ABA Journal

Legal Rebels Profiles

192 ABA Journal Legal Rebels Profiles articles.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Zachariah DeMeola, senior director of strategic initiatives with the Law School Admission Council, has spent a lot of time stressing the importance of lawyers developing their own professional identity.

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

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.

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

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.”

2023 Legal Rebels: Charging Forward

This year, for the first time in a while, things have started to feel somewhat normal again. That being said, when it comes to Legal Rebels, what is considered “normal” or “status quo” has never been of much concern. This year’s class is no different.

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

In the lead-up to Raffi Melkonian's first-ever oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court three years ago, the Houston-based appellate lawyer shared on Twitter how he was preparing for his big day. Members of the #AppellateTwitter community from across the country responded with both substantive advice about appearing before the nation's highest court and practical tips such as bringing quarters so he could use one of the court's lockers to stow his belongings.

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

As Erin Levine grew her own family law firm in California, she noticed several consistent challenges her clients and other parties faced when going through a divorce that made an…

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

Scott Kelly ended up in law in the same way a lot of people do.

He grew up near Kansas City, Kansas, and became interested in politics and influencing the…

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

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.

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

As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, Camila Lopez often watched the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which is based on the true story of a feisty law clerk taking on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a contaminated drinking water case.

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

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.

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