Biralatei Fawei


pdf bib
Passing a USA National Bar Exam: a First Corpus for Experimentation
Biralatei Fawei | Adam Wyner | Jeff Pan
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

Bar exams provide a key watershed by which legal professionals demonstrate their knowledge of the law and its application. Passing the bar entitles one to practice the law in a given jurisdiction. The bar provides an excellent benchmark for the performance of legal information systems since passing the bar would arguably signal that the system has acquired key aspects of legal reason on a par with a human lawyer. The paper provides a corpus and experimental results with material derived from a real bar exam, treating the problem as a form of textual entailment from the question to an answer. The providers of the bar exam material set the Gold Standard, which is the answer key. The experiments carried out using the ‘out of the box’ the Excitement Open Platform for textual entailment. The results and evaluation show that the tool can identify wrong answers (non-entailment) with a high F1 score, but it performs poorly in identifying the correct answer (entailment). The results provide a baseline performance measure against which to evaluate future improvements. The reasons for the poor performance are examined, and proposals are made to augment the tool in the future. The corpus facilitates experimentation by other researchers.