JordanFurlong + access   353

National | CBA National - The Power of Perspectives
The elements of the above service are already available, and a range of players from international giants to startups like Australia's Legaler have begun to stitch their own marketplaces together. It is the retail side of legal services that will be the first push in this direction, as a great many people have routine questions about law that can be quickly answered by a competent person. People who are not being served by existing offerings. The savings will come from a combination of better utilization of extra capacity from existing lawyers, outsourcing, digital workflows, and scale.

Platforms are profitable only with significant scale, but once they have achieved that — serving hundreds of thousands or millions of customers worldwide — there are massive benefits for consumers. But it takes technology to enable that enable that scale.

Disruption of retail law

A quality-assured legal advice app would be a challenge to existing legal practices that are focused on the low end of the market. However, the arrival of this kind of service would cause lawyers to migrate to the platform in order to bring in new business and focus on the law instead of finding clients. Some lawyers might resist it; others will see the opportunity and consumers will begin to recognize the brand, creating a virtuous cycle of growth. Most lawyers in Canada don't have a brand and potential customers are often confused about whom to turn to. A legal video chat app would address this gap and provide a more convenient platform for lawyers to help people.
access  innovation  chatbot 
14 days ago by JordanFurlong
Is access to justice a design problem? (099) | Legal Evolution
Several years ago, if someone asked me how to solve the U.S. access to justice problem, I would have replied, “more government funding, more generous philanthropy, and more pro bono hours from lawyers.”  With these greater inputs, a lawyer would be available to every citizen needing to access the legal system.  Almost as a reflex, I suspect a large number of my lawyer peers would have given the same answer.

But what’s the likelihood of a 5x or 6x increase in resources? Cf. Legal Services Corporation, “2017 Justice Gap” at 6 (June 2017) (reporting that “86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans in the past year received inadequate or no legal help.”). I’d put it at close to zero.

Today, I am much more hopeful about our ability to substantially solve access to justice.  But it’s likely going to involve a massive redesign of how many types of disputes get resolved, including the possibility of lawyers and courtrooms being engineered out the process.  I say this based upon what I have learned about the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), Canada’s first online dispute resolution (ODR) system. The graphic above is a screenshot of the CRT’s homepage, which also describes the tribunal’s current jurisdiction.
access  design 
9 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
Lawyers: Forget The Client, Welcome The Community. How Chicago Is Working For Justice For All.
What if legal aid were powered by the community? This is what social entrepreneur Lam Nguyen Ho is working on, starting with a network of community-allied lawyers and community groups in Chicago. Ashoka’s Annie Plotkin-Madrigal caught up with Ho to learn more.

Q: In broad brush strokes, how does legal aid work now?

A: Legal Services Corporation, a federal government program set up in 1974, largely controls what we know as legal aid in this country and funds it about half a billion dollars every year. It serves a great good and reaches many low-income people and communities. I’ve worked as a legal aid lawyer for more than a decade and I’ve seen and done remarkable work with LSC support. But there are big and growing gaps. One is that overall funding has dropped 60 percent in the past decade, making the system and its lawyers completely overstretched and locking out many who urgently need legal help. Even beyond funding, though, there are real structural limitations in how legal aid operates.

Q: What are the limitations?

A: For one, legal aid lawyers and organizations funded through this system can take on only some cases. Over 20 case “types” are excluded, including people facing gross injustices and civil liberty infringements like undocumented immigrants, sex workers, anyone who's in prison. Class action lawsuits and anything related to org
community  access 
11 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
The Escambia Project: An Experiment in Community-Designed Justice by Melissa Moss :: SSRN
Abstract
This article shares observations made during an experimental community-led, participatory design project undertaken to identify promising new solutions for civil justice services, from which the people in the local community would benefit and that they could easily use.

Nationally, the Escambia Project is likely one of the first times community members have served as equal partners and decision-makers throughout a civil justice participatory design project. Community-led approaches can help improve civic participation, create more democratic outcomes, build a sense of community, and strengthen participants’ attachment to their community and each other. The Foundation’s hope for this experiment was that this methodology could benefit Escambia County in the same manner and ensure that Foundation future investments in new projects to improve people’s access to legal assistance would be embraced and effective.

The Florida Bar Foundation funded and dedicated staff to the year-long experiment that generated three new initiatives that were prototyped, field tested, and prepared for continuation. Two of the three initiatives have been adopted by the community and continue. The Escambia Project ultimately engaged more than 100 community members and relied on the support of dozens of local volunteers and organizations.

The article also contains lessons learned and recommendations for how community-led participatory design could help transform the justice system.
access  community 
11 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
How and Why a Cynic of “DIY” Law Built a DIY Divorce Platform
With that information in hand, I next had to map out the user experience, which may seem elementary to developers and UX people but it was all new to me. I had to think about every aspect of what happens in the divorce process — not just the forms and procedural steps but the whole process from start to finish. When someone says they want a divorce, it requires not only thinking about living situations, custody of children, and finances but also managing the fear, anger, pain, and sadness that go along with those big life changes. It was crucial to account for the emotional aspects of the process in the user experience.
newlaw  family  access  innovation  startup 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Big Four May Gain Legal Market Foothold With State Rule Change
An attempt by several Western states to relax their bar ethics rules to make the legal system more affordable could have an unintended effect—allowing Big Four accounting firms to finally gain a foothold in the U.S. legal market.

Leaders of task forces in California, Utah, and Arizona say a widespread lack of access to justice for the poor and middle class in civil and family courts spurred them to action. But they note that a move to remedy this problem could lead to a competitive assault on Big Law from the Big Four accounting companies, EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG.

“I’ve heard that query more than a few times over the last several months—that the Big Four are going to swoop in,” said John Lund, co-chair of the Utah access to justice task force and a shareholder with Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City. “Well, what Big Law could say to that is: As long as the playing field is level, bring it on.”
governance  accountants  access  regulation  competiton 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Albany Law Students Create Tech Tool for Businesses to Obtain Nonprofit Status | Legaltech News
Albany Law School students have released a web-based Nonprofit Formation Tool to assist lawyers with clients attempting to gain nonprofit status.
The idea for the tool was formed during a “Law of Social Entrepreneurship and Exempt Organizations” course in fall 2017. The Nonprofit Formation Tool allows lawyers to easily create the certificate of incorporation and bylaws, important documents needed to gain status as a nonprofit in New York state. The documents are created after lawyers answer a few questions in a web-based program. The questions and program were created by Albany Law School students through the cloud-based program building A2J Author software.

The idea for the tool sprung from students observing a legal need in Albany.
“It was something needed in the community, something beneficial, and brings their [Albany Law School students] learned expertise they’ve developed in the course and spread that around with this digital tool,” said Ray Brescia, an Albany Law School professor and leader of the course. Brescia added that the tool received feedback from lawyers in the community and those in the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Formation Tool requires lawyers not to charge clients when using the software. The program is only accessible for lawyers admitted to the New York bar, who must enter their attorney registration number when applying to use the tool.

While lawyers who counsel simple corporate structures is the tool’s largest projected demographic, Brescia said the software’s convenience may also encourage pro bono services.

“[It’s] really a reflection of the need in the community. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for lawyers representing nonprofits,” Brescia added. “It might encourage more lawyers to take this on pro bono as well, if they had this tool.”
schools  access  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Microsoft Helps Develop an AI-Powered Bridge to Legal Aid | Legaltech News
The tool, which is in the process of being rolled out, was developed in partnership with the Legal Services Corporation, Pro Bono Net, Pew Charitable Trusts and Avanade to help plug a gap between people with limited resources and the know-how needed to navigate basic legal proceedings. Legal Navigator can’t offer advice—that’s still the exclusive domain of human attorneys—but it will be able to walk a user step-by-step through the red tape of executing, say, a divorce.

“All those types of things are very helpful to someone who can’t afford a lawyer because they don’t know where to start,” said Dave Heiner, strategic policy advisor at Microsoft.
The tool was originally conceived with more of a hard-coded linear approach in mind. In other words, Question A would automatically trigger a response containing Answer B. But advances such as natural language processing convinced Microsoft that an AI-based approach was the way to go. Users will have the option of browsing the system by clicking on topics like “Family Law” or engaging with a chatbot-inspired interface.
access  bots  robo 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Advice for law students from the founder of Canada's first legal cafe | Canadian Lawyer Mag
“I wanted to open up a more general law firm and re-invent the way the mainstream firm operates. I also wanted this firm to be part of the community,” says co-founder Dale Barrett, a computer programmer turned tax lawyer who also runs a separate tax practice.

“I settled on the idea of a café because a café is probably one of the most relaxing environments that people frequent, which could remove some of the stress and apprehension in acquiring legal services.”

Most people find dealing with legal issues nerve-racking, no matter what the outcome, and signing a retainer and putting thousands of dollars in trust doesn’t help. Enter the Lawyers and Lattes menus, which clearly state that an uncontested divorce will cost $949 and includes three hours of a lawyer’s time, an eviction notice will cost $49 and a notary stamp will set you back $25.

While finances are an integral aspect of access to justice, the environment shouldn’t be overlooked either.

