If technology works so well in a legal setting, why haven’t we seen a greater breadth of legal tech solutions?
Op-Ed (NATIONAL, New York)
March 14, 2018
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Tags: Access to Justice, Funding: Private/Foundation, Technology
Organizations mentioned/involved: Upsolve
Emerging startups like JustFix.nyc and legal tech products like LegalZoom and DocuSign have lowered the barrier to entry for legal protection that was previously confined to law offices. Now anyone can write their will or incorporate a company without having to seek legal counsel. The dissolution of the traditional legal business model is good news for public interest law.
Access to justice is a fundamental human right, but most can’t afford to hire legal representation when the need arises. Public defenders, pro bono lawyers, and immigration attorneys provide a great service to citizens, yet the demand for legalsupport far outweighs the supply of legal aid services. There simply aren’t enough public interest lawyers to go around. Financial hardship shouldn’t be a barrier to justice. Fortunately, simple applications of technology can streamline legal representation, and with wider adoption, may reduce a key contributor to the economic inequality equation.