Anglo-American property law allows for ownership to be divided among multiple owners over time. The law of these future interests and the conveyances that create them is notoriously complicated. Conveyances follow rigid syntactic conventions and are governed by an intricate body of interlocking doctrines that determine their legal effect. These doctrines have been codified, but only in informal and ambiguous ways.

Littleton is an interpreter that automatically parses conveyances and displays the resulting state of title. It covers most of the kinds of interests covered in a typical first-year Property course, can evaluate the consequences of events, apply doctrines like vesting, and solve basic Rule Against Perpetuities problems.

Disclaimer: Littleton is an educational tool. Its output does not necessarily correspond to the law in any particular jurisdiction. This website does not provide legal advice.

Papers, Presentations, and Source Code

A Programming Language for Future Interests

24 Yale Journal of Law and Technology 75 (2022)

Property Conveyances as a Programming Language

SPLASH Onward! 2019

Property Law as a Programming Language


Littleton Source Code

Available under the MIT License


See Littleton in Action