“Back in the day, people would go to a law office and would be spoken down to in Latin maxims, and people don’t want that,” Barrett notes, adding that women and younger clients are especially keen on the café’s casual vibe.
wills  access 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Non-English language Miranda tools promise major changes in criminal justice arena
Six New Orleans police officers and detectives are now carrying large laminated cards with pictorial representations that incorporate a recording of the Miranda warning in Spanish and have a Spanish-language video of the Miranda warning in their cars as well. The tools, demonstrated Saturday at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, developed from a unique collaboration with the ABA Center for Innovation and other ABA entities, New Orleans police, the ITT Institute of Design and law students in Chicago and New Orleans.
access 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Access-to-justice gap? It's the economy
With limited alternatives, clients are turning to consumer loans to cover legal fees, a trend that should be embraced cautiously—if at all—regardless of the practice’s ethics.

If history serves as any guide, the general economic instability of Americans is not solved by more debt. In fact, the opposite is true, as debt allows system failures and economic fissures to persist and fester, which can lead to economic calamity, like the 2008 housing crisis.

“Ten years ago, a lot of the problems economically for households were sort of covered up in debt,” John Thompson, chief program officer at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, told the American Banker. “And it sort of feels like that’s starting to happen again,” he says of American consumer debt generally.

As of late 2018, Americans held $13.5 trillion in personal debt, according to Nerd Wallet.

Both due to the economic realities surrounding most Americans and our unhealthy relationship with consumer debt, it’s particularly hard to see how legal fee financing, of all the proposals to close the access-to-justice gap, is the solution. Legal fee financing is not alone in missing the larger issue, however, the broader conversation around access to justice would be better suited if it focused on foundational economic issues.

Bringing back unions—or finding another means to buoy labor—would decrease the justice gap in a way that improving access to legal fee loans or online tools never will. Making health care affordable, creating an equitable tax code or increasing the minimum wage would give people more money to solve their problems, including legal ones.

While these are not zero-sum trade-offs, the point is that a more holistic view of the justice gap and how to close it can help families dig out from decades of economic attrition and ultimately bring financially healthy clients back to the legal profession.

Only by expanding justice in our economy will we ever allow more people to find justice in court.
access  ethics 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Stanford and Suffolk Create Game to Help Drive Access to Justice | LawSites
Here’s an idea: What if there was a way to promote access to justice while having fun at the same time? That is the idea of a unique project launching today that uses a game to train a machine-learning algorithm. The algorithm ultimately will be used to better match those in need of legal help with the lawyers best suited to help them.

The game, called Learned Hands, is a joint project of Suffolk Law School’s Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, led by David Colarusso, and Stanford Law School’s Legal Design Lab, led by Margaret Hagan, with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Colarusso gave me a preview of the project last week and allowed me to log in and try it for myself. This morning, he published a detailed description of the project at Lawyerist.


Margaret Hagan
Players are challenged to spot the legal issues in real people’s stories about their problems. They earn points and rankings based on how many questions they mark and the extent to which their markings are deemed to be correct.
access  schools  design  gamification 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal Technology Tools Aid with Justice Problems But Remain Limited in Services Provided: Report - American Bar Foundation
CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2019 — A report released today by American Bar Foundation (ABF) Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur surveys the rapidly developing field of legal technologies for non-lawyers. Legal Tech for Non-Lawyers: Report of the Survey of U.S. Legal Technologies was created with funding from Open Society Foundations and examines an expansive list of over 320 digital tools that help a range of users to act on a legal problem.  

Each year, tens of millions of Americans face justice problems that have potentially wide-ranging impacts on core areas of life including livelihood, shelter, care and custody of minor children, neighborhood safety, and environmental conditions. Most of these issues do not reach the justice system and receive no attention from any sort of legal professional. Legal Tech for Non-Lawyers assesses how legal technology tools can assist people who do not practice law in dealing with these sorts of challenges, with a focus on bridging the access to justice gap for low-income communities and others who have restricted access to law and legal services.

The report identifies an extensive number of tools that aim to aid both individual users and those who work with the public on a range of criminal and civil justice problems.

Tools described in the report specialize in areas from criminal to civil rights to employment to health. Though no single tool offers a “one stop shop” for every kind of justice issue, most try to ease the experience of dealing with justice barriers for non-lawyers by providing legal information, offering connections to lawyers, or facilitating legal actions for users.

Although these tools offer resources to non-lawyers in dealing with justice concerns, many of them reflect outdated design standards, are limited in services they provide, and only partially match the type of justice issues most commonly reported by Americans. The report found that there is currently a substantial mismatch between the services offered by the legal tools and the services people need.

Because of barriers of language, literacy, and the cost of internet data access, the same groups that often cannot access traditional legal services, such as people with lower incomes or less education, are also less likely to be able to use many existing tools that would otherwise be available to them.

“There is another important cause of the mismatch between the help these tools offer and the help people need,” said Sandefur. “These tools could be more effective if they could provide more extensive help. That’s not a technological problem.”
access  it 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
No Country For Old Lawyers: Rural U.S. Faces A Legal Desert - Law360
When attorney Phil Garland first hung his shingle in Garner, Iowa, there were five lawyers in town. Over 40 years later, that number hasn’t changed. What has changed, though, is those lawyers’ ages.


“We’ve got three guys in their 60s,” says Garland, who is 73.

Garland is the only one who has hired a younger associate to take over when he retires. That means in a few years, the town and its 3,000 residents could be down to just one attorney to handle everything from real estate transactions and probate work to juvenile issues and criminal cases.

And Garner isn’t the only small town facing that problem. Adams County, Iowa, for instance, boasts only one attorney for its 3,686 residents, while Ringgold County, with 5,034 residents, is home to three, according to the Iowa Bar Association.

The problem isn’t unique to Iowa either. Although about 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only 2 percent of lawyers practice there, according to research by Lisa Pruitt, the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at University of California, Davis School of Law.

“Basically, the rural profession is in most places aging really quickly, and young lawyers are, by and large, not interested in going to replace them,” Pruitt says.

Faced with that trend, bar associations, law schools and others have begun experimenting with programs aimed at luring young attorneys to the heartland and making it more financially feasible for them, including through loan forgiveness, to set up shop in communities where residents’ options for filing a lawsuit or even drawing up a will might otherwise be painfully slim.

If they don’t succeed, some anticipate a not-too-distant future in which many people living in rural communities, especially those with limited resources, will have no access to legal help at all.

“Maybe I’ve just been denied my veterans benefits or some other type of public benefit, or maybe somebody has a child with disabilities, you know, how are they going to get the advocacy they need?” Pruitt asks.
access  rural  solo  courts  odr 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Is Crowdfunding Legal Services Ethically Permissible? - Attorney at Work
QUESTION: During a recent client onboarding of a divorce case, we discovered that she crowdfunded most, if not all, of our initial retainer fee. This was a first for us, and we were shocked. She said she received many donations from family and friends, as well as total strangers from around the country.

While we weren’t involved and didn’t advocate for this method of financing, we wanted to make sure we weren’t violating any ethical obligations by knowing that crowdfunding is paying for representation.

Is it ethical for a lawyer to represent a client who has used crowdfunding to solicit and accept donations to fund the lawyer’s fee?

ANSWER: The consensus of ethics opinions conclude that lawyers are generally allowed to represent clients who use crowdfunding to pay for representation. However, there are several ethical considerations to examine.

“Crowdfunding” is defined generally as funding a project or cause by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. This can be easily done via online platforms designed to share stories and process payments. While there are different models of crowdfunding, from straight donations to equity investing with expectations of returns, I’m assuming the funding here is strictly on a donation basis.
crowdfunding  ethics  access 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Provincial government tables legislation enabling the Law Society to regulate licensed paralegals | The Law Society of British Columbia
Since 2008, the Law Society has been exploring improving access to justice through the creation of a new, regulated category of legal service provider. In 2014, the Law Society asked the provincial government to amend legislation in order to enable the Law Society to put in place a new category of legal service providers and authorize the Benchers to determine the services that they could provide.

This afternoon, the provincial government tabled a bill that would give the Law Society the authority that we have been seeking. Bill 57, the Attorney General Statutes Amendments Act, 2018 includes legislative amendments that permit but do not require the Benchers to license paralegals to deliver limited legal services as determined and approved by the Benchers. A link to bill may be found here.

The Benchers will take time to get the rules and responsibilities of any new category of legal service providers right. The recognition that there should be a range of legal service providers is one of the elements of the Law Society’s efforts to address unmet and underserved legal needs and improve the public’s access to legal services. While several steps are required before any changes in who may provide legal services take effect, we are committed to continuing to engage with and receive input from the profession.
paraprofessionals  governance  regulation  access 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Access to Justice | American Academy of Arts and Sciences
“Emblazoned on the facade of the United States Supreme Court building are four simple words intended to embody the overriding principle of the U.S. legal system: EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW. Yet after more than 225 years, the nation still has not developed the means to fulfill this principle.”
access 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
New legal café offers alternative to law office, owner says - The Lawyer's Daily
t’s the only law firm around where one can tuck into a barbecue chicken wrap and pumpkin spice latte while getting divorced, drafting a will or dealing with a tax dispute.

