ABA Journal

Legal Rebels Profiles

Quinten Steenhuis used tech expertise and passion for social justice to create tools for legal needs

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For nearly 12 years, Steenhuis worked as a senior housing attorney, systems administrator and developer at Greater Boston Legal Services, where he also built Massachusetts Defense for Eviction, which helps pro se tenants defend themselves.

Building Bots: Tom Martin merged a love of law and technology to design custom legal chatbots

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Tom Martin created LawDroid Builder, a “no-code” software platform that allows legal organizations to design custom chatbots to intake clients, automate documents and assemble digital tools.

Camila Lopez's People Clerk gives small claims court litigants in California new options

Defense attorneys have a powerful tool to review electronic evidence, thanks to JusticeText

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JusticeText reviews video and audio files and generates searchable transcripts of them. The technology uses a speech-to-text machine learning algorithm to process data such as body camera videos and recordings of jailhouse conversations for users.

Lawyers can use Scott Kelly's platform to build tools and apps for their practices

Erin Levine hopes to make divorce less complex, expensive and stressful

When Raffi Melkonian started #AppellateTwitter, he didn't know it would become a strong community

On Demand: Stacy Butler channels passion for legal innovation into i4J incubator

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When Stacy Butler, the director of the Innovation for Justice Program, is asked if she will ever practice law again, she doesn’t hesitate to answer. “No,” Butler says. “It was adversarial and antagonistic. It did not feed my soul.”

Data Broker: Josh Blandi's platform gives firms and businesses real-time access to court records and analytics 

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Josh Blandi founded UniCourt, which gives law firms and businesses real-time access to court records and legal data for case research and tracking, business development, competitive intelligence and various other purposes.

Developing an Identity: Zachariah DeMeola created a holistic way for law students to find where they fit into the profession

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“When I was a kid, I didn’t understand the system. I kind of ambled my way through. It’s a major reason for my motivation to improve the legal system, including legal education, and help others navigate it,” says Zachariah DeMeola of LSAC.

Self-Taught: Courtroom5 founders educate pro se litigants and prepare them for court

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Intent on demystifying the process for people representing themselves, Sonja Ebron, who also has a background in artificial intelligence; and Debra Slone, who has a PhD in library and information science, launched Courtroom5 in 2017.

Thought Leader: Natalie Anne Knowlton's research has provided an important foundation for regulatory reform efforts

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Natalie Anne Knowlton’s work for the IAALS has provided data and reference for states that have overhauled or are considering modifying their UPL regulations to allow for alternative business structures or limited nonlawyer practice.

True Calling: Ameelio platform helps inmates communicate more easily with family and get an education

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Uzoma Orchingwa and Gabriel Saruhashi used their savings to launch the technology nonprofit Ameelio in March 2020. The duo offers families a free mobile app that allows them to send letters into prisons.

Building Bridges: Patrick Palace draws on his experience to demystify technology and push for regulatory reforms

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Patrick Palace’s current volunteer work includes serving as vice chair of the ABA Center for Innovation and secretary of the National Conference of Bar Presidents—two groups with members who sometimes don’t agree on regulation changes in the law.

Freedom Fight: Working tirelessly to free her brother from prison inspired Janis Puracal's Forensic Justice Project

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Janis Puracal helps people who are trying to prove their innocence after a conviction. But she also works with clients pretrial to reveal any flawed or misleading forensic evidence to prevent a conviction in the first place.

How patent lawyer Raj Abhyanker developed a $8.5M book of business with Trademarkia

: Engineering Change

Patent Attorney, Legal Force, Palo Alto, California

Gerald Abila's Barefoot Law helps Ugandans use smartphones to learn about their legal rights

Founder

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Barefoot Law

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Kampala, Uganda

Ken Adams: Word Miser

: Educating lawyers to be better writers

Founder and President, Adams Contracts Consulting, Garden City, New York

Legal writing pro is helping teach AI to draft contracts (podcast)

Founder and President

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Adams Contracts Consulting

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Long Island, New York

'You can't incarcerate away drug problems,' says Ann Aiken, who proposed a tech tool for parolees

Chief judge

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U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

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Eugene, Oregon

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