February 02, 2017

Midyear 2017: Innovation Center to introduce tech to improve access to justice, lawyers’ bottom line

The American Bar Association Center for Innovation officially launched in September to create more accessible, efficient and effective legal services in the United States and around the globe, and it will host a program at the Midyear Meeting in Miami that seeks to demonstrate how such legal services can be advanced through technology and innovation.

Legal Innovations 101” will review how technology and the globalization of law has transformed law practice, and how lawyers can harness these trends to increase access to justice and improve their bottom line. The program takes place from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in the Miami Lecture Hall, Third Floor, at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

Presenters include Chad Burton of CuroLegal; Jordan Furlong of Law21; Judy Perry Martinez, chair of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services; Margaret Hagan of Stanford University Law School; and Ramon Abadin of Sedgwick LLP.

The program is inspired by the goals of the new center. According to its chair Andrew Perlman, dean at Suffolk Law School, “the center is serving as a catalyst for innovation, both within and outside the ABA, and we want the center to be a bridge between the ABA and some of our nontraditional partners, such as law school innovation centers and legal tech companies.”

“Our ultimate goal is to encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the accessibility, affordability and effectiveness of civil and criminal legal services and to transform how the public accesses the law and legal information,” he said.

The center’s program at Midyear will introduce lawyers to practical new technology that addresses the shifting market forces at play and can help lawyers become more successful and entrepreneurial in the new legal landscape. Among highlights, the program will show attendees how to use and develop online apps. It will also introduce solo and small firm lawyers to suite of services available through ABA Blueprint.

“Legal Innovations 101” is among the first efforts of the new center, which was established last year following two years of work by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. “It became clear the ABA needed to take an active role in promoting individual and institutional change in the legal profession and to provide a permanent space within the Association to encourage and develop projects and programs to improve access to, and the delivery of, legal services,” explained Janet Jackson, managing director of the Center for Innovation, about the new resource.