CAT | General

Aug 19, 2014

UMass Law’s ‘Justice Bridge’ Pairs New Lawyers with Needy Clients

The University of Massachusetts School of Law has launched what it is calling an incubator designed to help new lawyers start their careers while serving modest-income clients who might not otherwise afford a lawyer. Justice Bridge is described as a legal access center and law practice incubator that will help enable new lawyers to deliver high-quality, [...]

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Aug 18, 2014

Microsoft Launches Document Management System for Legal

At the ILTA annual conference in Nashville today, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of a preview version of a new document management and collaboration platform designed for law firms and legal departments.

Called Matter Center for Office 365, it works with Office 365 and allows legal professionals to securely find, organize and collaborate on files within the familiar Office environment. (more…)

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Aug 18, 2014

Another App from the ‘Hackcess’ Winner

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I recently reported here about the ABA Journal’s Hackcess to Justice, the first-ever hackathon held during an ABA annual meeting. First prize went to William Palin, a Massachusetts lawyer. Over the course of the two-day event, he created PaperHealth, an iOS app that provides a quick and easy way to create a legally binding health care proxy or a non-binding living will on an iPhone or iPad.

As it turns out, Palin had previously created another legal app, PaperWork. Developed for use by family law attorneys in Massachusetts, PaperWork allows users to create PDF family law forms for use in Massachusetts. It includes forms for divorce and separate support, modifications, child support, paternity, change of name, financial reporting, and several others. (more…)

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Aug 14, 2014

Box Announces New Alliances in Legal

In two posts last year, I wrote about Box, the file sharing and collaboration platform, making a push into the legal industry through integrations with several mobile and web legal platforms (here and here). Today, two weeks before its major BoxWorks2014 user conference in San Francisco and just a few days before the International Legal Technology Association conference in Nashville, the company announced major new clients in the legal field and new law-related partnerships and integrations.

In today’s announcement, Box said that the law firms DLA Piper, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Perkins Coie and Stoel Rives have chosen Box to manage, access and share information for various purposes.

The law firms moving to Box represent a diverse set of use cases. DLA Piper, the world’s largest law firm, is leveraging Box to improve file sharing security gaps and replace unsanctioned tools with a secure end-user friendly collaboration tool. Additionally, through Box and Intapp’s partnership announced last year, DLA is using Intapp’s Integration Builder to integrate Box with HP Worksite and enable its mobile workforce to be productive from anywhere, while still protecting IP. Both Hinshaw & Culbertson and Stoel Rives rely on Box for external collaboration between hospitals and healthcare providers who need access to patient information for legal cases.

Box also announced a new relationship with HBR Consulting, a firm that provides strategic, technology and information management consulting services to the legal sector. Through the relationship, Box and HBR Consulting will work together to offer custom-built cloud-based storage and collaboration tools for law firms.

Also today, Box announced new integrations with e-discovery platforms Recommind and Logikcull. Box will now integrate with Axcelerate, Recommind’s review and analysis platform, to enable organizations to collect, analyze and review information stored in the cloud. With Logikcull, Box is enabling one-click integration that will allow its users to transfer documents and metadata from Box into Logikcull for use in e-discovery and investigations.

Logikcull’s cloud discovery and integrations platform directly integrates with Box APIs, eliminating multiple manual steps and allows users to easily search, collect and preserve ESI maintained in Box as part of litigation or regulatory matter. Additionally, Logikcull’s Culling Intelligence engine automatically categorizes Box documents into smart search filters like languages, email domains, custodians, and document types. Using these smart filters, legal teams can quickly get to the facts of their case and narrow their search to the right documents for review.

To read more about other legal products that can integrate with Box, see my earlier post: Box Furthers its Push into Legal with New Integrations.

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Aug 13, 2014

How Technology is Helping Deliver Legal Services to the Poor

It is estimated that all the programs and resources devoted to ensuring access to justice address only 20 percent of the civil legal needs of low-income people in the United States. And with dwindling funding due to decreases in IOLTA and other funding sources, the problem is only growing worse. Given this situation, technology is playing an increasingly critical role in helping to bridge the gap.

This presentation, “Doing More with Less: How Technology is Helping Deliver Legal Services,” is one I gave on Aug. 9, 2014, at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Bar Foundations.

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Aug 12, 2014

Rocket Matter Adds Outlook Integration

The cloud-based practice management platform Rocket Matter has announced that it now allows integration with Outlook email.

