Category Archives: Legal Service Innovation

Uelma and Unintended Consequences

Uelma should be enacted by the states. But while its concept of verifiable authenticity is useful, compliance with that prong of the law should not lead to excessive reliance on PDF files to share legal resources in only very limited, maximally “print-like,” and insufficiently machine-readable and bulk-processable formats. Open legal resources should also allow commercial, non-profit, community, and library entities to consume relatively “raw” government resources and add the value that makes them efficient and effective tools for an informed public.

Uelma is the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act. Promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission, UELMA covers online state legal materials that are deemed “official” (while requiring that covered legal publications produced only electronically be considered official) and requires that they be produced in a way that is capable of being authenticated, that is preserved, and that is made permanently available to the public.

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This entry was posted in Access to Law, Information Law and Policy, Legal Publication, Legal Service Innovation, Librarianship on by .

LegalHackCHI, “Hacking Law,” legal services innovation

November 19, 2014

I’ve been following the #legalhackCHI tweets today as the Chicago legal innovation and technology meetup holds what sounds like it has been a very well-attended introductory meeting. Daniel Katz of Michigan State spoke about his data-driven, algorithmic, modeling and prediction of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Andrew Baker and Amani Smathers, who help Seyfarth Shaw integrate data-driven decision-making into its client services model (which also integrates Six Sigma process-management techniques into legal services) spoke about “tiny data.” Carla Goldstein, formerly of Seyfarth Shaw and now with BMO Financial Group, gave an in-house counsel perspective on legal innovation.

These kinds of events, along with somewhat related “hackathons” to bring coders/developers and the legal community together at a low-level, practical, level, have been going on around the country for a while. Rob Richards, of the Legal Informatics Blog has been listing and digesting posts from these events — describing them as a movement — since 2012. The CALI folks have been involved, promoting their A2J (Access to Justice) platform for automating/scripting “interviews” to provide web-based document assembly.

The Computational Legal Studies blog likens this movement to the Homebrew Computer Club of the 1970s.