An Initiative of

Supported by


LSTS co-lead Prof. Hildebrandt presents Typology of Legal Tech at the CJEU "Innovation Days" Conference


Michelle Gay Nidoy


Photo Source: Court of Justice of the European Union

Kirchberg, Luxembourg, May 23, 2023 – Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt, FBA of Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), gave a very much appreciated keynote on COHUBICOL’s Typology of Legal Tech at the “Innovation Days” Conference organized by the Court of Justice of the European Union. In her talk entitled “The Challenge of Legal Protection by Design,” Prof. Hildebrandt underlined the importance of updating the skills of legal professionals with a critical assessment of what is now ‘sold’ as legal innovation.

“Legal practitioners must face the music and be trained in assessing ‘legal tech,” stressed Prof. Hildebrandt on why there is a need to help legal professionals in updating their skills.

Prof. Hildebrandt introduced the online tool Typology of Legal Tech, a tool created in close collaboration between lawyers and computer scientists to assist in mapping, comparing, and evaluating the various legal technologies. The Typology, developed by the entire COHUBICOL team, with Dr. Laurence Diver, Dr. Pauine McBride and Dr. Masha Medvedeva, as leads, is both a method and mindset that examines a key selection of legal technologies (applications, academic papers, and datasets), notably those that may impact legal protection and the rule of law. The team has evaluated them based on the claims made by their developers and/or providers and the (lack of) evidence supporting those claims. The Typology is a webtool where users are encouraged to experiment with the various filters to map and compare the various legal technologies.

As technology is transforming well-tested practices in the legal sector, it is essential to understand the potential impact of different types of legal technology on due process and legal protection, as key to both democracy and the rule of law. Though most vendors make verbose claims about their potential to speed up legal procedures, eliminate time-consuming manual labor, and increase access to justice, the investigations demonstrate that such claims must be understood as PR (advertising and marketing) rather than providing a proper understanding of what they can and cannot do. For this, it is key to dig a bit deeper.

Asked what the future of legal technologies might look like, Prof. Hildebrandt highlighted, “The integration of GPT in Casetext Co-Counsel indicates a radical transformation of legal practice.”

For legal practitioners, the changing environment of legal technologies offers both opportunities and challenges. As the Typology of Legal Technologies established, legal practitioners and scholars should not fall into the trap of embracing such new developments without assessing their substance.

The Typology is not meant as a marketing tool for the co-called ‘innovation’ of legal practice or as a database of randomly picked examples. Instead, it will assist both legal practitioners and researchers in using the implied method to figure out what technologies to invest in, how to (further) develop and deploy them, and which claims to dismiss as advertorial humbug.

An example of how to apply this method to new technologies can be found in the research blog on the Netherlands’ Jurisprudentie Tracker. The COHUBICOL team will also publish another blog on Casetext Co-Counsel in July (on the use of GPT in legal search).





Legal Tech


Other news

All news

All news