From Solum’s legal theory lexicon entry for corpus linguistics:
How do we determine the meaning of legal texts? One possibility is that judges could consult their linguistic intuitions. Another possibility is the use of dictionaries. Recently, however, lawyers, judges, and legal scholars have discovered a data-driven approach to ascertaining the semantic meaning of disputed language. This technique, called “corpus linguistics,” has already been used by courts and plays an increasingly prominent role in legal scholarship. This entry in the Legal Theory Lexicon provides a basic introduction to corpus linguistics.