AI & Law: Using AI For Legal Debugging

Lance Eliot
6 min readMar 13, 2023
AI can be used for performing legal debugging

by Dr. Lance B. Eliot

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Abstract: You can add a new and catchy lexicon to your lawyering skillset, namely the trending catchphrase known as legal debugging. The notion is a carryover from the programming or software coding field encompassing the craft and science of debugging computer programs. We can analogously debug our laws. Furthermore, adding AI into such debugging capabilities can significantly bolster the legal debugging aims.

Key briefing points about this article:

  • Gaining traction in the field of law is the notion of legal debugging
  • Recall that in the programming or software coding realm there is code debugging
  • This ostensibly consists of finding and removing bugs from computer programs
  • Turns out that the same notion can be applied to our laws, debugging them
  • AI-based legal reasoning tools can augment the legal debugging aspirations



The odds are that you’ve uttered the word debugging, at one time or another. You must have. Debugging is a ubiquitous term that is part and parcel of our daily lives.

You ostensibly remove a so-called bug or anomaly of some kind when you debug something. This notion was popularized via the computer field and has become a household word nowadays. I am honored to indicate that I met and knew the considered founder of the debugging watchword, Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the computer realm and revered for her many other accomplishments too.

Her story about the origins of coining the debugging moniker is decidedly the stuff of legend. In the early days of computers, the mainstay of the times consisted of mainframe-sized behemoths that had zillions of vacuum tubes inside of them. Due to the nature of vacuum tubes, there was a tremendous amount of heat given off and there was a notable need to ensure that the mainframe was properly air-cooled.



Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.