ABA Journal

Legal Rebels Profiles

183 ABA Journal Legal Rebels Profiles articles.

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.

2022 Legal Rebels: No Turning Back

For this year’s class of Legal Rebels, standing pat before, during or after the pandemic was never an option. They all work in the hopes of building a better tomorrow—regardless of what it looks like or when it arrives.

Utah became first state to change ethics regulations to allow for alternative business structures

The leadership of Justice Constandinos “Deno” Himonas and John Lund paved the way for the Utah Supreme Court’s unanimous vote in August to adopt a package of sweeping regulatory changes.

Thanks to chief justice, the Michigan Supreme Court pivoted to remote proceedings during COVID-19

Court is less intimidating on screen, Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack says. “When you are in the comfort of your own home, where you feel safe and secure, it’s easier to feel confident in letting the court know what’s on your mind.”

Housing lawyer Sateesh Nori knew COVID-19 would force courts to go digital—so he stepped in to help

As COVID-19 spread through New York City and shuttered its courthouses in March 2020, Sateesh Nori realized JustFix.nyc could do even more to empower tenants to exercise their rights during the pandemic.

Jayne Reardon is changing the practice of law by promoting civility and looking toward the future

Reardon is a great listener who gets people’s support by understanding their agendas and emotions. “She plays the long game, not the short game. She never comes in and jams something down people’s throats,” law professor William Henderson says.

Judge Scott Schlegel deployed tools to help keep his docket moving at the height of the pandemic

Soon after his 2013 election to the bench in Louisiana’s 24th Judicial District, Judge Scott Schlegel started looking for ways to repurpose technology common in the private sector for deployment in the court system.

Judge John Tran spearheaded adoption of tech to facilitate remote hearings and helped train lawyers

After the Virginia Supreme Court issued an order June 22 stating that remote proceedings should be used to conduct as much business as possible, Tran offered webinars to help lawyers with the Fairfax Bar Association get up to speed with Webex.

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

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.

2021 Legal Rebels: Meet 10 legal professionals who are courting change

For this year’s class of Legal Rebels, the ABA Journal and the ABA Center for Innovation have chosen to highlight judges, lawyers and legal professionals who have helped bring about changes to the judicial system.

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