving this problem is to find a solution which focuses on security and reliability, as well as convenience. The system must be able to detect key legal components and deal with these issues in a contract in a meticulous way, so that nothing is left to chance. Computable contracts solve this problem by being "smart" enough to focus on the legal aspects of a contract and to process such contracts in a way that makes both clients and legal professionals secure. The brilliant researchers at CodeX - The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics have done a lot to further the research on this concept and they have made many strides over the past few years which are promising for the legal profession.


Computable contracts with their "smart technology" solve this problem by implementing artificial intelligence in the legal process which understands what to look for in legal contracts and carries out the process in a compliant but efficient manner, so that it takes the worry out of the hands of legal professionals and lawyers.


A computable contract is a contract that a computer can understand. It is designed to "speak computer language" much like the search engines locate specific words or phrases within a website on Google or other search engines. Some programs even allow for a computer to analyze whether the terms of a contract have been met or not. These smart technology programs are only as smart as they are programmed, so it is important to make sure that the program you are using is up to standards so that it is in compliance with legal regulations.

Once you have such a program, the two parties involved in a contractual agreement include their portion of the agreement and the program inputs these aspects of the agreement in a way the computer understands.


The legal profession has typically been one which has been resistant to using such technology openly due to fears that the computers would be handed over legal decisions which should be handle by people. Keep in mind that computable contracts do not deal directly with issues which require a lawyer or real thinking individual. Instead they focus in on the legal aspects which are fairly common and well-defined criteria. This way, the computers are not given tasks which could in any way jeopardize a legal situation or turn highly abstract decisions over to a computer program.


The benefits of computable contracts is obvious in many ways: it saves time so that lawyers can focus on the more important issues, it turns over the menial legal tasks to smart technology, and makes your legal business more "cutting edge" with the new technologies. Another reason to focus on computable contracts is that they have been used in many other industries for years, especially in the field of finance and e-commerce. Therefore, it is to the advantage of a law firm or legal entity to incorporate this new technology as it will add credibility and respect to your legal business.


Once you decide to take the step to include computable contracts in your legal business, it would help you to learn more about the subject before implementing it into your legal processes. You can read more specifics about computable contracts here. This study explains not only the specifics of how computable contracts work, but also delves into the particulars regarding the process of creating and utilizing computable contracts in the real world, and especially in the legal profession.


Computable contracts work and they offer a cutting-edge smart technology solution to today's legal contractual agreements and take much of the less important legal tasks off of you as a law firm or legal corporation. This is a big advantage to your legal business and will take much of the stress off of your daily routine. However, as with starting anything new, it is important to do your homework to make sure you understand the process of implementing computable contracts before you start using it on a regular basis for your own legal business. So do your research and read what Harm Bavinck has been doing regarding this topic, then decide for yourself if computable contracts are something your business is ready to invest in to take you to the next level.


The Stanford Computable Contracts Initiative was a concentrated effort to implement some of the best new smart technologies into the issue of contractual agreements. Harm Bavinck is part of the research project that focused on research regarding computable contracts and their application to the legal profession. This was the goal of the Stanford Computable Contracts Initiative. The initiative focused on the programming of the ideal artificial intelligence technology as applied to contractual agreements. The ultimate goal of computable contracts is to make the legal contracts process easier to manage and use, to reduce transactions costs, and reduce the risk to clients and legal professionals in the contractual process. For more information on how computable contracts work, or to look into using this new cutting-edge technology in your legal profession today, visit The goal is to streamline your legal process and take the small tasks out of the hands of people-so they can work on the more important things.

For more information on this amazing new technology, go to:


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    • Dave Collado profile image

      Dave Collado 3 years ago from San Jose California

      Chris thank you! I'm really glad you are finding these hubs useful.

    • profile image

      Chris 2016 3 years ago

      Very good information here. thanks for writing this Dave.