The World's First Robot Lawyer 🤖


(Tobias Eigen) #1

I was drawn to a Seattle news item in my favorite local newsletter about “The World’s First Robot Lawyer”. The robot lawyer can be accessed via a website (http://www.donotpay.co.uk) for free. It was set up by Joshua Browder, a student at Stanford University who is not making money from the venture.

The Robot Lawyer purports to walk ordinary people through the process of crafting legally sound letters to dispute parking tickets, etc - apparently with success. Jonathan says he is responding to demand in rolling out his service to new communities and to address new legal challenges, and he wants to help people who can’t afford lawyers.

I think this sounds pretty nifty. Perhaps members of this community can think of some good uses for his robot! :robot:


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(Derrick Otsyeno) #2

Though it should be designed to act together with lawyers. Do the tasks that are done by lawyers that make legal fees so high but allow the substance of the law to be handled by lawyers. The difference in issues of every case, makes it so hard to have a robot lawyer that does it all.


(Tobias Eigen) #3

This is absolutely true - you make a good point and I thank you for making it, Derrick.

In the United States this online tool is being rolled out for dealing with straightforward day to day issues that most people don’t actually use lawyers for but also simply don’t have time to do, like challenging parking tickets. The screenshot indicates some of the typical questions the robot lawyer can handle - e.g. “I got an unfair parking ticket. Can you appeal for me?” or “What happens if I can’t afford a speeding ticket?”.

Maybe in our world we should think of it more as a robot paralegal, who helps people make the first step to start learning their rights and how to use the law, what types of cases require lawyers and which do not, and of course who is nearby and available to help. It could even help paralegals to learn as well, and be tailored to address particular questions paralegals typically are asked e.g. about citizenship or inheritance or gender based violence.


(Derrick Otsyeno) #4

Yes exactly now that I will endorse with stars. It can also address areas where there is legal deficiency. Places where access to legal assistance is so hard. Maybe even have lawyers subscribe to it and feed it with matters legal. This could be the next good big thing for both laymen and lawyers.


(Tobias Eigen) #5

Bots seem to be increasingly becoming a trend in international development. Here’s an interesting article about facebook messenger chatbots.

The article provides a few examples and describes the attraction of chatbots. However, while more platforms like facebook are offering chat extensions that make chatbots possible, there are also pitfalls.

Another pitfall is becoming locked in an infinite chat loop. This can happen when a user provides unknown context or simply does not do what the interface expects or indicates and there is no way for a user to hit Cancel or Undo Consequently the one-to-one chat experience can be rather underwhelming.

We’ve had this experience ourselves as @moderators of this forum when testing out @discobot, a narrative welcome bot recently made available here. Discobot invites new users to use a private message to interactively learn key features of this site. The experience has certainly alerted me to the fact that software like this that offers 1-on-1 interactions require a great deal of real world user testing and refining.

@MariaPetersen mentioned an interesting chatbot in another topic - I’d be interested in hearing real world feedback on how that bot is working out.


(Maria Petersen) #6

Hi Tobias. Interesting article. Yes, I would also be curious to hear how the chatbot service works especially considering the sensitive topic (military sexual trauma). I personally get easily frustrated when talking to a robot about relatively simple and impersonal things like navigating Discourse :slight_smile:



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