Washington Law Review


Visualization of information is currently touted in many major disciplines as the best way to manage large amounts of data and make information intuitively accessible. The law suffers from the same information complexity as other disciplines, but has heretofore failed to investigate the possibilities of approaching the law visually. This Comment employs the metaphor of legal map-making as a way to introduce the concept of visualizing the law. It presents two methods for making legal maps. The first is based on visualizing the law's organizing metaphors, using examples of "Evidence as a Bridge" and "Negligence as an Eight-Armed Balancing Scale." The second provides a template approach to case synthesis, illustrated by an analysis of the copyright case Sony Corporation ofAmerica v. Universal City Studios, Inc. Each example is a "map" of the law, in that it provides visual guidance for understanding legal concepts. The methods and examples presented are intended to provide a starting place for legal thinkers to investigate the possibilities of visualizing the law as a way to increase clarity and efficiency when analyzing and communicating legal issues.

First Page