Justis Writing Competition

July 18, 2018


Dear Readers,


We are proud to present the Annual Survey Issue of the twenty-fourth Volume of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology(JOLT). Since the Journal’s inception in 1995, JOLT has consistently published articles illuminating how technological innovations are integrated into and affect the legal industry. This issue features articles from two of the speakers from our Symposium, “Artificial Intelligence and the Law” and delves into concerns raised by the growing presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in our world.

In our first article, “Artificial Intelligence and Governing the Life Cycle of Personal Data,” author John Frank Weaver studies legislation designed to regulate artificial intelligence, with a focus on the data utilized by artificial intelligence.  The article explores the various phases involved in the life cycle of data and how this data is governed and maintained within information systems. The author explains how as AI programs become increasingly intelligent, one’s data may be transformed into a new entity with a life of its own. The article concludes with Mr. Weaver emphasizing that in order to effectively regulate AI, personal data must be regulated over its entire life cycle, all the way to the destruction phase.

Author Thomas E. Spahn provides our second article, entitled “Is Your Artificial Intelligence Guilty of the Unauthorized Practice of Law?”  Mr. Spahn addresses the ethical issues implicated by the use of artificial intelligence; specifically, whether the use of AI constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. The article tackles how various states have defined the practice of law and the central ways in which a lawyer might face liability for the unauthorized practice of law. Mr. Spahn goes on to survey the repercussions of AI providing what arguably constitutes legal advice and the opinions given by both state bars and courts on the subject.

On behalf of the Volume XXIV JOLT staff, I want to extend our most sincere thanks to our incredible Symposium speakers and authors. I would also like to recognize and thank the JOLT Editorial Board and staff, particularly my Annual Survey and Symposium Associates, Caroline Grossweiler and James Williams, for their continuous dedication and attentiveness in making the Symposium a great success. As always, JOLT greatly appreciates the ongoing support of our faculty advisors, Dean Jim Gibson and Professor Chris Cotropia.



Eleanor K. Faust

Annual Survey and Symposium Editor, Volume XXIV


Artificial Intelligence and Governing the Life Cycle of Personal Data, Frank Weaver

Is Your Artificial Intelligence Guilty of the Unauthorized Practice of Law?, Thomas E. Spahn