We are pleased to share that our very own Josh Blandi was featured in an Attorney at Work interview with Mary Juetten – Josh Blandi: Disrupting Access to Court Documents With UniCourt. The interview with Mary touched on a range of topics from the more serious questions of what role technology plays in access to justice, to where do you like to work, and what’s your email strategy.
Here are a couple of the questions and answers from the interview:
How do you define access to justice (A2J)?
Access to justice is a broad concept that, to me, means everything from access to affordable legal services and court records to being able to obtain quicker and just case resolutions. More concretely, access to justice means putting everyone on the same playing field and providing access to affordable legal services through the use of technology.
Tell us about your connection to A2J.
One of the important issues I care about is protecting the public’s right to know and access to court records and other public records. To me, a foundational aspect of ensuring justice is advocating for open and unfettered access to the laws that govern and impact people’s lives. Without affordable and meaningful access to laws and court records, people are already at a disadvantage when it comes to interacting with the legal system.
How are you solving access to justice for your clients?
Beyond providing affordable plans where consumers can easily search for cases, do background checks, download documents (often for free from our CrowdSourced Library) and track cases to receive alerts on new filings, we are also focused on making all court data just a Google search away.
With a simple Google search, you can find information about cases, parties and attorneys you otherwise might not be able to find. An example of the type of information we make freely available to the public is found here.
Also, UniCourt seeks to improve access to justice by making interaction with the legal system easier. With our search function, consumers and small businesses can look for cases by party, attorney, judge, case type and jurisdiction to easily narrow down their search results and find the cases that matter. Once our clients find important cases or ones they are interested in, they can begin tracking those cases with the click of a button and receive automatic notifications for any new updates or filings that occur.
We have placed a considerable amount of effort in developing meaningful legal analytics to help our clients make the most informed decisions possible. Using machine learning and entity normalization, we provide clients with analytics on attorneys and law firms, so that they can choose the lawyers with the most experience. For example, with UniCourt you can quickly find out the top plaintiff’s attorney for wrongful termination cases, the top civil rights attorneys or defense attorneys for debt collection.
We also have developed a series of legal data APIs to provide clients and other innovators with bulk access to court data and on-demand updates for cases. For the most part, court data has not really been exposed to the general public and we see the broader exploration of this data as greatly accelerating legal innovation across the board. We welcome any innovators or non-profits interested in accessing court data through our APIs to contact us to learn more.
You can read the full interview here on Attorney at Work.