This is what is being offered at Toronto’s Lawyers & Lattes Legal Café, a fledgling business that combines a variety of legal services with the breezy ambiance of a bistro-esque gathering spot.

Described by its proprietor as “Canada’s first legal café,” it opened its doors Oct. 29 in the city’s bustling Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. area.


Dale Barrett, Lawyers & Lattes Legal Café

It is the brainchild of Dale Barrett, an entrepreneurially minded tax lawyer who saw a need for an “accessible” and “affordable” alternative to the conventional law office.
access  innovation 
december 2018 by JordanFurlong
A Potentially Major Lifeline For Low-Income Legal Tech And A2J | Above the Law
With regard to making courts more efficient and enabling them to better serve the underserved, I’ve argued that they need to make better use of modern tools such as online dispute resolution. Urahn makes this very point:

Courts in Utah and at least 15 other states are beginning to use or explore another technology, online dispute resolution, to move the court process entirely online. On a computer or mobile device, people can take every step in the court process — learn about their legal rights, provide materials and evidence, complete other procedural steps, avail themselves of negotiation and mediation tools, and obtain court-enforced resolution of their disputes — without ever going to a courthouse.
access  innovation  crowdfunding 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Modernization Our Civil Legal System Needs
Name the dispute -- debt collection, eviction or foreclosure, child custody, bankruptcy, disability claims -- and chances are that the conflict ends up being resolved in the civil legal system. Every day, state and local courthouses are filled with people trying to protect family, home and livelihood.

Increasingly, individuals are navigating this system without legal assistance, sorting through forms, procedures and rules that are difficult, if not impossible, to handle without legal training. The proportion of civil cases in which at least one side didn't have a lawyer was 76 percent in 2013.

Many unrepresented litigants simply make no effort to pursue their rights or defend themselves. Most debt-collection cases, for example, end in a default judgment in favor of the creditor because the defendant fails to respond to the complaint. This may happen because the defendant is indeed in arrears and decides to do nothing, or because he or she is unaware of the lawsuit, feels little hope of success or cannot leave work to go to court.

RELATED
States’ Vital Role in Providing Civil Justice for Everyone A Solution for the Access Crisis in Our Civil Justice System When Cities Rely on Fines and Fees, Everybody Loses Our 2 Kinds of Criminal Justice, and How to Reconcile Them How 3 College Students Got a Better Deal for Domestic-Violence Survivors
Judicial leaders have made clear that this is one of the most pressing problems facing our courts. In 2015, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators issued a joint resolution calling for everyone to have access to effective assistance for their essential civil legal needs.
access  innovation  crowdfunding 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Major US Charity, Pew, Enters A2J Tech Field With ‘No Lawyer Needed’ Apps – Artificial Lawyer
One of America’s most influential charities, the Pew Charitable Trusts – which has an endowment of over $5 billion and nearly 1,000 staff – is to enter the Access to Justice Tech (A2JTech) sector, with a plan to develop two applications: one for online dispute resolution, and the other to provide better access to legal information.

A spokesperson for Pew told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We are focused on two technologies: online dispute resolution, which puts the entire court process online so people can go from filing a case to resolution without ever entering a courthouse, and legal navigator websites, which use natural language processing to help regular people diagnose their legal issues and identify a path forward.’

This the charity hopes will make America’s ‘civil legal system more accessible’ by implementing promising technologies to assist people without always having to use lawyers. As after all, good lawyers are never going to stop being expensive.

It’s the kind of project that pioneers such as Joshua Browder and his DoNotPay platform have already shown can be a viable alternative for solving certain types of legal issue, with the key phrase here being ‘without lawyers’.

Initially the charity will focus on pilots in Alaska and Hawaii to test out the applications.
odr  access  innovation  crowdfunding 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Mark Zuckerberg Missed an Opportunity - The Atlantic
Take the farm-to-factory migration. Hundreds of millions of people altered their way of life when collective mechanized effort became the norm. Their lives were generally much better in the end, but this transition took decades to sort out. It fueled the rise of communism, exacerbated urban poverty, and in some places led to failed states. It was rocky.

The success of this first technical revolution was not automatic. In the United States, its sharp edges were rounded not by laws of technology or economics alone, but by the sweeping, deliberate changes brought about by what we now call the Progressive movement, which created the Food and Drug Administration, child-labor laws, compulsory public education, boards of public health, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, muckraking journalism, and labor unions, among other innovations. By establishing minimum standards of safety and trust, these reforms made impersonal, large-scale commerce possible. Our charge today is to create an analogous effort to leaven today’s disruptive change so we get the good with less of the bad. Nowhere is this need more acute than with regard to social media, artificial intelligence, and the biotech revolution.
future  access  purpose 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Technicians Step In To Fight Justice Gap - Law360
The program Noyes stumbled across created a class of "limited license legal technicians" to help lower-income people in family law disputes, including divorce and child custody matters. Without any legal experience, Noyes jumped into the program in January 2015 and completed thousands of hours as an attorney-supervised paralegal before she was licensed as a technician in June 2017. A month later, she joined O'Brian & Associates, in Redmond, Washington.

"Before the development of the LLLT position, the field was incredibly stacked against the low- to middle-income litigant in the area of family law," said Noyes, who recently joined Genesis Law Firm PLLC in Everett, Washington. "I get a chance every day to assist those individuals in our court system who were previously voiceless."

Washington is one of four states with programs aimed at equipping nonlawyers with the tools needed to help shrink the civil justice gap either as dispensers of legal advice or guides for pro se litigants. Utah in early November launched a program that goes beyond family law to landlord-tenant disputes and debt-collection disputes with less than $11,000 in controversy.

Such programs are part of a broader movement attempting to reckon with "a spectrum of legal needs" that may not require an attorney, said David S. Udell, the executive director of the National Center for Access to Justice.

"We should be able, as a profession and a field, to offer a range of services that are responsive to those different needs," he said.

Different States, Different Approaches

The family of programs in places like Washington and Utah are part of a broader push for civil legal aid options that dates to the 1990s, when access to justice commissions began forming across the U.S., said Mary E. McClymont, a senior fellow at the Justice Lab at Georgetown University Law Center.


"There started to emerge, in the '90s, new mechanisms and new ideas, and among them were access to justice commissions in all the states, many new players seeing how to expand services for self-represented litigants, and it's now at a very significant level," McClymont said.

The Washington Supreme Court adopted rules governing the technician program in 2012, and the state held its first exam for the license in 2015. Since then, 39 LLLT licenses have been issued, though Noyes said only 34 of those people are actively working as technicians.
paraprofessionals  access 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
PORTIA.LAW - News & Views
The Future Firm Forum was held at the world-class Millbrook Resort, Queenstown, on the 19th and 20th of October. The Future Firm Forum is a law firm leadership and management conference attended by partners, directors, managers and lawyers from across the country, Australia and the UK. A number of speakers, including Portia principal lawyer Erin Ebborn and CEO Jarrod Coburn, addressed issues facing modern law firms; discussing how firms can innovate for and build a sustainable legal profession.
access  innovation  future 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
MSB Solicitors Liverpool | Solicitors in Liverpool | Liverpool Law Firm
Progressive, award winning and expanding leading Liverpool law firm with can do attitude. Quality driven cost effective legal advice across all sectors.
access  innovation 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Offering Flat-Fee, Limited-Scope Legal Help, New Site Sounds Like Avvo Legal Services, But with Key Differences | LawSites
Marchbanks founded the site together with Amber M. Rush, his partner in his Washington law practice and CEO of Basic Counsel, and two developers. They have been developing the concept for the site since before Avvo Legal Services launched, he says. Their goal was to develop a better and more transparent way for consumers to shop for legal services and for attorneys to commoditize at scale the cookbook-type services they provide. Ultimately, they believe, their platform could help narrow the gap in access to justice.

In posting packages to the site, attorneys are asked to outline and describe the steps involved in performing a service. These outlines serve two purposes. They help consumers understand the scope of a service before purchasing it. And, once the service is purchased, the outline keeps both the client and the attorney informed of the progress of the matter.

Both the client and the attorney can track and manage their cases through a dashboard. The steps outlined for the service are added to the dashboard and the system reminds attorneys of tasks due to be performed. Once the task is performed, the attorney checks a box and the client is notified automatically. That may trigger a next step for either the client or the attorney. In this way, the platform functions as a project-management tool, Marchbanks says.

An attorney can modify steps or timelines “within reason,” Marchbanks says, but the attorney must adhere to the quoted fee.
access  clients  process  ethics 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
We're no replacement for legal aid, says crowdfunding pioneer | News | Law Society Gazette
Gowthorpe said the centre had been visited by justice secretary David Gauke who ‘expressed an interest’ in crowdfunding. Gowthorpe sought reassurances that crowdfunding should not be seen as a reason to cut legal aid further.



Salasky: compelling stories

Source: Michael Cross

 

Salasky said she wasn’t aware of any sentiment to that effect from the lord chancellor but said: ‘Making statements like that without engaging first with those active in the area of legal aid would be a mistake.’ She added: ‘It cannot work instead [of legal aid]. It should be directed at people who are not eligible for legal aid but cannot afford to bring their case and provide a way for them to share their story’.

