Legal technology to enable access to justice is one of the main topics at ABA / NLADA Equal Justice Conference 2013, being held 8-11 May 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The Twitter hashtag for the conference appears to be #ejcstl
Dr. Hagan says that the Lab currently is a nonprofit collaborative project among law students.
The Lab’s work currently addresses:
For more information, please see the Open Law Lab Website.
Several white papers from the 2012 Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice have been published as Occasional Papers by Harvard Journal of Law & Technology:
By including user input in the evolution of legal services, we can overcome the practical barriers to access, reaching billions of new clients and fulfilling the promises of equality made in our constitutions, treaties, and oaths.
For more information, please see the complete post.
Mr. McDonald discusses this topic at greater length in his VoxPopuLII post entitled Law in the Last-Mile: The Potential of Mobile Integration into Legal Services.
Richard Zorza, Esq., of the Self Represented Litigation Network, seeks comments on “how technology and access to justice can interact in the not-immediate future,” as he, Marc Lauritsen, Esq., of Capstone Practice Systems, and Lisa Colpoys, Esq., of Illinois Legal Aid Online prepare a “blue sky” white paper on technology and access to justice for the upcoming LSC (Legal Services Corporation) Technology and Access to Justice Summit.
Mr. Zorza says:
Sean Martin McDonald, JD, MA, of FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSMS:Legal has posted Law in the Last-Mile: The Potential of Mobile Integration into Legal Services, on the VoxPopuLII blog, published by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School.
In this post, Mr. McDonald describes the obstacles preventing many people in developing countries from accessing legal services. He then argues that new technologies, based on text messaging via mobile phones, can overcome many of these obstacles and substantially improve access to justice for low-income persons. He describes one such technology, FrontlineSMS:Legal, which uses text messaging to improve legal client intake and referral, client and case management, and caseload allocation functions for organizations offering legal services to individuals in developing nations.
This post should be of interest to the access-to-justice community, the information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) community, developers of mobile technology, and the legal technology community.
My new article, entitled Open, Generative, and User Centered: The Potential of SMS-Based Legal Technology for Development, has been published in Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6(1), 63-68 (2011), doi: 10.1162/INOV_a_00058. (Click here for an open access version of the article.) Here is a summary:
For those desiring to create user-centered means of improving access to justice for low-income citizens of developing countries, SMS-based systems seem extremely promising. Development of such systems seems consistent with several trends in legal technology, including the unbundling of legal services, the empowering of legal clients, the prioritizing of citizens’ legal information needs and access capabilities in the design process, and the use of open source software. Further, legal-practice systems rooted in text-message technology could be extended to encompass a range of innovative law-related services and functions, including interactive document creation, e-filing of court documents, information retrieval, survey data collection, and online conferral with non-lawyers who possess relevant legal knowledge. By “meet[ing clients] where they are” and cultivating open systems, developers of open-source, SMS-based legal technologies such as mLegal exhibit great potential to enhance access to justice for low-income individuals in developing nations.
The article is a response to: Sean McDonald, Esq., The Case for mLegal, Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6(1), 41-62 (2011), doi: 10.1162/INOV_a_00057 (Click here for open access version). Many thanks to Sean for the opportunity to contribute this article.
Sean Martin McDonald, Esq., of Frontline SMS and Frontline SMS: Legal, has published The Case for mLegal, Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 6(1), 41-62 (2011), doi: 10.1162/INOV_a_00057. (Click here for an open access version of the article.) Here is a summary:
While there are a number of obstacles [facing citizens of developing countries] to accessing legal systems, many of them are the result of barriers to communication. SMS is the world’s cheapest, most ubiquitous data communications platform, in large part, because it overcomes many of these barriers. Through simple pieces of open-source software, legal service providers could use SMS interfaces to keep digital records, conduct basic remote intake, and improve client management, reducing costs at a time when every cent counts. This article is an exploration of the potential role of mobile technologies in the extension and improvement of the rule of law.