Lecturer on Law
Dr. Ron A. Dolin is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law’s Center on the Legal Profession. Dr. Dolin teaches a course, first taught at Stanford Law School, on the impact of legal technology on the practice and nature of law. He is currently co-editing and authoring chapters in a forthcoming book on legal informatics to be published by Cambridge University Press, expected in 2019.
Dr. Dolin’s areas of research include developing and analyzing legal quality metrics: definition, implementation, and assessment of the metrics; impact of standardized quality benchmarks and testing methodology on the legal system, including in-house selection and management of outside counsel, increasing access to justice, legal technology startups and general competition, latent middle-class market, and UPL regulations. Dr. Dolin’s research considers legal market analysis from the perspective of Innovator's Dilemma (Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School) including the role of bar associations, incentives, business structures, and other factors impacting the adoption of, and barriers to, legal innovation. This research includes comparison of the legal profession with other sectors such as medicine, hi-tech, and consulting, including the use of standardized billing codes, quality metrics, and education.
Dr. Dolin has advised both legal technology companies and computer science graduate students on, and directly contributing to, core legal technology engineering efforts including the application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automated bar exam question answering, and the automated classification of legal documents and general legal information.
Dr. Dolin received his B.A. in math and physics from U.C. Berkeley before heading to Geneva to work at CERN, the high-energy physics lab. After a few years, he left for graduate work, obtaining a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Santa Barbara with his dissertation on scalable search. Ron was one of the first 100 employees at Google, and left after several years to get a law degree. He is a licensed attorney in CA.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Dolin is also an angel investor, focusing on legal technology startups. He has taught MCLE courses on document automation for the CA Bar, and was on the executive committee of the Bar’s Law Practice Management and Technology section. He co-founded the Program for Legal Technology and Design with his ex-student and Stanford alum Margaret Hagan and worked on legal innovation at Stanford Law’s Center on the Legal Profession. Ron has been asked to participate on panels and give talks at universities and organizations such as Stanford, COLPM, ILTA, ACC, and CLOC on issues related to legal technology and innovation. Ron was selected as one of the 2014 Fastcase 50, and 2014 ALM Recorder’s Innovator Award recipient.