Salasky was giving one of a series of 'future of law' lectures in Chancery Lane. 

She said the platform allowed people to share humanistic and compelling stories that are not ‘too legalistic’. Five cases that were funded on the platform made their way to the Supreme Court and 85% of cases meet their funding target, she said.
access  legalaid 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
What is QnA Maker? - Azure Cognitive Services | Microsoft Docs
QnA Maker is a question and answer knowledge base (KB) service that applies custom machine-learning intelligence to a user's natural language question to determine the best answer.

QnA Maker enables you to power the cloud-based service from your semi-structured content such as Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) documents, URLs, product manuals and custom questions and answers. The easy-to-use web portal enables you to create, manage, train and publish your service without any developer experience. Once the service is published to an endpoint, a client application such as a chat bot can manage the conversation with a user to get questions and respond with the answers.
access  chatbots 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
LegalZoom GC Eyeing New Tech, Expansion Into Foreign Markets | Corporate Counsel
Can you be more specific about how you envision LegalZoom using blockchain technology?

When you think of small businesses that have to make regular payments or have to do regular invoicing and have to understand how to amend or renew contracts, putting them all into a smart system that tells them when and how to get that done so they’re not out there doing it themselves—that’s part of something the blockchain can do. But it can do a lot more. Right now we’re trying to figure out what, exactly, will a small business like. What will it need, use and pay for to make the contracting process a better value for the legal consumer?

What other new technologies are you excited about?

I’m excited about natural language processing and machine learning. These are technologies that we’re still exploring how they can be used. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think one day we might be able to ask questions of a very intelligent legal computer and get real answers to questions, questions right now that people don’t have answers to, questions right now where they’re having a hard time figuring out who can answer it and how much will it cost to answer it. If we can take that and make it more commoditized I think it will really change the face of the law. If we can figure out a way to harness the knowledge that most lawyers take to their grave and put it into an accessible, relatable medium, it’s something that can change the way consumers look at the law.
competition  access  innovation  it 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
The 80% tax on legal help – Gillian K. Hadfield
Now a bit of math:  the effective rate for a full-time lawyer who takes home $65,000 is about $35 an hour.

So a lawyer who is charging people $200 an hour is actually getting paid about $35 an hour for all the hours he or she works.  What is in that $200 rate?  Hours that the attorney doesn’t have any client work to do.  Hours that the attorney spends running the business, billing clients, trying to collect payment from clients.  Hours billed that are never collected.  Office rent.  Insurance.  Technology and equipment.  Time spent at conferences and networking events to find clients.  Advertising and creating content on a website or newsletter or legal publication to generate clients.

Now suppose that this same lawyer were able to work for a business that supplies legal services to the public–a LegalZoom or RocketLawyer or Avvo.  And imagine that in this job the lawyer just does law: the company does everything else.  Pays the overhead. Builds the website.  Finds the clients.  Pays for the insurance. Figures out how to price the work and get paid.  Let’s ballpark the cost of this overhead at 15% of the total–$5 per hour.

That means the company can charge the client $40 an hour and pay the lawyer $35. The lawyer earns the same salary.  But the cost to the customer falls by 80%.  That’s the 80% legal professional tax.

That 80% markup is the cost of the legal professional rules that prohibit the lawyer from taking a job with a company that provides legal services to the public.  The rules that prohibit the “corporate practice of law” or any “fee-sharing” (otherwise known as profit- and revenue-sharing) with anyone who is not a lawyer–like investors or business managers or software engineers.  A small-scale practice–which is where we find the lawyers who provide services to individuals and small businesses–is hugely inefficient.  Lawyers don’t benefit from that inefficient scale.  But clients pay for it–and mostly, can’t pay for it and so can’t access services.

That’s the irony:  Lots of lawyers are actually willing to provide their legal help to the market in exchange for an average of about $35 an hour.  That deal could be struck with the millions of people who need some legal help and who could pay that price (but not $200 an hour) if the rules let lawyers work for and with the non-lawyer professionals and investors who can get us to the scale and technology needed to generate large-scale access.
access 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
LegalZoom Announces $500 Million Investment, Among Largest in Legal Tech History | legalzoom.com
In one of the largest single legal technology investments to date, on-demand, Web-based legal services company LegalZoom announced this morning that it has received a $500 million secondary investment led by Francisco Partners and GPI Capital. The investment will also include participation from one or more Franklin Templeton Investments funds and funds managed by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers.

LegalZoom did not release the percentage of the company the new investors were purchasing. However, the investment stands to significantly raise LegalZoom’s valuation from just a few years ago—in 2014, European private equity firm Permira acquired between 47 percent and 50 percent of the company for $200 million, a deal that valued LegalZoom at $425 million at the time. Bloomberg estimates the new valuation at $2 billion.

Through this deal, Permira will remain the company’s largest shareholder. Bryant Stibel retains its entire ownership stake in the company, while Kleiner Perkins and Institutional Venture Partners retain the majority of their ownership stakes. As part of the deal, Dipanjan Deb and Neil Tolaney from Francisco Partners and Khai Ha from GPI Capital will join LegalZoom’s board of directors.
competition  capital  access 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
LegalZoom Offers Smart Contracts with Pioneer Clause – Artificial Lawyer
And for anyone who is wondering where LegalZoom is now in terms of scale and client reach, check out these numbers: since its foundation over 15 years ago, LegalZoom has served over 4 million customers in the US and the UK, and now has over 1,200 employees.

The company also recently received a gigantic $500 million secondary investment led by Francisco Partners and GPI Capital, giving it huge support for further growth in the US and other key legal markets around the world.
blockchain  access  innovation  competition 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
Simpson Millar unveils £50m plan to become leading consumer legal brand - Legal Futures
Cox: Firms need scale

Simpson Millar has unveiled a five-year £50m growth strategy to become one of a handful of consumer legal brands, starting with the acquisition of Liverpool practice EAD Solicitors.

The announcements are a major statement of intent by the firm, after it suffered under the ownership of Fairpoint Group PLC, which delisted and collapsed in August 2017, and had to cut 20% of staff last year as a result.

Simpson Millar has bought EAD through an administrator, but chief executive Greg Cox told Legal Futures that “the core EAD is actually very sound” – work such as personal injury (PI), clinical negligence, trade union and employment.
clementi  access  innovation 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
Co-op: We're now the UK's largest probate provider - Legal Futures
CLS: Sales are continuing to increase

The Co-op has declared itself the largest provider of probate services in the UK as its financials continue to improve.

The group’s interim results today show that revenues at Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) in the first half of 2018 jumped 31% to £16.1m, compared to £12.3m in the same period last year – which was itself a significant improvement on the year before.

Profit for the six months quadrupled to £800,000 when compared with 2017.

Earlier this year, the Co-op acquired Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest provider of probate, whose 170 staff took the total staff number at CLS to just over 600.

Simplify Probate was part of the Simplify Group, which also includes QualitySolicitors and residential property services company Move With Us.
clementi  wills  access 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
Free wills website recruits firms in bid to become top brand - Legal Futures
Brewer: Opportunity for law firms

The founder of an online service centred on free wills is recruiting law firms and national charities in a bid to become “the leading will-writing brand in the UK”.

Jonathan Brewer, formerly a commercial solicitor, said that, by blending legal advice and free online wills, Bequeathed was a way for law firms “to fight against the unregulated providers and the Co-op”.

He went on: “The reality is that free wills are out there. For the last 15 years solicitors have been supporting free will offers for charities. That ship has already sailed.

“Consumers think they can make a will for free and solicitors have been complicit in this. Solicitors can either rail against that or build their strategy around it.”

Mr Brewer said Bequeathed highlighted to consumers when they might or should pay for expert legal advice from a law firm.

“Will-writing is often relatively straightforward, even for a complex estate. The value for the consumer is in the advice that goes with it.”
wills  innovation  access 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
The failed storefront revolution and the inner guild in all of us (059) | Legal Evolution
One of the reasons that the problem of access and affordability of legal services is still with us is that members of the legal profession are unable to agree on its root causes. Cf. Post 057 (discussing framework for solving very difficult problems). Thus, I don’t expect all readers to agree with my analysis on lessons learned from the storefront revolution.

In brief, I believe that the youthful and idealistic visions of Joel Hyatt, Len Jacoby, and Steven Meyers failed because, within the existing regulatory structure, they were unable to balance the needs of ordinary people, who were cash-strapped and intimidated by the legal system, with the needs of licensed lawyers seeking rewarding work for adequate pay.

Some practicing lawyers may resent this characterization, but Hyatt Legal Services and Jacoby & Meyers were/are professional service firms.  The fundamentals of this model are explained by David Maister in his classic book, Managing the Professional Service Firm (1993).  Obviously, a professional service firm can only succeed if it can operate profitably.  Yet, that outcome is only possible if a firm’s management can simultaneously succeed in two markets: the market for clients and the market for talent. See Post 010 (discussing model in the context of managed legal services).

