Honorary Professor Dr. Axel Adrian

Person and Career

  • 1969 born in Fürth
  • 1975 School enrolment in San Diego Cal./USA
  • 1989 Abitur at Hardenberg-Gymnasium in Fürth
  • 1989 – 1994 law studies at the FAU
  • 1994 – 1996 legal clerkship in Nürnberg and Ansbach
  • 1996 – 1997 lawyer in the central legal department of Siemens AG
  • 1997 – 2000 notary Assessor in Feuchtwangen and Fürth
  • 2000 – 2006 notary in Naila
  • Since 01.04.2006 notary in Nürnberg
  • Since 2019 honorary professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Homepage of the notary’s office


Authorisation to teach

  • Legal theory and legal design


Academic Focus

  • Philosophy of science, theory of law, legal methodology, philosophy of law
  • Legal-Tech, in particular interdisciplinary questions of law and structural or computer science (logic, mathematics, computer science)
  • Constitutional law, electoral law, demography
  • civil law
  • On the following YouTube channel you will find some content about Legal-Tech:



  • Postgraduate Ass. jur. Michael Keuchen
    Research Assistant
    E-Learning Coordinator for the Law Department
    QuiS II TP08 „Digitalisierung der Lehre“
    Service unit „Lehre und Studienberatung“
    Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
    –  Department of Law –
    Schillerstraße 1, 91054 Erlangen, room 0.223
    Phone: +49 (0) 9131/85-26360
    Fax: +49 (0) 9131/85-22849
  • Research assistant Student Lukas Ehrlich
    Phone: +49 (0) 163/6392090


Previous teaching activities

  • Propaedeutic exercises in civil law.
  • Proseminars on the technique of examination processing, legal methodology, scientific theory and computer science (legal tech, legal theory and legal practice).
  • Seminar on the subject: Will the judge’s machine judge soon? Interdisciplinary perspectives on „Legal-Tech“ with Mr. Cevc, Prof. Evert, FAU, Dr. Flessner, Prof. Hofmann, Prof. Kohlhase, FAU, Prof. Mayr, Dr. Merdes and Prof. Nöth, FAU.
  • Lectures on corporate law
    (with simulated authentication procedures).
  • Lectures on legal tech and on issues of artificial intelligence and legal decision making, as well as on how legal tech will change the way we work.
    (with various guest speakers from Siemens, IBM, DATEV, Landesamt für Steuern, Autonomous Intelligent Driving, dem Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart und aus der Anwaltschaft, etc.).


Research projects/interests

  • Anonymization and pseudonymization of court decisions (with Prof. Evert, FAU)
  • Examination of contract clauses on BGH corpus (with Prof. Evert, FAU)
  • Digitisation of criminal prosecution of shoplifters (Prof. Kudlich, Prof. Noeth, both FAU)
  • Argumentation Mining for legal reasons (Prof. Kohlhase, FAU)
  • Ontologies and Legal Reasoning (with Dr. Cheptsov, HLRS -High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart- und Schönhof, IZS -Frauenhofer Institut Stuttgart)
  • Legal and Technical Possibilities of Internet Arbitration Courts in Germany – Comparison with the „Internet Court“ in Hangzhou/China (with Prof. Gesk, University of Osnabrück)
  • Monograph:Grundelemente folgerichtigen Denkens (so far only working title, currently only in preparation)
  • Textbook: BGB der Suppenwürfel – Alles was ich im Bürgerliche Recht für das Examen wissen muss (so far only working title, currently only in preparation)



Current Event WS 2020/21

In the winter semester 2020/21 I will hold a pro/seminar on argumentation theory. The idea for this has arisen from the previous collaboration with the computer scientist, Prof. Dr. Kohlhase, on formalizing legal arguments with the help of the MMT Framework. The seminar will deal with topics such as whether the concept of argument can be defined at all, whether criteria for „valid“ arguments can be defined, whether „convincing“ arguments can be distinguished from only „persuasive“ arguments, etc. Finally, philosophical references to e.g. philosophy of science and epistemology are also shown. How, for example, have the criteria of scientific testability changed from intuition, verification and falsification to the question of the rationality of arguments? Finally, references to symbolic AI and to the question of the possibility of representing legal arguments with machines will also be dealt with. The following topics will be assigned as seminar papers:


  • The Aristotelian foundation of the theory of argumentation
  • Stephen Toulmin “The Use of Argument”
  • Chaim Perelman “La nouvelle rhétorique. Traité de l`argumentation”
  • Charles Hamblin “Fallacies”
  • The expansion of logic in argumentation theory by Trudy Govier and Christoph Lumer
  • Manfred Kienpointer’s „everyday logic“ and the rationalization of rhetoric through 60 argumentation patterns
  • The specification of the error theory by John Woods, Douglas Walton and Eric Krabbe
  • Deppermann’s empirical linguistic analysis of the arguments
  • The current theory of argumentation according to the so-called „Amsterdam approach
  • The concept of argument after Harald Wohlrapp
  • The formalization of legal arguments for processing with machines
  • Legal argumentation and the idea of Cognitive Computing by Kevin D. Ashley (AI and legal analytics)

The Aristotelian foundation of the The course is particularly aimed at students in the first four semesters. Special previous knowledge of argumentation theory, legal methodology or philosophy of science would be helpful, but is not expected. Introductory notes on the contents of the respective topics as well as information on introductory literature will be given in the course of the first dates and also especially during the allocation and preparation of the topics.

You can find the presentation slides here: Slides Pro-Seminar

The Proseminar will take place virtually on Zoom. The access data for this are as follows:
meeting ID: 496 272 3955
identification code: 278329

Last Event SS 2020

The lecture „AI and legal decision making“ took place as a zoom meeting. As guest speakers have lectured:
Martin Kurtze, Siemens AG
Hubertus Rust, Bavarian State Tax Office
Dr. Tobias Wagner, DATEV eG
The videos of the 12 double lessons of the event can be found

WS 2019/20

The presentation slides can be found here.

SS 2019

The presentation slides can be found here.

WS 2018/19



  • Examiner in the oral first state examination for civil law and for the bachelor’s programme.
  • Member of the board of the Digital Tech Academy der FAU.

Publications (Status 2020)

Dependent publications

  • Juristische Methodenlehre und die „Keck-Entscheidung“ des EuGH, in: Europaisches Wirtschafts- und Steuerrecht 1998, p. 288 ff.
  • Die Nailaer Demografie-Tage – Ziele, Inhalte, Bilanz und Perspektiven, in: Der demografische Wandel in der Grosregion Luxemburg 2005, p. 263 ff.
  • Der Wettbewerb der Kommunen in der demographischen Schrumpfung, in: Der Bayerische Burgermeister 2005, p. 290 ff.
  • Wie wissenschaftlich ist die Rechtswissenschaft? – Gibt es eine bindende Methodenlehre?, in Rechtstheorie Heft 4/2010, p. 521 ff.
  • Der demografische Wandel, Wir schrumpfen und altern, in Datev Magazin 2012, p. 8 ff.
  • Erben über Grenzen, Deutsche Erbschaft im Vereinigten Königreich, , in Datev Magazin 2013, p. 22 ff.
  • Sicher auf neuem Terrain, Haftungsfragen rund um die Testamentsvollstreckung, in Datev Magazin 2014, p. 12 ff.
  • Berliner bleiben, Vererbung, in Datev Magazin 2/2015
  • Populär aber tückisch, Das Berliner Testament, in Datev Magazin 4/2015
  • Der Richterautomat ist möglich – Semantik ist nur eine Illusion in Rechtstheorie Heft 1/2017, p. 77 ff.
  • Besteht eine Rechtspflicht zur Einführung eines Wahlrechts ab Geburt? In frühe Kindheit Heft 6/2017 (Jubiläumsheft von Liga für das Kind 2017), p. 28 ff.
  • Ist ein Wahlrecht ab Geburt rechtlich möglich? In Rechtspsychologie (RPsych) Heft 1/2018, p. 8 ff.
  • Besteht eine Rechtspflicht zur Einführung eines Wahlrechts ab Geburt? In Rechtspsychologie (RPsych) Heft 2/2018, p. 208 ff.
  • Juristische Methodenlehre – Ein Vorbild für verantwortungsvolle Digitalisierung?, In Verantwortungsbewusste Digitalisierung, Tagungsband des 23. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposiums IRIS 2020, Hrsg. Erich Schweighofer/Walter Hötzendorfer/Franz Kummer/Ahti Saarenpää, Bern 2020
  • Max Rapp, Axel Adrian, Michael Kohlhase, Context Graphs for Legal Reasoning and Argumentation, available at:
  • Interview „Legal Tech Professor: ‚My proposal is to combine legal tech with basic subjects'“, available at:
  • Book review of Büttner/Frohn/Seebach, Electronic Legal Transactions and Information Technology in Notaries, C. H. Beck, 2019 in MittBayNot 5/2020, p. 423 f.

Independent publications


  • Video series

To what extent is artificial intelligence already being used in the legal market? Are there any differences to the American legal area? What role does the availability of judgments play and how sustainable are we? How secure will the jobs of lawyers be in the future?

Video interview with lawyer Tom Brägelmann by notary and lecturer Prof. Dr. Axel Adrian.

  • Radio interview