The legal technology company WordRake, whose software helps legal professionals hone their writing, has entered into a collaboration with the Access to Justice Technology Fellows, a program that trains law students to work with technology to enhance the delivery of legal services, through which each fellow will receive a one-year license to use WordRake at no cost.
The fellows program is a 10-week, summer fellowship program that trains law students to work with technology to improve delivery of legal services. Miguel Willis founded the program while a student at Seattle University School of Law. When he joined the Law School Admission Council as its first Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2018, he brought the program with him and expanded it. Now in its fourth year, the program supports 23 fellows from 20 law schools and offers one-on-one mentoring.
“I created this program to provide pathways for entrepreneurial law students who want nontraditional learning experiences and nontraditional opportunities to improve the legal system,” Willis said in a statement announcing the collaboration. “I wrote my way to this opportunity (and discovered WordRake in the process), so I know how important it is to write well.”
Ivy B. Grey, vice president, strategy and business development, at WordRake, said: “By supporting justice-based plain language technology projects and contributing to developing strong writing skills of diverse law students in the pipeline, WordRake can help build a better, fairer, more accessible system.”
Training provided through the fellowship program is all online and covers topics such as technology competence, project management, legal design thinking, and cultural competence.
The donation of WordRake could prove to be particularly useful this year, as several program fellows are working on projects that include the need to communicate in plain language. These include:
- James Cho, a fellow at Lagniappe Law Lab, a Louisiana 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is working on improving its websites, developing statewide automated forms, and advancing the Louisiana Civil Legal Navigator project. He is also assisting in restructuring and organizing content on the site.
- Mandy Li, a fellow at the Fulton County State Court Self-Help Center, is part of the team responsible for creating a strategic plan to improve services for self-represented litigants in Georgia. Her project includes development of website content for the plain-language resource explaining the different jurisdictions served by the three courts within their complex, and a plain-language glossary of legal terms and plain-language instructions for the court’s e-filing system.
- Faith Wanjiku, a fellow at Legal Services State Support, a project of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, is working to improve interactive content on the statewide legal information website, www.lawhelpmn.org.
“WordRake is the perfect partner for these projects,” Willis said. “The software will help our fellows improve their writing skills as well as the quality and clarity of the language they use in their access to justice projects.”