The graphic below depicts the Maister model:
access  regulation  governance  competition  ethics 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Market Landscape Report (058) | Legal Evolution
The State Bar of California recently underwent a reorganization that separated the regulatory and trade association functions.  The State Bar retains regulatory authority while the California Lawyers Association (CLA) is the new voluntary bar that manages CLE and educational activities. The State Bar Act of 2017, which mandated these changes, also required transition to a Board comprised entirely of Trustees appointed by the State Bar’s oversight bodies – the California Supreme Court, the Legislature and the Governor.  The Trustees were formerly elected by the membership.  The reconstituted board will consist of seven attorneys and six non-attorneys to be appointed for four year terms.  Amidst these changes, the Trustees’ approved a strategic plan that required a comprehensive study of the market they are charged with regulating. My report is part of this effort.
regulation  governance  access  competition  innovation 
july 2018 by JordanFurlong
LegalZoom Offers Free Legal Service to Patients Rising Members. Just Don’t Call It Pro Bono. | Legaltech News
Online legal service provider LegalZoom has announced a partnership with non-profit patient advocacy organization Patients Rising whereby patients with life threatening diseases will get access to free legal, financial, insurance, and tax services. The offering will begin over the next few months.

Announced June 1, the partnership represents an expansion of LegalZoom’s Lifeplan service—an employee benefit product that connects users to legal, financial, tax and insurance advice—to also cover those that register through Patients Rising. Up until now, the product was solely offered to employers.
Patients Rising members will be able find, schedule and talk with attorneys and other professionals through the Lifeplan platform free of charge. However, Dave Freedman, general manager of LegalZoom Lifeplan, noted that the attorneys and other professionals will not technically be performing traditional pro-bono services. “They are part of the LegalZoom network and compensated through sort of our standard LegalZoom Lifeplan arrangement,” he said.

The advice Patients Rising members can access through Lifeplan is also not restricted solely to issues that pertain to their current health and financial situation. “We support them in their everyday life,” Freedman said.  Still, transactional services such as contract drafting are not offered free as part of the partnership, though they are discounted for Patients Rising members.
access  innovation 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
On-Demand Legal Providers Want to Put State Battles Behind Them | Legaltech News
LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer ultimately registered with the state, but Avvo sought to have the opinion reviewed. In June 2018, however, the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to weigh in.

But Avvo wasn’t waiting around for the State’s Supreme Court decision. Whether allowed in New Jersey or not, the on-demand legal service provider was aiming to reach more customers and position its company for further growth.

In January 2018,  Avvo agreed to be acquired by media and software services organization Internet Brands, a move that Avvo CEO Mark Britton said will help the company potentially evolve its on-demand service into new verticals. But make no mistake, Avvo is still firmly committed to serving the legal sector.

“Nothing ever really swayed us from our standalone path until Internet Brands,” Britton told Legaltech News. “They are different because they’ve got a real commitment to legal. They get legal. It’s hard to find people, investors, operating companies that get legal, that enjoy legal and are really focused on a mission of helping legal consumers and also helping lawyers.”

As Avvo sought to tie its future growth to another legal company, LegalZoom turned to broader types of legal consumers in a bid to secure theirs.
access  innovation 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
Confusing conversations about clients (048) | Legal Evolution
That said, Type 4-6 clients are heavily constrained by the adoption decision process.  Unlike Type 1-3 clients, where one person makes the buy decision, legal departments have to be much more deliberate. In theory, the general counsel presides over the budget and has the authority to spend it.  Yet, GCs have many items on their plate. Therefore, decisions regarding legal department systems are often delegated to a lieutenant. Because systems are not part of a lawyer’s formal training, the lieutenant has to climb a learning curve. Once an adoption decision is made, successful implementation will likely require major investments in change management. Cf. Post 008 (discussing prevalence of “massive passive resistant (MPR)” in corporate legal departments); Post 047 (emphasizing need for strong leadership to successfully implement law firm scorecards). This can strain the relationship between the deputy and GC.
clients  access  innovation  firms  robo  infographics 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
From Nigeria to Brazil to Canada: Access to Justice Tech on the International Stage | Legaltech News
The Global Legal Hackathon—a legal tech development competition that boasted participants from across five continents and, in the first round, over 40 cities—held its third and final round in New York on April 21.  Of the 14 remaining participants, two team were chosen as winners for the public sector tech category.

But while only two access to justice solutions took the top spots, many more competed in the monthslong event. The scope and diversity of these solutions underscored how such tech is shaping up across the world in response to both local and global problems.

A Florianópolis, Brazil-based team, for instance, developed a solution named Apresente-se that allows local citizens to remotely be present before justice officials when needed. Alexandre Golin Krammes, product adviser at Softplan and a part of the Apresente-se team, noted that being present before a court can oftentimes be an arduous and time consuming endeavor because of his country’s overburdened judicial system.

“Nowadays in Brazil going to the court, they have long lines and the court has to have available employees to check them and say everything is OK,” he said.
startups  access  global 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Tech For A Change Project Launches | Above the Law
LTC: The objective of LTC is twofold:

To get cutting-edge technology into the hands of our nation’s legal aid providers for free so that they can increase their capacity to serve more clients; and
To help legal tech companies demonstrate how their products and services can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal services.
By facilitating the donation of legal technology, we hope to produce a win/win for legal innovators and legal aid providers.  We will help legal aid providers sort through various possible solutions and select those that are most worth implementing.  We will then help coordinate the legal tech provider’s installation of the technology.

Legal tech companies benefit as well.  These companies are often founded by lawyers who have a deep personal interest in helping to improve access to justice for the millions of Americans who are currently underserved, but these companies often don’t know the best way to make a contribution. By participating in the program, legal tech companies not only find a way to give back, but they also receive feedback on their products from lawyers and entities whose primary mission is serving more clients with fewer resources.  A side benefit can also be exposure of their products to potential customers, such as private practice lawyers who volunteer at legal aid offices.
access  innovation  it 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
First building block of Online Court goes public - Legal Futures
The first element of the Online Court went public today, with a beta test enabling people to issue county court money claims for up to £10,000 more easily.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the civil money claims pilot scheme “begins to deliver the vision set out by Lord Briggs… where he called for claims worth up to £25,000 to be solved in an online court”.

It will in time replace the “outdated” Money Claims Online (MCOL) system, although this will still be available as an alternative during the pilot.

We reported last month that Mr Justice Birss, chair of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee’s Online Court subcommittee, had warned that the public beta “may have been oversold” – though it has different and more advanced features than MCOL system, “it currently does not take the user any further than MCOL”.
courts  online  access  innovation 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Turnover up at Co-op Legal as it unveils Simplify Probate acquisition - Legal Futures
The Co-op has acquired Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest provider of probate, as it bids to become the dominant player in the market.

It has also unveiled a 13.6% increase in legal services turnover for 2017.

Simplify Probate was part of the Simplify Group, which also includes QualitySolicitors and residential property services company Move With Us.

Simplify Probate has 170 staff, taking the total staff number at Co-op Legal Services to just over 600. The price is undisclosed, even though it is likely to appear in the Co-op’s accounts next year.

As part of the deal, Co-op Legal will work in a strategic partnership with Move With Us, and its sister businesses DC Law and JS Law, to handle the property and conveyancing requirements arising from estate administration work.

It will replace the three firms on Co-op Legal’s conveyancing panel.

Last year, the Co-op brought its legal services operation together with its much larger funerals business to create a Life Planning division. It handled 16,342 legal matters last year, up 321 on 2016.
access  clementi  wills 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Paralegals in family law | Canadian Lawyer Mag
In addition, the regulator’s governing body endorsed a plan to study what other services should come under a further expanded licence, including the possibility of courtroom advocacy by paralegals, as part of its response to the Family Legal Services Review by former Ontario Court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo.

“One of the reasons I started this campaign was because I kept getting calls from litigants looking for services at a lower price, so I’m excited that we’re finally going to get access to justice for people with family law problems who can’t afford a lawyer,” says Yarmus, who runs Toronto-based Civil Litigations Paralegal Services.

“This time it’s actually going to happen. The law society and the attorney general are determined to implement this, and people will at last have a choice of legal service provider,” he adds.

Although he hasn’t yet decided whether to personally train up in family law once the new licence is available, Yarmus says he supports the move to mandate extra requirements before paralegals can begin practising in the area.

“Education is very important. We don’t want anyone who’s unqualified to be doing it,” he says.

But as paralegals inch toward regulated family law practice, a group of familiar foes stands in their way: the family law bar. Many lawyers in the area argue that anything short of a law degree is inadequate preparation for the complexities of family law.

Orillia, Ont. lawyer Fay McFarlane says the law society is making a mistake by giving paralegals an entryway to family law.

“It may be disastrous. Even us, as family law practitioners, have issues sometimes dealing with clients and their emotions,” she says. “I don’t think paralegals can handle it.

“If they had the training that lawyers have, maybe they could, but that’s why we’re lawyers,” McFarlane adds.

“Family law is complicated enough, but I don’t know how you can solve the problems associated with that by lowering the standards for people to be able to practise,” says David Harris-Lowe, president of the Simcoe County Law Association and partner at Barrie, Ont. firm Barriston Resolution Services.

