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March 16, 2021

Bay Area software provider, Illinois nonprofit honored for improving access to legal services

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2021 — The American Bar Association condemns in the strongest terms today’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by protesters during the process to count the Electoral College victory of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris.  Storming the Capitol and disrupting the procedure of counting is not a peaceful protest.  It is criminal conduct. President Donald Trump and all other leaders must condemn this violence immediately, demand that it stop, and protect the safety and lives of those inside the Capitol. President Trump has a duty to restore and protect the rule of law.

CHICAGO, March 16, 2021 — The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services has selected Documate, a San Francisco-based legal software provider, to receive the 2021 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.

Also, COVID H.E.L.P. Illinois, a pandemic-inspired initiative which stands for Housing & Economic Loss Prevention, was awarded the 2021 Louis M. Brown Select Award.

The Louis M. Brown Award originated in 1995 and honors the work of Louis M. Brown, who for more than 60 years worked toward improving access to legal services for those of moderate incomes. The award itself honors the work of those who advance this mission in ways that are remarkable and replicable.

Documate helps to increase legal services to those of modest means through leveraged technology, principally through its “no code” platform that allows attorneys to create technology tools to expand their service offerings without the need to hire a software developer. Documate allows attorneys to create document automation, expert systems, guided interviews and legal apps, which can deliver legal services more broadly than traditional one-on-one representation. Its software is used by courts, legal aid organizations and private attorneys.

Covid H.E.L.P. Illinois earned this year’s Brown Select Award for receiving the most online votes from the public. The nonprofit organization provides a reliable and secure access point for residents of Illinois to legal information on the most common legal concerns caused by the pandemic, and it serves as a model for other states to replicate. The effort is a joint project of CARPLS Legal Aid, Cook County’s largest provider of free legal services, and other Illinois legal aid agencies. The project is supported by the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois.

Additional information about the award and past winners can be found here. Plans call for the awards to be presented at the ABA Annual Meeting scheduled for Aug. 4-10.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.