By installing a plugin in Outlook, users can associate a Rocket Matter case and billable time or costs with an email directly within Outlook. If an email has an attachment, the attachment will automatically be uploaded to Rocket Matter and be accessible through its web interface. (more…)

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Aug 11, 2014

‘Hackcess to Justice’ Spawns Creative Concepts

If you have any doubt as to the success of the ABA Journal’s Hackcess to Justice event on Thursday and Friday, consider this: Even Scott Greenfield said nice things about it.

The first-ever hackathon held during an ABA annual meeting, the event was a competition in which teams were given two days to develop technology that could help expand access to justice for those unable to afford or obtain legal services. Five teams competed, with prize money going to the top three. (more…)

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Aug 6, 2014

Supreme Court Review at ABA Annual

I am thrilled to be serving as moderator this Saturday for ABA annual meeting program, “On The Docket: The 2013 Supreme Court Term.” A panel of distinguished Supreme Court experts will look back at the recently completed term and also preview the notable cases accepted for the coming term. The panelists are:

  • Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for The New York Times and now the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law and Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School.
  • Renée M. Landers, Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, where she teaches administrative, constitutional, and health law.
  • Kannon Shanmugam, a partner at Williams & Connolly focusing on Supreme Court and appellate litigation and former assistant to the solicitor general in the Department of Justice.
  • Paul M. Smith, a partner in Jenner & Block’s Washington, D.C., office, where he chairs the firm’s Appellate & Supreme Court Practice.

The panel, part of the CLE Showcase, is Saturday, Aug. 9, 2-3:30 p.m., in the Hynes Convention Center, Room 311.

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Aug 4, 2014

‘Intralinks VIA’ Emphasizes Security in File Sharing and Collaboration

Collaboration projects are displayed as tiles. Click one to enter that project.

Collaboration projects are displayed as tiles. Click one to enter that project.

As a company, Intralinks has built a reputation as a leading provider of secure online collaboration platforms. Most notably, its Dealspace is a virtual deal room (or virtual data room) that is among the most popular applications for managing major mergers and acquisitions. Key attributes behind the success of Dealspace are high levels of security and a robust capacity for collaboration.

Now, Intralinks is taking on the likes of Dropbox and Box with a file sharing and collaboration platform of its own, called Intralinks VIA. Recognizing that many lawyers remain concerned about the security of Dropbox and Box, Intralinks VIA is promoting its platform as having the same bank-grade security features as its M&A deal rooms. (more…)

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Aug 1, 2014

A2J Author Launches All New Platform Today

Whenever there is a conversation about using technology to enhance access to justice for the poor, there is sure to be talk of A2J Author. Developed almost 10 years ago by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction and the Center for Access to Justice and Technology at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, A2J Author is a tool used by legal aid programs and others to create automated guided interviews to guide individuals in need of legal help. The interviews use graphics and easy-to-understand text to enhance their accessibility and usability.

An interactive interview created with A2J Author.

An interactive interview created with A2J Author.

Often, the interviews are used in conjunction with the Hotdocs document assembly program to help self-represented individuals create court and legal forms. The interviews are also used for online intake and to help guide individuals to appropriate legal help and resources. You can see examples of these at Stateside Legal and find many others at LawHelp Interactive.

The main idea of A2J Author is to make it easy for those who have no programming background to create these guided interviews. The principal users are staff people at legal services programs and in court systems.

Until now, A2J Author has been delivered as a locally installed software package and it worked only on Windows computers. (The resulting interviews were accessible on any Web browser with Flash installed.)

That all changes today, when an all-new, Web-based version of A2J Author is launched. According to John Mayer, CALI executive director, the new version will officially roll out today at noon Central time. “This is not an upgrade,” he writes, “this is a whole new platform.”

The new version of A2J Author is a single page web application designed to run in modern browsers and does not require a software package to be downloaded and installed on the author’s machine. This is because the software that runs the application is downloaded every time you visit the website. This has the advantage of allowing for rapid and continuous bug fixes and feature enhancements. It also means that A2J Author will work on your PC whether it runs Windows, Mac or Linux.

The old version of the software will remain available for at least six months at the old website, which will remain accessible at old.a2jauthor.org.

Mayer writes that the legal aid community has used A2J Author to deliver over 2.5 million interactions with users seeking legal assistance. He hopes to see this number grow to 20 million a year or more.

Access to justice isn’t just about quantity, but quantity does matter. Our goal is not to replace lawyers, but to make the limited human lawyer resources more valuable by concentrating their work where it can have the greatest impact. Technology vs. Lawyers is not an either/or. The greatest benefit will come from our strategic and intelligent use of Technology + Lawyers to increase access t justice.

Check out Mayer’s post for more details about the new A2J Author.

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