He says the LSO proposal won’t directly affect him because his family law clients are unlikely to consider hiring paralegals even if they had the option.
family  access  paraprofessionals  innovation  courts 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
An Administrative Model of Family Law Dispute Resolution – Slaw
The time has come, in my view, to experiment with an administrative approach to family law. I suggest that an administrative family services agency be established as a pilot project in a smaller centre, such as Lethbridge, Barrie or Kelowna, for a few practical reasons.

Family law disputes are both commonplace and highly demanding of court time. According to a recent Juristat article, while only 34% of civil cases concern family law matters, these cases account for 56% of civil judgments and 61% of civil hearings.
Self-representation is more common in family law matters than in other civil disputes. In some jurisdictions the rate of self-representation is as high as 80%, and the numbers continue to climb. According to studies by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, in 2016, a party was self-represented in a fifth of the cases of family law lawyers and in more than two-fifths of judges’ cases, and more than three-quarters of lawyers and judges attending the 2014 National Family Law Program believed that the number of self-represented litigants had increased over the previous three years.
Family law is complex and highly fact-specific, and involves the application of common law and equitable principles, a host of case authorities, as well as legislation. Family law disputes often involve other areas of the law, including criminal law, child protection, tax law, the law of property, the law of contracts and torts, bankruptcy law, creditors’ remedies and company law. Family law disputes also involve difficult psychosocial concerns that are intangible, sometimes intractable, and always difficult to manage in the court system.
Implementing a scalable, evaluable pilot project in a smaller centre would, I think, use fewer resources, be easier to organize and adapt, and facilitate public engagement. It could also test other proposals intended to improve access to family justice, including triage processes and early neutral evaluation processes.
An integrated family services agency
family  access  admin  innovation  courts 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Services and the Consumer Price Index (042)
I have harped on the topic of “lagging legal productivity.”  The above analysis shows that if legal services cannot be delivered more efficiently, ordinary citizens will forgo legal services.  This is not a prediction; it is a statement of what is happening today.  State courts are glutted with self-represented litigants. At the same time, lawyers struggle to find clients who can support their practice.

The problem is not the necessarily the escalating cost of a lawyer’s time ($260/hr in the most recent CLIO survey, see Post 037), but our failure to update our institutions so that ordinary citizens can resolve their legal problems in a convenient and cost-effective way.  In other words, it’s time to redesign some of our most hallowed institutions.  This is the challenge of the next generation of lawyers, judges, and legal educators.
access  courts  innovation  data 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
ABS update: Gordon Dadds acquires first law firm post-float, Co-op launches divorce platform, will writers go under - Legal Futures
Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has launched an online platform for uncontested divorces with solicitor support, saying that often clients “don’t see the need for face-to-face interviews, and they’re looking for speed”.

Instead of sending an email to CLS, and being called back at any point during the working day, those using the new system will be able to book a particular time slot with a solicitor.

They have first to complete various questions online designed to ensure that they actually want a divorce, and also gather personal details needed to populate the divorce petition.

It costs from £600 plus court fees.
clementi  family  access 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
THIRD REVOLUTION IN FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION: ACCESSIBLE LEGAL PROFESSIONALISM | Semple | Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice
Innovation in family law firms in Canada. This article develops in the form of a survey of empirical data and scholarship on Canadian family law. Part 1 explains how and why legal issues arise from the dissolution of intimate relationships. This Part draws up on civil legal requirements surveys, surveys with lawyers, and data from interviews with litigants. The focus shifts to family law firms (Part 2), using new empirical data about the Canadian lawyers who do this work. Innovative fee structure: (i) innovative fee structure; (ii) innovative service variety; and (iii) innovative division of labor. A third revolution in Canadian Family Law. Part III. Our family law doctrine was revolutionized beginning in the 1960s, and alternative dispute resolution was similarly transfigured beginning in the 1980s. It is now time to a third revolution, in family law practice accessibility, to bring the benefits of family justice to all Canadians who need them.

 

Innovation in family law law firms can make concrete improvements to access to justice in Canada. This is what the author argues in this article, based on empirical data and research on Canadian family law. In the first part, he explains how the legal needs of separating and divorced parties are born, and why it is so difficult to meet those needs. This section is based on investigations of legal needs in civil matters, surveys of lawyers, and data from interviews with litigants. In the second part, the focus is on specialized family law firms (including solicitors who work alone), and this time, the author draws new empirical evidence about Canadian lawyers practicing in this field. Opportunities for innovation that can increase accessibility in the area of ​​family law are identified in three areas: (i) the fee structure; (ii) the range of services; (iii) the distribution of labor. A "third revolution" in Canadian family law is proposed in this section. Our doctrine in this area has been revolutionized since the 1960s, and the alternative mode of dispute resolution in family matters has also been transfigured since the 1980s. Now is the time to foment a third revolution, aimed at times the accessibility of the practice in family law,
family  innovation  access  courts 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
LSUC to consider changes to contingency fees | Canadian Lawyer Mag
cap on contingency fees is currently off the table for the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The provincial regulator released a number of proposed changes to contingency fee rules Friday morning in an attempt to make the fees more transparent, fair and reasonable, but a cap was not among the recommendations.

The law society’s Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues working group had been looking at a possible cap on contingency fees, but it decided against it because of concerns it might deny some victims benefits and reduce claims in some cases.
pricing  ethics  regulation  access 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Rechtwijzer Rides Again | Law, Technology and Access to Justice
The new product goes by its Dutch name: uitelkaar.nl. It is produced by what is effectively a tech startup company, justice42 (that is justice for two – geddit? Plus, it turns out that the founders are familiar with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Shareholders include the Belgian and Dutch social impact funds bankrolling the project and The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law which hold two  originally developed the Rechtwijzer. Enough funding has been provided for three to four years of development. The fund eventually want their money back but, even more, they want to see measurable social impact. The consequent target entails persuading 5 to 10 per cent of divorcing partners to use the platform.

Compared with most startups, justice42 is in a favourable position. It has inherited a project that has attracted international acclaim and high satisfaction ratings from its admittedly too few users. In its two years of operation, 2500 people used the old system, with 900 going all the way to divorce. Thus, there has been pretty good proof of concept. The Legal Aid Board, which was invested heavily in terms of both staff time and money, has been content to allow the new administration to administer the legal aid that subsidises low income users. Otherwise, the basic cost is 425 euros per party.

The website takes the user through the same stages from free intake and assessment to the production of an agreement for lawyer approval and then forwarding to a judge for the final court consent. You pay a fixed price for additional elements like arbitration and mediation. The new site only opened for business on 8 September and, rather charmingly, a board in the company’s offices is charting referrals on a daily basis. Some of the early trade came from those whose progress on the Rechtwijzer was interrupted by its demise. Already eight couples have made it to the end but the project has yet really to get into its stride.
odr  innovation  access  family 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
Putting Justice Within Reach: A Plan for User-Focused Justice in Ontario | Ontario.ca
Every day, tens of thousands of Ontarians interact with the justice system. And our government believes that in order to serve them effectively, the justice system must adapt and evolve to meet their needs. So that is exactly what we are setting out to do.

Broken down by our short, medium, and longer term plans, this document outlines Ontario’s vision and first steps toward a more modern, user-focused, adaptive system. The first wave will include moving old‑fashioned, in‑person court processes to online services. In the medium term, we will focus on our infrastructure and bring our courts into the 21st century, and in the long term we will leverage artificial intelligence and alternative dispute resolution models for the next generation of justice.

Ontario undoubtedly boasts one of the best legal systems in the world, but the reality is that as the digital world has grown around us, many of the processes that guide our legal system have remained stuck in another time.

Most other services we use now include paperless options by default, 24/7 online access, and technology that helps find solutions tailored to our situation. Yet, even the most routine interactions with the law, such as going through the jury screening process, or fighting a traffic ticket, can require people to take time away from their work and family to show up in person for matters that could be dealt with online.

The successes of initiatives like online filing for small claims and online child support orders clearly show that the system is ready for change. But more than that, the lessons learned from these early initiatives have shown us that the possibilities for this digital shift are endless. We are optimistic about these first steps but we know there is still so much more to be done.
odr  access 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
Canadian Bar Association - The Canadian Bar Association
It is intended to increase family lawyers’ awareness of the best available information to better assist parents in transforming their relationship from being a couple to being successful co-parents. As the first point of contact for many separating parents, effective lawyers need to be aware of the best practices and social science on family restructuring, and should be equipped to easily direct parents to quality resources for further guidance and information. 
family  access 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Decline of the PeopleLaw Sector (037) | Legal Evolution
I’ll now state an obvious truth:  Our legal system as it pertains to ordinary people is unraveling.  Hundreds of millions of people can’t afford to hire a lawyer to solve their legal problems. As a result, they go it alone or give up altogether.  In turn, as the PeopleLaw sector shrinks, a large number of lawyers are under tremendous economic stress.  No amount of tinkering at the edges is going to fix or reverse these trends. Instead, we need a series of fundamental redesigns.

This needs to be said clearly and emphatically. This is because the collective and societal solution to the declining PeopleLaw sector is not for lawyers and legal education to pivot toward corporate clients who can still pay the freight, though this is undoubtedly the direction of drift if we fail to forcefully acknowledge the woeful imbalance of our current legal system.
access 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Artificial intelligence law firm aims to roll out in remote, low socio-economic communities - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Once where a lawyer may have sat behind a desk at the law firm, is a user-friendly system called Ailira, which is short for Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.

