SCALES: Insight into Federal Court Data

Research Project, 2019

Though data about the federal judicial court system in the US is supposed to be open, in reality it is hard to access due to various friction points. Not only is there a paywall to access the data, but the information in that data is difficult to access due to the high barrier to entry for all but legal experts.

To address these issues, an interdisciplinary research team at Northwestern University has created the Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation EventS Open Knowledge Network (SCALES-OKN) project. By using a mix of AI and database techniques, we go beyond data availaiblity and also focus on information accessibility. Our goal to is to have an end-to-end system that can help users find the cases they care about, ask natural language questions about these, and generate representations best suited to answer the questions.

My contributions to this project have been mainly on the AI and analytics side. I helped develop the tools for obtaining data for Machine Learning models and I developed the analytics engine that helps answer questions for users.

For more information on this project, check out the SCALES or the C3 Lab websites