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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Every law firm, legal aid organization, law school and legal internship program claims to place a high value on diversity and inclusion, but the reality is that law is the least diverse profession in the nation. Thus, there’s huge gap between the legal professions’ diversity messaging and diversity numbers in actual practice. i.e “Talking the Talk, But not Walking the Walk.”

While my African American and Dominican American identity constantly reminds me of the lack of diversity and inclusivity in our curriculums, professors, and thought leadership in legal education. Being a heterosexual male in law school affords me a great deal of privilege in this space.


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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 legal profession will continue to undergo unprecedented structural and technological changes. Thus, there will be a growing demand for lawyers with the skills and ability to harness technology in the practice of law. From project management skills to modern business methods and design thinking, lawyers must adapt in order to survive the impact that the disruption of traditional legal services will have on the legal profession.


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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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SEATTLE, November 3, 2016 – Avvo, today announced that Tom Breitling, entrepreneur and author of “Double or Nothing,” will deliver the keynote at Lawyernomics 2017, its annual legal marketing and business conference for lawyers. The conference will be held April 20 – 22, 2017 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Breitling will discuss the art and science of placing bets to grow a business. He was a co-founder of Travelscape.com, a pioneer in the online travel space that was acquired by Expedia, and was the first to bring regulated real-money online poker to the United States with a later company, Ultimate Gaming. Breitling previously owned the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, where his unique business style was featured in the FOX TV reality show, “The Casino.”


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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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