ABA Journal Web 100
The best web tools of 2018
It was a pivotal year for legal technology on the web, from subscription services to aids to access to justice. Our judges and readers all had their own favorites. Let us know yours.
Legal aid agencies, courts and law schools use this Chicago-Kent College of Law product to guide client interviews and meet the needs of low and low income clients. Miguel Willis, a member of the Law School Admission Council and Legal Rebel 2018, said the website “has been instrumental in promoting innovation in legal aid organizations across America.”
A secure website records sexual assault cases confidentially, allows victims to decide whether or how to report them, and reports potential repeat offenders. On university campuses, use of the site has resulted in more reports of incidents and requests for medical and other services. In 2018, plans were announced to develop a version to document workplace harassment.
The Free Law Project’s circuit court monitor now retrieves most state appeal decisions, as well as oral argument tapes for the United States Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. The “new notification feature makes this really powerful for lawyers and journalists,” says Sam Harden, project manager at the Florida Justice Technology Center.
Live chat and electronic signatures are features of this free server software for greeting customers. “This is fast becoming the definitive open source tool for guided interviews,” says Harden.
Joshua Browder’s “robot lawyer” iOS app draws the same criticism on technical, legal and ethical fronts as his old small claims website. But it can still fill a niche for pro consumer complaints. “Whether you are looking to fight a parking ticket or get a refund for a flight, this app will give you the information you need and walk you through the process,” says Nicole Black, Legal Technology Specialist at MyCase and Legal Rebel 2009, Nicole Black.
Librarians are trained to assist patrons with the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services Legal and Social Services Audit website.
Some 2,300 New York City households have used the JustFix.nyc website to build a case for landlord, housing court or tenant repairs.
Community Lawyer’s flat-rate service creates chatbots, client induction and document assembly programs for attorney websites. A committee of the Chicago Bar Association is working with the service for a legal health check, said Jessica Bednarz of the Chicago Bar Foundation.
Chatbots for law firm and legal aid websites answer questions, speed up client reception, and identify legal issues. Willis says the automation tool is “extremely user friendly”.
MyCase co-founder Matt Spiegel created this client relationship manager for law firms. Features include email marketing, customer greetings, and electronic signature features.
AffiniPay’s credit card processor for lawyers separates account and trust fees to comply with ethical guidelines on fund mixing.
A lead conversion and intake tool integrates with Clio, MailChimp, Ruby, and other task managers to encourage leads into an attorney’s pipeline. Clio acquired Lexicata in October.
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Web tools judges
Andre Arruda is CEO and co-founder of artificial intelligence company Ross Intelligence.
Jessica bednarz is Director of Innovation and Training for the Chicago Bar Foundation Justice Entrepreneurs Project.
Nicole Black is the legal technology evangelist at MyCase. She is the author of several books and writes regular columns for ABAJournal.com, The daily record, above the law and Legal IT professionals.
Sam harden is a project manager for the Florida Justice Technology Center, which develops applications and solutions for legal organizations, and for Measures for Justice, which assesses the performance of the US criminal justice system.
Miguel willis is the Founder and Program Director of the Access to Justice Technology Fellows program and the Law School Admission Council’s inaugural Presidential Innovation Fellow. It is also a 2018 ABA Journal Legal rebel.