In the evening of day one of TBD Law, lawyers gathered for a legal hackathon. When people hear the word “hackathon,” they usually think only about people building technology solutions. When innovative lawyers hear the word “hackathon,” they come up with wildly creative ways to imagine and create the future of law and legal products.
Open Source Coding For Lawyers
With QnA Markup, a dead-simple tool coding tool designed for attorneys, lawyers can create chatbots that will answer basic legal questions for consumers with an easy yes-or-no interface. If things get thorny, the bot can offer the consumer a lawyer.
How About A Holographic Lawyer?
Buying a firearm? Concerned or curious about your legal rights and obligations? What if the lawyer could just appear virtually and on demand and answer simple questions about the purchase. If the questions got more complex, the lawyer could use that opportunity to have the client formally retain them for additional services.
Legal Grounds Coffee Shop
What about a storefront coffee shop where people could meet attorneys in a relaxed, non-threatening situation. Often, people want resources that solve their problems, but they’re not even able to recognize the solutions. If lawyers are in the places people already go, it is a great place for diagnostics, legal checkups, and an opportunity to help a client even more down the line.
Online Dispute Resolution Assistance
Online dispute resolution (think arguing with a buyer or a seller about an eBay purchase) is getting more and more common, and the sums that it covers are getting larger and larger, particularly in Europe. A chatbot could provide assistance for the rudimentary things like filling out forms, and a lawyer could backstop the entire process and help out when necessary.
A-Law-Carte, The Lawyer that Comes to You
A decommissioned food truck, recommissioned to literally meet people where they are at and offer simple things like contract review, landlord-tenant advice, and expungements. Clients could have all their needs met in the mobile setting or make an appointment to meet with a lawyer at another time.
Night of the Living Contracts
Contracts stay static, but people’s lives evolve. What if you could machine-code a contract, such as a pre-nuptial agreement, and have the contract itself be smart enough to understand that certain life changes—separations, divorces, children—require that the contract be updated.
A Better Incubator Space
Legal incubators are popping up, but they could be so much more. What about a space where lawyers could collaborate with other professionals, like financial advisers and therapists, to make sure that clients receive all the services they need? And what if it was a place for pro- and low-bono work? And a place where experienced attorneys could mentor newer attorneys? And a place for your kids and your dogs?
The Legal Zoom Killer aka Karma Court
Some disputes can be settled very quickly–instantaneously, in fact. People could contract with Karma Court to facilitate dispute resolution by using a crowd-sourced jury of peers—of any size—that you’ve never met and know nothing about you. This would help eliminate race, age, and gender bias in the decision-making process. The backend? An A.I. that gets smarter with every decision.
Everyone has downtime in the airport. Why not create a kiosk to provide quick legal advice or document drafting on things like a power of attorney, a health care directive, or the beginnings of an estate plan?
Firmvestr is the first and only lawyer-to-lawyer crowdfunding platform. So many things that lawyers want to do are limited by lack of access to capital. The ethical concerns about non-lawyers sharing law firm profts prevent broad access to capital. Firmvestr solves that by crowdfunding from lawyers for lawyers.
Document Building by Bot
Docubot helps people build simple documents like wills and landlord-tenant documents on the fly, all in a chatbot interface. If things get stuck, the bot will suggest an attorney to help solve the problem.
Read the next post in this series: "Product Design, Better Documents, Client Service, and Ethics, with TBD Law Sponsors."