About us

The Digital Due Process Clinic provides high-quality, pro bono services to people struggling with automated scoring systems. Based at Cornell University, the program brings together multidisciplinary teams of students who work on real-world problems under the supervision of experienced faculty.

Why Digital Due Process?

Automated scoring systems play an increasingly important role in ordering our lives. Obtaining a loan, renting an apartment, rankSing in web search results, or making the shortlist for a job: all of these activities depend on judgments generated through a range of computational techniques like data analytics and predictive algorithms.

Problems do occur when things go wrong and people feel misrepresented by these systems. For example, what recourse does a person have when:

Cassidy McGovern (left) and Clinical Fellow Ranjit Singh

In all these case, the affected parties struggle to obtain what legal scholars call “due process,” i.e. the right not to be judged arbitrarily and to appeal an automated judgment. When systems are complex, proprietary, and opaque and legal recourse is impractical or limited, a special kind of expertise is needed to represent one’s interests.

The Due Process Clinic aims to fill this gap by gathering a multidisciplinary group of students under the supervision of experienced faculty and engaging them in research, advocacy, and outreach, using the tools of humanists, technologists, and social scientists.

Our work

Founded in September 2019, the clinic has a changing set of annual priorities. In spring 2020, we will be focussing on web search engines and the challenges of those whose livelihoods depend on them. Capturing and documenting the stories of small business owners, activists, and individuals, our main goal will be to get a better understanding of the problems and the measures people take (or not take) to solve them.

The team

Picture of Amy Eng

Amy Eng

Student Researcher

Picture of Annika Pinch

Annika Pinch

Student Researcher

Picture of Cassidy McGovern

Cassidy McGovern

Student Researcher

Photo of Chris Hesselbein

Chris Hesselbein

Graduate Researcher

Picture of Ciarra Lee

Ciarra Lee

Student Researcher

Headshot of Deana Gonzales

Deana Gonzales

Student Researcher

Picture of Emma Li

Emma Li

Student Researcher

Headshot of Kyla Chasalow

Kyla Chasalow

Undergraduate
Research Assistant

Picture of Kyrz Wisniewski

Kyra Wisniewski

Student Researcher

Headshot of Malte Ziewitz

Malte Ziewitz

Director; Assistant Professor in Science & Technology Studies

Picture of Ngai Keung Chan

Ngai Keung Chan

Graduate Researcher

Headshot of Ranjit Singh

Ranjit Singh

Clinical Research Fellow

Picture of Stephen Yang

Stephen Yang

Undergraduate
Research Assistant

Picture of Sterling Williams-Ceci

Sterling Williams-Ceci

Student Researcher

Interested in joining us? Applications for the 2021 cohort will open in the fall of 2020. In the meantime, you can learn more about the process here. We always welcome ideas for initiatives and projects. If you are thinking about a summer project or an independent study, please send a one-page outline to dueprocess@cornell.edu.

Alumni

August Chang, Student Researcher
Divyansha Sehgal, Student Researcher (now: Deutsche Bank)

Learning objectives

The Digital Due Process Clinic is a setting in which students:

  • assume primary responsibility for deliverables and client matters
  • provide excellent support and representation to those affected by automated scoring systems
  • develop key digital advocacy skills, including interviewing, counseling, fact investigation, drafting, negotiation, and, in some cases, technological support
  • engage in reflective practice, showing the ability to evaluate past performances and continually improve future performances through planning
  • collaborate with other clinic students, clinic supervisors, and community partners

Funding

The Due Process Clinic is generously supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University.

Scroll to Top