Minna Fingerhood STSC '19:
In short, I built a legal case recommendation system for underserved defendants after completing my data science program post-graduation. I was motivated by the irresponsible use of big data as discussed in my thesis, and wanted to find a way to counteract and balance the bureaucratic power augmented by algorithms. Specifically, I wanted to use data as a way to empower individuals, rather than a method of furthering inequality. With the Case Law Access Project's Data from Harvard Law School, I performed NLP on majority opinion text from cases between 1970 - 2018, so that an individual awaiting trial could, in theory, look up the 15 most similar cases to their own, based on text. This would enable individuals to educate themselves and their public defenders on relevant precedent or arguments. I am honored that the team at Harvard asked me to write a blog post about my process and final project which you can find here, if you are interested: https://lil.law.harvard.edu/blog/2019/10/22/guest-post-creating-a-case-recommendation-system-using-gensims-doc2vec/