It can help clients with consumer legal advice from wills to business structuring and asset protection, as well as tax professionals for tax law research.

With a few clicks of a button, a client can enter their details and will then be asked a few simple questions by Ailira, before the robot generates a fully certified will.

"It was really easy, just putting in basic details and it does the whole thing for you, so really good," client Logan Turnbull said.

"Probably only took about 15 mins for each will, so really speedy."

It is technology you might expect to see in Silicon Valley or big cities, but the service was set up at Coolalinga, in Darwin's rural area.

"People who really need access to justice are the people who can least afford it," developer and lawyer Adrian Cartland said.
access  robo 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Cost Disease, the Practice of Law and Access to Justice – Slaw
This is the phenomenon that was first noticed by the late Princeton economist William Baumol, that’s sometimes referred to Baumol’s Disease or cost disease. It refers to the fact that if workers become much more productive doing some things — and their wage has to be the same in all sectors, then there’s going to be a tendency for the price of the areas in which labor is not becoming productive to rise. That’s why it costs more to go to the theater relative to other things that it did when I was a child. That’s why tuition in colleges has risen. That’s why the cost of mental-health counseling has risen. All kinds of activities where it takes inherently a person one hour to provide a given service and where productivity growth is defeating the point. Productivity growth in education, after all, is a higher ratio of students to teachers — which is exactly the opposite of what we all want for our kids. Those structural changes are going to define our economy.
access  productivity 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
U of C’s Aspire Legal Access Initiative offers a new model for family law self-reps | Canadian Lawyer Mag
Besides providing innovative legal services to self-represented litigants with the support of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law through funding and articling students, Kyla Sandwith, executive director of the program, says the initiative will provide data and education to the Alberta bar on “what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

“We want to show we can be self-sustaining, that we can generate an income through this model because I think there are a lot of barriers to change in the profession and one is the idea that you can’t make a living doing it this way or doing it any other way than the traditional billable hour.”

Sandwith has no family law background, but as U of C law dean Ian Holloway wrote recently for Canadian Lawyer, she had other attributes, among them “an innovation mindset and experience at system design.”

“Most of my career has been spent looking at how we operate our law firms, how we govern ourselves as a profession,” Sandwith says. “A lot of my education and my work has centred around finding better ways to do what we’ve been doing for years.”
access  family  schools  innovation 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Family law could bypass judges in plan being trialled by government
he pilot dispute-resolution project, which will involve parents appearing before multi­disciplinary panels without legal representation, is aimed at providing a quicker and less complex alternative to the courts, and will have input from experts other than lawyers.

Psychologists, social workers, paediatricians and drug and ­alcohol specialists could be among the non-lawyer members of the panels, which will have one or more members.

The $12.7 million trial, which will begin in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, and another location yet to be announced, comes as the government embarks on a broad family law system review.

The Australian Law Reform Commission review will include an examination of whether the current adversarial system is the best way to protect children, and of overlaps between the federal courts and state child protection system.
family  access  innovation  nonlawyer 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Technology and Access to Justice: the end of the beginning? | Law, Technology and Access to Justice
One scenario is, therefore, that technology adds a further element of bifurcation in a legal profession where internationally oriented commercial work is already delivered in a very different way from low income private client cases. Life in a law centre or low income practice is already very different – almost unrecognisable – from that in one of the large City firms. Technology will just add to that difference. Family, housing, employment, immigration, asylum work will – to the extent that services have not been killed off by legal aid cuts – continue to be done by hard pressed, underpaid lawyers and paralegals still toting unruly piles of books, papers and notepads while everyone else has gone digital and is brandishing iPads. To some extent, this is probably what will actually happen.

However, there are a number of reasons to think that the future will not be quite so stark.

First, foundations and funders, like the Legal Education Foundation, are putting money into what could be groundbreaking new projects. The Rechtwijzer is dead; but long live its continuing inspiration. Its promotion changed the perception of what could be done around the world – a tribute to the team behind it at the Dutch Legal Aid Board and what is now known as the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law. The notion of interactive delivery of legal assistance initially through guided pathways – and potentially some form of AI  – is so evidently sensible that it is unsurprising that providers are springing up to continue testing its possibilities.

Second, there is likely to be a ‘trickle down’ effect from the corporate world – particularly in the field of business management. Commercial practice management software – like the Canadian firm Clio – is beginning to incorporate forms in its processes where clients can input their own data. That would elide very easily into the sort of initial information and triage that, on the one hand, is the goal of the US Legal Services Corporation and, on the other, was the aim of the Siaro product developed by Alan Larkin at Brighton firm Family Law Partners – even thought this now seems currently stalled.
it  access  innovation  robo  firms 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
Representing Rural Clients from a Big City Office - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work
Urban Lawyers, Rural Clients: Tapping into a Growth Opportunity
Programs encouraging relocation can only do so much. But urban lawyers can do much more, and without even leaving their city offices. By relying on simple technology — such as videoconferencing, secure document sharing, and even text messaging — to reach and represent clients, urban lawyers can offer much-needed help in hard-to-reach locales while tapping into a growth opportunity for their businesses.

But it’s not enough to say that “technology can solve it.” Like any business, a virtual law practice needs to understand its target consumer; otherwise, marketing efforts can fall flat and money spent on tech tools can go to waste. Small-town residents may not behave like big-city ones. So here are some things urban attorneys should think about before seeking out rural clients.

1. Make sure you know what kind of “small town” you’re looking at. Robert Wuthnow, a renowned sociologist at Princeton, talks about two kinds of “small towns” in his 2013 book “Small-Town America.” The first is a relatively low-population community with all the romantic qualities we imagine small towns having, but in reality, it’s a municipal subdivision of a large metro area. These types of towns can access the amenities of nearby large cities, and so may not experience the types of access to justice issues described above. The second type of small town, in contrast, is more autonomous, and much less connected to a large municipality. It’s in these towns that access to justice may be a dire problem. So before launching a billboard ad campaign in a nearby “small town,” do some homework on what kind of town it is. Research it online, but also take a drive there to determine how removed and independent it seems. What other lawyers are around?
solo  access  rural 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
Curation Over Creation: Getting the Most out of Existing Legal Information – Slaw
Setting the Scope: Choosing Questions
Following the cutting-edge design of Steps to Justice, we set the scope of my work by the questions our pages would answer. To have the greatest impact, we focused on questions that were:
(1) common,
(2) had serious consequences for non-compliance (both legal and practical),
(3) were most difficult to find an answer to.
To figure out (1) and (2), we started from the list of questions CLEO receives most frequently and consulted multiple times with the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) on what they believed were of highest priority. I figured out (3) over the course of my research by seeing what other well curated hubs of content existed.
When it comes to how you write the questions, it is crucial to understand that people want the one thing lawyers are often most reluctant to give them—a straight answer. A well written question is precise and straight-forward enough that a straight answer is possible without compromising legal accuracy. There are almost always exceptions and qualifications to add, but if you start with a nice clear answer, the user is relieved enough to read on. A clear-cut question will also help you sift through the resources much quicker, since you’ll know exactly the kind of answer you’re looking for.
km  access  ple 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
Slave to the algorithm | Feature | Law Society Gazette
Milos Kresojevic, information architect at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, reminded ICAIL that legal AI must address the needs of the practice and its clients and that there was a danger of firms focusing on the much-hyped technology rather than its practical results. He outlined how Freshfields links together a portfolio of commercial AI products – including Kira Systems and Neota – to create bespoke solutions that can then be productised to differentiate the firm’s services. As he explained later, however, differentiation involves significant effort. Freshfields’ real estate transaction team in Germany has trained Kira to recognise over 1,000 German language documents, thereby retraining the technology to create a unique Freshfields version of Kira whose output interfaces with German AI-powered data extraction engine Leverton. Freshfields is currently training Kira to work in more languages. ‘Applying AI solutions in multiple jurisdictions increases the firm’s reach and its ability to handle more complex work,’ explains Kresojevic. However, he is frustrated by the lack of an end-to-end legal AI offering. While there are multiple products for document comparison and data extraction, the end result is an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF document! Firms such as Freshfields are using legal engineers: to bring together a smart portfolio of AI products into an end-to-end solution that delivers the firm’s business strategy and extends its competitive advantage. Kresojevic believes that the firms that are building complete solutions will continue to disrupt the market.

Disruption with a social purpose

A similar strategy, with a very different objective, is disrupting the opposite end of the legal services spectrum. Alan Larkin, director at Family Law Partners in Brighton, has used intelligent technology to respond to government cuts in family legal services and the subsequent increase in the number of litigants in person.


According to the SRA, a third of people consider legal services to be inaccessible. Consequently, vulnerable people are being dragged through the family courts, at considerable cost to the courts service and further damage to the families involved. ‘They are missing the early intervention which lawyers used to bring, when public funding was available,’ Larkin says. ‘I understand the rationale behind proposals for an online court, but by the time cases reach court, the damage is already done. If local authorities developed an online portal where people could access advice, some of them could be directed to mediation and potentially avoid court altogether.’

