When Crowdsourcing Works (And Doesn’t Work) In The Law

Crowdsourcing has revolutionized several industries.  Wikipedia has replaced traditional encyclopedias.  Stack Overflow houses the collective knowledge of software engineering.  And genealogical information stretches back thousands of years.  All due to crowdsourcing. These successes have led to several attempts to crowdsource the law.  The potential is enticing.  The law is notoriously difficult to access, especially for […]

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The most important legal information in the nation is not publicly available.

State courts are arguably the most important courts in the nation.  They hear more cases than federal courts by far.  And very few state court cases are appealed.  Even when cases are appealed, the reversal rate is low–around 7% in Utah. This means state courts decide the vast majority of the legal issues around the country. […]

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How to download Google Scholar’s case database for free (up to 2013)

Jonathan Mayer is an under-appreciated figure in legal tech.  I am not referring to the John Mayer that runs CALI (the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction).  Or the singer/songwriter John Mayer.  This Jonathan Mayer is a computer science and law fellow at Stanford. In 2012 and 2013, Mayer collected legal sources from across the nation and made them available […]

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Why the economics of venture capital make it difficult for legal tech startups to address access to justice issues.

Introduction Many legal tech startups begin with ambitious to make the law more accessible.  These companies initially focus on legal consumers, developing products that make the law easier to find and understand for non-lawyers.  But over time, the startups typically (1) pivot to focus on legal professionals or (2) fail to receive sufficient funding to continue. […]

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