Thursday, August 4, 2016

Here Comes Stanford!

I was surfing the net the other day, well . . . because that's what I do, when I came across something that I found very intriguing. The Legal Design Lab is a project at Stanford University. The Legal Design Lab (formerly the Program for Legal Technology & Design) was founded in fall 2013 to bring designers, lawyers and technologists together to advance legal innovation and access to justice. The folks there run workshops and teach classes on how legal design and technology can be applied to specific problems in the world of law. They create concept designs for new legal products and services, and build them out with agile, design-driven teams. The development projects at LDL are also research-driven, to create results about what works in legal innovation. Their ultimate goal is to build a stronger community around innovation in legal services, and to do this they’ve adopted a core open-source ethic.

How about this for an idea: The Court Messaging Project is an open-source initiative to build an out-of-the-box tool for any court or legal services group to send automated messages to their clients.  The overarching goal of the project is to make the court system more navigable and to improve people’s sense of procedural justice — that legal system is fair, comprehensible, and user-friendly.

Or this: Navocado is small team of lawyers, developers, and designers abuilding a new set of interactive, user-friendly guides & tools to navigate the complexities of the legal system. They will connect legal experts with lay people, helping them communicate about what legal options are open and how to pursue them.  This will help lay people navigate and resolve legal problems, either with a trained advocate or on their own. Instead of long documents saved in PDFs, they are creating guides to legal processes that are interactive, tech-enabled, and user-friendly.

That is all very cool stuff. If you are at all familiar with Stanford University you already appreciate that they do some pretty cool stuff there. The Stanford Prison Experiment, the Internet, Google, Cisco Systems, Yahoo, Trader Joe's, Netflix, Hewlett Packard, Snapchat, Andrew Luck all have ties to Stanford.

I am pretty excited that those big Stanford brains are working on making the legal system better. There is going to be some cool stuff coming out of Palo Alto for us lawyerists.

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