Justice Tech companies create a trade organization

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022

Justice Tech companies create a trade organization

Proposals to allow non-lawyer workers and investors into legal markets are often met with loud objections from attorneys concerned that changes would tarnish the legal profession, harm consumers, and affect their own bottom lines.  

But the legal technology community, whose platforms interact directly with consumers trying to navigate complex legal systems, want to add their voice to these conversations in states considering legal reforms similar to those in Utah and Arizona, who have embraced non-lawyer ownership and investment in law firms and allowed non-lawyers to perform limited legal tasks.

The Justice Technology Association (JTA), launched by legal tech executives in February 2022, wants lawyers and regulators to see their companies as partners offering innovative ways to deliver legal services and address the justice gap. The group seeks to collaborate with all stakeholders to thoughtfully reform regulatory frameworks that currently discourage innovation and keep legal services from underserved consumers. Improving the system, they say, will benefit everyone, including consumers and the entire legal profession.

JTA sees itself as representing a sector that “encompasses innovative technology businesses, initiatives, and solutions designed to improve or open access to the exercise of one’s legal rights; increase individual agency; improve outcomes for those seeking legal help; and more equitably and efficiently administer a legal system or service.” Their founding members, for instance, run companies that support consumers in uncontested divorces, small claims actions, criminal record expungements, and more intricate civil matters.

The organization also plans to raise awareness about justice tech among lawyers, consumers, regulators, and investors; to encourage and advocate for innovative business models that include alternatives to representation by a lawyer; to facilitate sector businesses sharing ideas, information, and best practices regarding consumer protection, regulatory proceedings, funding sources, and other issues; highlight opportunities to interlink with other technology sectors like financial and education tech; and to strengthen their ranks with more diverse direct-to-consumer companies and entrepreneurs.

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