Computational Law

OAH Projects

Project Description - Many claimants of public benefits (i.e. SNAPS aka Food Stamps) have a distrust or lack of faith in the judicial decisions surrounding benefits. While there is some measure of discretion the majority of these decisions are rather computational and based on factors such as the claimants income and dependents. The OAH would like to build a tool for applicants and claimants that has three layers of functionality.

  • Screening - The claimant would enter information into a web portal that would determine if the original award or rejection was correct based off of existing law and the financial information entered

  • Explanation - The tool would then pull and display the relevant laws or regulations that went into making that decision. Example - A father of four is awarded $500 in food stamps currently, one child becomes 18 and leaves the house so his award is lowered to $400. A portal here would reference a regulation stating awards may be reduced when the amount of dependents in the household decreases

  • Resolution - If the case is appealable that option will be presented. If not other measures like public interest programs may be displayed

General Notes

  • There are three benefits they would like to focus on (priority on the first two) - SNAP, TANF, and medicaid eligibility
  • The tool would be referencing the relevant federal regulations on these subjects
  • They would like a student who has taken Administrative Law if possible, so as to have a clear articulation and interpretation of the relevant rules
  • They are in conversations to also host volunteer Georgetown Law students over the same period and are wondering if a collaboration is possible with the selected Stanford students
  • A secondary objective would be to create an internal tool that uses the same computational logic to aid judges in calculation of public benefits
  • They are open to allowing the student to work on other tasks as well
  • They are open to a Summer or Fall position (I shared Fall would likely be best)
  • They are unsure if they want a CS student working as the only supervision they would have for that discipline are IT people. I told them we were flexible
  • with arrangements and if we found a suitable platform to build off of we may not need the CS expertise
  • Ryan would likely be the Supervising Attorney


Combined Benefits Application
Medicaid Example
SNAP Example 1
SNAP Example 2
TANF Example