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History and Traditions

Layman E. Allen

Layman Allen joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty in 2009.

Date of Birth: 1927
Date of Death: 2018



Layman E. Allen has been a pioneer in the use of mathematical logic as a tool of analysis in law as well as in the use of computers in the field of legal research. He has developed a formal system of the logic of legal relations, which includes underlying systems of propositional, predicate, class, deontic, action, time, and capacitive logic. The primary application of the logic of legal relations and its accompanying legal relations language is in the drafting and interpretation of legal documents ranging from constitutions and statutes to contracts and by-laws. In the field of artificial intelligence and law the legal relations language has led to generative expert systems that facilitate analysis of legal provisions having multiple interpretations stemming from ambiguous expression of logical structure. His interest in teaching mathematical logic to lawyers has led to the development of a series of games about logic, mathematics, and law, the most notable being WFF ‘N PROOF, EQUATIONS, and The Legal Argument Game of Legal Relations. Professor Allen is a graduate of Princeton with an A.B., Harvard with an M.P.A., and Yale with an LL.B. His research interests are mathematical logic, computers and law, instructional gaming, and artificial intelligence. He came to Michigan Law School from Yale in 1966.

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