A Survey on Legal Question Answering Systems

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Jorge Martinez-Gil


Many legal professionals think that the explosion of information about local, regional, national, and international legislation makes their practice more costly, time-consuming, and even error-prone. The two main reasons for this are that most legislation is usually unstructured, and the tremendous amount and pace with which laws are released causes information overload in their daily tasks. In the case of the legal domain, the research community agrees that a system allowing to generate automatic responses to legal questions could substantially impact many practical implications in daily activities. The degree of usefulness is such that even a semi-automatic solution could significantly help to reduce the workload to be faced. This is mainly because a Question Answering system could be able to automatically process a massive amount of legal resources to answer a question or doubt in seconds, which means that it could save resources in the form of effort, money, and time to many professionals in the legal sector. In this work, we quantitatively and qualitatively survey the solutions that currently exist to meet this challenge.

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