Podcast #54: Sarah Glassmeyer & Ed Walters on Open Access to Law

Sarah Glassmeyer is trying to get to the bottom of open access to law, and Ed Walters is trying to build a company based on access to that law. Both share their frustrations and wishes for open access on today’s podcast. Plus, lawyers are terrible at client intake. News at 11.

Law-Firm Intake: Lawyers Dropping the Ball Edition

At Law Technology Today, Conrad Saam reported the results of an ABA Law Practice Division “secret shopper” survey of law-firm intake procedures. What they found is that an astonishing-but-probably-shouldn’t-be number of lawyers don’t answer the phone, don’t give their name when answering the phone, don’t return calls from potential clients, and on and on.

In sum: there is a lot of room for lawyers to improve. Also, part 2 of the series, which outlines the many other ways lawyers drop the ball during intake, wasn’t available in time for our recording, but you can read it now.

Open Access to Law, with Sarah Glassmeyer & Ed Walters


If ignorance of the law is no excuse (and we all know it isn’t), it stands to reason that everyone should be able to go find out what the law is. And in 2016, that means putting the law online in a usable format.

Sarah Glassmeyer has been spending a year trying to figure out what primary law is available online, and you can check out the results on her website. On today’s podcast, she talks about the state of open access to law, including the important distinction between content and containers.


Ed Walters is the CEO of Fastcase. On today’s podcast, he talks about how closed-off primary law stifles innovation. (It takes 80% of Fastcase’s employees to keep the database updated.) And just days after we recorded, Fastcase sued Casemaker for access to Georgia law.

We also talk about the important differences between access to law, access to lawyers, and access to justice.

Oh, and you really should follow both Sarah and Ed on Twitter.

Thanks to Amicus Attorney and Clio for sponsoring this episode!

Support the Podcast

We love our sponsors, but they are only covering part of what it costs us to bring you this podcast. So we need your help. If you enjoy the show, please click this button and make a contribution:

Support the Podcast

Listen and Subscribe

To listen to the podcast, just scroll up and hit the play button (or click the link to this post if you are reading this by email).

To make sure you don’t miss an episode of the Lawyerist Podcast, subscribe now in iTunes, Stitcher, or any other podcast player. Or find out about new episodes by subscribing to the Lawyerist Insider, our email newsletter. We will announce new episodes in the Insider, and you can listen to them right here on Lawyerist.

Leave a Reply