Day One of the inaugural ATJ Tech Fellows Program’sLegal Access Innovation Curriculum” (LAIC) is in the books. From legal design thinking to the artificial intelligence and chatbots, ATJ Tech fellows got their first dose of legal tech training for the summer program. For those following along from home or who haven’t had a chance to check out the #LAIC hashtag on Twitter, here is the recap from Day One.

The LAIC is a series of competency-based virtual webinars designed to 1) increase participating fellows’ understanding of the nature and extent of access to justice issues, 2) provide training on the varied uses of technology in delivering legal services, 3) and help fellows gain exposure to different technologies and tools they’ll leverage over the summer.


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Advances in technology coupled with business model innovations are disrupting the legal profession to improve the legal marketplace and the provision of legal services in the U.S. While the key drivers of this movement include a wide range of tech savvy lawyers, academics, innovative law firms, legal tech companies, courts, bar associations, revamped legal education programs and clinics, and a host of non-profit legal service providers. There has been a recent trend of newly established legal networks, which serves as an catalyst for greater legal innovation.


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The Access to Justice Technology Fellowship program today named its 2017 class of ATJ Tech Fellows, recognizing 8 exceptionally creative and diverse law students from across the nation with a passion for technology and public interest law.

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Exemplifying what it means to be an innovative law student, the ATJ Tech Fellows program was created

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The ATJ Tech Fellows program is seeking diverse and entrepreneurial-minded law students who are passionate about social justice and want to spend the summer learning new ways to leverage technology in order to improve access to legal services for people who can’t afford a lawyer.
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There is a clear case for the use of tech to improve our civil justice system. While there’s a huge legal accessibility gap in our nation, the use of tech and innovation can play a pivotal role to increase the capacity of legal services providers to address the unmet legal needs in many poor communities across the nation.


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A hackathon is an event, typically lasting 24-48 hours, in which a large number of people (software programmers, user experience designers, data scientists, project managers, and subject matter experts) meet to engage in competitive collaborative computer programming around a specific set of challenges. Teams that create the most meaningful and innovative solutions under the specific judging criteria are rewarded at the culmination of the event.


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Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 5.28.12 PMIn an earlier post, I set out a bold vision for the launch of the Access to Justice Technology Fellowship Program. This fellowship program will provide law students with an experiential understanding of the access to justice issues facing Americans and the knowledge to critically assess how innovation in the justice system can and is being used to address legal accessibility issues.

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Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 11.25.51 PMIn 2004, The Washington State Supreme Court adopted Washington State Access to Justice Technology Principles, which now guides the use of technology in the Washington State justice system. The first of its kind in the nation, the Principles ensure that “[u]se of technology in the justice system … serve[s] to promote equal access to justice and to promote the opportunity for equal participation in the justice system for all.” Since their inception, many states around the nation have adopted similar principles to provide a framework which creators of technology products and projects may use to extend access to the justice system.

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This summer, I had the privilege to intern with the Self-Represented Litigation Network, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit comprised of lawyers, judges, and allied professionals. Together, they are “creating innovative and evidence-based solutions, so that self-represented litigants have meaningful access to the courts and get the legal help they need”.
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I recently sat down with Aurora Martin, executive director of Columbia Legal Services to have a conversation about technology and access to justice. The full conversation can found HERE. Thanks to the great folks at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law Clearinghouse Community.

Please also check out our upcoming Webinar “Hacking