Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration
November 14, 2016
In the United States, approximately 80 percent of the serious civil legal needs of low-income people are unmet, disproportionately affecting poor communities of color and other marginalized groups. In addition, legal aid is under-resourced and underfunded, resulting in a situation where even people that are able to qualify for representation through a legal aid organization are not getting assistance.
Can the use of technology, human-centered design, and innovative collaborations increase the capability of the civil legal services community to meet the legal needs of poor persons in this country? How can law students learn to use and deploy technology in a meaningful way to close our legal access gap and ensure justice?
This Social Justice Monday featured a group of legal innovators who discussed the challenges in our civil justice system and the need for future lawyers to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds – or even thousands – of clients at once, wherever possible. The panelists also discussed the ATJ Tech Fellows Program—a national program to educate law students in the use of technology to improve legal service delivery.
Brian Rowe, Program Manager, Legal Services Technology Assistance Project at Northwest Justice Project. Brian, a lawyer and techie, manages the National Technology Assistance Project and teaches at the University of Washington and Seattle University. Brian lectures on Privacy Law, Cyborg Rights, Ethics, Copyright and Information Policy. Find him online at Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @sarterus.
Destinee Evers, 1L, Seattle U School of Law. Destinee serves on advisory committees for the KCBA and WSBA, including the Access to Justice Board’s Technology Committee, and is the program coordinator for ATJ Tech Fellows. Prior to law school, Destinee spent six years as a civil litigation paralegal with a focus on complex-asset divorce litigation.
Miguel Willis, 3L, Seattle U School of Law. Last year, Miguel organized Seattle U’s first ever Social Justice Hackathon, and the recent TeamChild Hack, collaborative events bringing the legal community together with technologists to build innovative technologies to tackle long-standing problems. Additionally, he serves as the founder and Program Director for ATJ Tech Fellows.
Interested in learning more? Here are related books from the Law Library:
Reinventing the Practice of Law: Emerging Models to Enhance Affordable Legal Services
Law Library LAW-Reserve (KF336.R45 2014)
We all want to make things better. We want to improve our law practices. We want to improve the legal profession. We want to improve our communities. Reinventing the Practice of Law explores ways in which lawyers can change their practices to make things better – for themselves, their clients and their neighborhoods. The book encourages lawyers to step out of the mold and consider how they can create better practices when providing personal legal services. This book offers a useful compendium of essays from nationally known lawyers describing how they have begun to make our legal system more accessible to moderate income clients. These distinguished authors address the practical, ethical, and business dimensions of new ways of providing legal advice and assistance. – From the Publisher
This book presents groundbreaking discussions on e-residency, cryptocurrencies, scams, smart contracts, 3D printing, software agents, digital evidence and e-governance at the intersection of law, legal policies and modern technologies. The reader benefits from cutting-edge analyses that offer ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing issues caused by e-technologies. This collection is a useful tool for law and IT practitioners and an inspiring source for interdisciplinary research. Besides serving as a practical guideline, this book also reflects theoretical dimensions of future perspectives, as new technologies are not meant to change common values but to accommodate them. – From the Publisher
If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.