However, there is a distinct lack of online resources for people seeking advice on family break-ups, the division of assets, child maintenance and so on.
robo  data  analytics  access  family  innovation  it 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
BYU Law School's new legal design lab aims to find solutions to access-to-justice crisis
righam Young University on Monday announced that its law school is a launching a legal design lab, which for its first project will help pro se defendants in Utah answer civil lawsuits.

“There’s a crisis in law right now, and it’s that legal services are very expensive,” Kimball Parker, the program director for LawX, told the Deseret News. The offering is inspired by Stanford University’s Legal Design Lab, which is led by Margaret Hagan, a 2013 ABA Journal Legal Rebel.

There are now more than 15 law schools with innovation centers, according to the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation.

“LawX will tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our legal system today. Some gaps in legal services may not be attractive targets for innovation by small, private startups or larger profit-oriented businesses, but closing these gaps would make a tremendous difference to many people who feel priced out of the market for legal services,” Gordon Smith, dean of BYU Law School, said in a press release.
design  access  schools  incubator 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
Exclusive: Online divorce business acquires family law firm - Legal Futures
Online Legal Services Ltd (OLS) – the company that runs the pioneering Divorce-Online website – has acquired south Wales family law firm Peter Thomas Law, Legal Futures can reveal.

It will enable Divorce-Online to capture the work arising from more complex divorces that is currently outsourced to other solicitors while it deals with uncontested splits.

OLS has worked with Peter Thomas Law for some time, with the lawyers handling a lot of consent order work. The firm became an alternative business structure (ABS) in October 2016 with OLS taking a minority stake, but it has now taken 100% ownership and its name will shortly change to OLS Solicitors.

The eponymous Peter Thomas will continue as head of legal practice and of finance and administration.

A new office will open in Swindon, where OLS is based, and recruitment has already begun. The two businesses combined have 22 staff.

The firm will operate on a fixed-fee menu where possible, offer an internet portal to allow clients track progress of their cases, and use apps, text messaging and other messaging platforms.
family  access  innovation  clementi 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
How chatbots will evolve over the next 5 years | VentureBeat | Bots | by Ben Lamm, Conversable
So what does the future looks like for bots? It looks a lot like the future of messaging. The future for conversational intelligence, however, is more nuanced. Here are the three major evolutions that will shape the intelligence behind bots in the next five years.
bots  robo  access 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
Five years on from its ABS licence, Co-operative Legal Services sees income and profits jump - Legal Futures
egal services revenues rose from £18m to £22m in 2016, “lifted mainly by more people coming to us for estate planning services, as well as our acquisition of Collective Legal Solutions (now known as Co-op Estate Planning)”, the group’s annual results announcement recorded. In 2012, it was £33m.

Operating profits went from £700,000 in 2015 to £2.2m last year, although the accounts have been restated to show zero profit to £1.5m to reflect that the £700,000, and the same amount this year, was put towards shared group membership services. In 2014, CLS recorded a loss of £5m. Profits in 2012 were minimal with the business investing for growth.

The announcement said: “We believe in providing legal services that are easy to access, giving fast and effective legal support at prices that are great value for money. In 2016, we invested in being able to take will, probate and conveyancing instructions online. Our members and clients gave us a vote of confidence and we’ll develop more new services in 2017…
clementi  wills  access  family  competition 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
Too many new lawyers? Build a wall? – Slaw
Over the last few years, there has been much debate about how to deal with the significant increase in the numbers of Canadian and foreign law school graduates seeking licensing in Ontario. While the number of articling positions has significantly increased, the number of applicants has increased even more quickly. The Law Practice Program (LPP) was established several years ago as an additional pathway to address this shortfall and to pilot a new approach to experiential training.
access  admission  governance  regulation 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
A2J Guided Interviews and online interactive PLEI - PLE Learning ExchangePLE Learning Exchange
Online interactive public legal education and information (PLEI) is helping some Ontario community legal clinics (clinics) serve their communities in new ways. Using customizable interactive software, called A2J Guided Interviews (A2Js), a partnership of clinics is delivering PLEI embedded in online tools for intake, document assembly, and referrals.
access  robolawyer 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Sometimes Legal Aid is the Problem, Not the Solution – Slaw
Not only is legal aid sometimes the problem, but there are times that the fixation on legal aid increases blinds the bar to the alternatives that might be available. Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) released a February 2016 report following a lengthy Family Reform Community Collaboration that I participated in, which envisioned a better approach to family law disputes through the use of early screening and triage to appropriate resources. Central to this approach was independence of the legal aid system entirely,
family  courts  access  innovation 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Report Calls for Paralegals in Family Law; Expanded Scope Possible | Paralegal Scope Magazine
Ontario paralegals who earn a “specialized licence in family law” should provide limited legal services in family matters. This is in the best interests of the public. So says Justice Annemarie Bonkalo, in a long-awaited report.
access  family  paraprofessionals 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Report anticipated to impact family law bar
The provincial government and Law Society of Upper Canada are commissioning the report, which is expected to be public soon. Bonkalo has been mandated to determine whether paralegals, law clerks and students should be allowed to handle certain matters in family law in the hopes of boosting access to justice.

In 2014-15, more than 57 per cent of Ontarians who engaged in matters in family court did not have legal representation, according to the provincial government.

Ras says the government should let other reforms such as bringing the whole province under a unified family court and expanding limited-scope retainers play out before even considering a widening of the scope of family law. Of particular concern to FOLA are the lawyers in small communities whose practices can include 20 to 25 per cent family law.

“If suddenly there is competition in town that is providing that same or similar level of service, maybe not to the full scope of what a lawyer can do but close, for lower rates, the economic logic suggests that the lawyer would just find other things to do,” says Ras. “So, instead of increasing access to justice, you would have one less lawyer doing family law or providing that service.”

Family lawyers question whether paralegals will be able to provide the same service, in what is considered a complex area of law, if the report recommends this.
family  access  paraprofessionals 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Family law firms finding ways to help clients afford their services - Legal Futures
Researchers found that 85% of firms offered unbundled services and 88% fixed fees. The most popular solution to help customers having difficulty paying for legal support was agreeing a (typically monthly) payment plan (93%). But the plans tended to be at the discretion of individual solicitors rather than a firm-wide strategy.

Although over a quarter of the consumers surveyed availed themselves of unbundled services – such as self-representation in court while the solicitor conducted the initial part of the case, including negotiating with the other party, and preparing documents or filing proceedings – firms themselves pointed to problems with unbundling in a family law context.

Some four in five firms said unbundling caused problems for cases and just over half said it caused issues for the firm. Many felt it was risky as there was potentially nobody with legal expertise having an overview of the case. However, firms that had successfully provided unbundling were more positive about its benefits.

Just under two-thirds of consumers in the survey (64%) said their solicitor’s costs were affordable. But the researchers stressed the high stakes nature of family law as a reason underlying this finding.

While 84% were able to find the money to pay their solicitor and 85% said cost was not a hindrance to the continuation of their case, almost half regarded the bill as more than they expected.
family  unbundling  pricing  access 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
NYSBA Partners With Legal.io to Launch 'Smart' Online Legal Referrals Service | Legaltech News
The NYSBA's new online platform uses machine learning technology to better understand and direct local New Yorker's legal requests.
access  robolawyer 
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
New Data on SRLs: The Spectacular Rise of the Savvy Self-Represented Litigant | NSRLP
Finally, there is what I personally find to be an astonishing level of calm, measured, self-awareness in the ways in which SRLs advise others on how to manage the psychological and emotional impact of self-representation. Some recommend finding a therapist to work with throughout the process (and suggest free services). Many more offer sage advice that emphasizes the need to stay focused on the goal, consider settlement if possible, and avoid escalation with the other side, and avoid being distracted by hurtful but irrelevant allegations. The bottom line, as one SRL puts it, is “(D)on’t forget the rest of your life. You will burn out otherwise.”
access  srl 
february 2017 by JordanFurlong
Nouvelle victoire du site Demanderjustice contre les avocats - L'Obs
Mercredi 11 janvier, le tribunal de grande instance de Paris en a jugé autrement. Dans une décision particulièrement étayée, le TGI a débouté les deux organisations de l’ensemble de leur demande à l’encontre de demanderjustice.com considérant notamment que "les juridictions concernées par les prestations fournies par la société Demander Justice peuvent toutes être directement saisies par une partie, laquelle n’est nullement tenue de recourir à un avocat pour ce faire".
competition  access 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
The Law Factory: An Industrial (Legal) Revolution for Law – Medium
The delivery of legal counsel shares much in common with the early auto industry. Legal services are scarce — luxuries afforded mostly for businesses, wealthy individuals, or people with subsidized access to counsel.
A new generation of lawyers are thinking about how to improve the process of lawyering — to increase quality, reduce waste and to reduce the risk of error. This kaizen for law looks to industrial processes to create a new era of abundance for legal advice, to make better legal counsel available to more people at lower prices.
Abundance of legal services could help liberalize legal services, making them more accessible to more people at lower prices. The assembly line in the automotive industry was learned from meatpacking. Can we learn industrial processes for legal services from the automobile industry?
automotive  standardization  robolawyers  access  innovation 
january 2017 by JordanFurlong
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