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Embracing disruption: how technological change in the delivery of legal services can improve access to justice.

E. Technological Innovation and the Justice Gap

While many of the new and innovative legal services websites have faced some UPL charges across the U.S., (278) there are exceptions to UPL rules; ones that act in such a way that permit technological innovation in the legal field to help close the justice gap. Generally speaking, the type of services offered by companies that offer know-your-rights guides and assistance through standardized forms will typically be found exempt from charges of UPL. (279) The first requirement when seeking exemption from UPL charges, which is common in many cases, is that the service can offer no personalized advice to individuals. (280) When faced with these questions, courts typically have held that when nonprofits do not offer such advice, they escape UPL charges. (281) As described above, in Dacey, in order for there to be UPL the provider of services must form a personal relationship with the client and render legal services to him or her. (282) Under the ABA's Model Code of Professional Responsibility "[t]he essence of the professional judgment of the lawyer is his educated ability to relate the general body and philosophy of law to a specific legal problem of a client." (283) Thus, in order for there to be the practice of law, an individual engaged in the practice of law must offer specific advice, must give it to a specific person, and that advice must pertain to that individual's unique legal problem. (284)

With an understanding of the contours of UPL and how UPL statutes might relate to disruptive innovation in the legal sector, we turn now to the question of the role technology can play in closing the justice gap and improving access to justice for low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and communities.


The "Great Recession" of 2008 increased the need for legal services for low- and moderate-income individuals. (285) As the need increased through the throes of the economic downturn, already strapped programs could not provide legal services to all those who qualified for assistance, and a large number of individuals across the United States faced evictions, debt collection actions, bankruptcies and foreclosures, all without the benefit of legal representation. (286) Given the number of attorneys admitted to the bar each year and the number of applicants applying to and graduating from law schools around the country it is hard to believe that individuals have trouble accessing a lawyer. (287) Yet, one estimate of the justice gap in New York State alone concluded that "2.3 million people are unrepresented in civil proceedings annually." (288) In this Part, we will address the numbers behind the justice gap and discuss recent technological innovations that can help improve access to justice for low- and moderate-income communities.

A. Income-Based Justice

It is "estimated that more than four-fifths of the individual legal needs of the poor and a majority of the needs of middle-income Americans remain unmet." (289) In addition, many individuals are unaware that they even have a legal problem. (290) According to one study, "about a quarter of middle-income individuals and between a fifth to half of low-income individuals did nothing in the United States [to resolve their legal problems], compared with 5 percent to 18 percent in most other countries." (291) While low-income families typically encounter two to three legal problems a year, only one-fifth of these problems involve the assistance of counsel. (292) Furthermore, "half of those who seek assistance at federally funded [legal services] offices are turned away." (293) According to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association's Consortium on Legal Services, "two-thirds of the civil legal needs of moderate-income consumers were not taken to lawyers or the justice system" for assistance. (294) State surveys have revealed similar results. In Maryland, nearly three-quarters of middle-income citizens do not contact a lawyer when confronted with a legal problem. (295) Many Americans ignore their legal problems for a range of reasons (e.g., the inability to recognize that their legal matters are significant or beyond their ability to handle without legal representation). (296)

The U.S. Legal Services Corporation (LSC) continues to take efforts to close the justice gap. (297) However, according to a breakdown of LSC appropriations from 1976 to 2012, the funds appropriated to the organization have significantly declined in constant dollars in recent years. (298)

For example, appropriations in 2012 dollars decreased $64,463,000 from the previous year. (299) Data collected from 2012 suggests that funding for legal services generally totaled $1,293,742,000 in 2011, but the majority of this ($989,785,000) did not include funding from LSC. (300) Comparing this to 2010, where the civil legal assistance system was funded at $1.5 billion, nearly $450,000,000 came from LSC and other federal sources. (301)

According to the LSC, "less than one in five low-income persons get the legal assistance they need." (302) Thus, to sufficiently fund legal services to meet the need of all those eligible, the LSC finds that "the federal share [of legal services funding] must grow to be five times greater than it is now, or $1.6 billion." (303) Furthermore, because of a lack of resources, "almost one million cases ... per year are currently being rejected [from legal services offices across the country]," the LSC argues, "because programs lack sufficient resources to handle them." (304) These one million cases do not include people who do not seek legal assistance, making the number of low-income people facing a legal problem without a lawyer even larger. (305)

Two state studies conducted in 2007 by Hawaii calculated the percentage of low-income people whose legal needs were actually met in the state. The first concluded that 14.68% of legal needs were being met by existing legal services providers, while the second study found thirty-one percent. (306) By averaging these estimated figures together it demonstrates that nearly one-fifth of low-income Hawaiians' legal needs are met. (307) While the LSC refers to several national studies that find that "about 80 percent of low-income residents' legal needs are unmet," (308) studies in Washington D.C. estimate that this figure is as high as ninety percent. (309) Still, with the help of legal services, 809,830 cases were closed by organizations receiving LSC funding in 2012. (310) This funding provides one attorney for every 6415 low-income persons eligible to receive representation under LSC guidelines, which typically limits assistance to those at or below 125% of the federal poverty line. (311) And the gap between the number of lawyers and their prospective clients has only widened; cuts in LSC funding meant that in 2011 alone nearly 241 full-time attorney positions were eliminated by LSC funding grantees. (312) In addition, legal services providers that receive federal funding turn away nearly one million cases a year due to insufficient resources. (313)

One of the reasons so many low-income people go without representation, and so many middle-income people as well, is clearly the cost of legal services. (314) According to the Center for American Progress, "[i]n 2009, the national average billing rate for attorneys was $284 per hour ... [excluding] court costs and paralegal time." (315) At rates such as these, more and more

individuals are choosing to represent themselves in litigation. (316) Self-representation is prevalent in many family law cases today. (317) In addition, many pro se cases involve "protection orders, landlord-tenant disputes, and probate matters." (318) While this trend has encouraged courts to make processes easier to navigate for nonlawyers (e.g., providing simplified forms, publishing information online and in print, and offering trained personnel to provide information to pro se litigants), the litigation process is still challenging for most. (319) Self-representation is best suited for individuals whose issues are easiest to resolve, and even then it can take a substantial amount of court time to work with pro se litigants, further burdening the courts. (320) In turn, this harms all litigants, both represented and unrepresented alike, because it makes it more difficult for courts to resolve the disputes before them in a timely manner. (321) Research suggests that "pro se litigants can cause the court to spend up to four times as much time on a case." (322) In areas of law predominated by pro se litigants, the problem is compounded.

Another approach to closing the justice gap is the spread of what is becoming known as "unbundled" legal services. (323) So-called unbundling offers individuals limited representation, often at a substantially reduced cost. (324) In such situations, the attorney and client agree that the lawyer will provide some, but not all, of the work involved in traditional full-service representation. (325) This keeps the cost of providing these services down, whether they are passed on to the client or not. Through such an approach, both attorney and client "agree on the discrete legal tasks to be performed." (326) Such unbundling involves breaking down what the lawyer puts into these tasks, which can include "telephone or in-person advice, client coaching, assisting clients in negotiations and litigation, document review, pleading preparation or assistance, and even assistance with discovery or limited court appearances." (327) The American Bar Association identifies thirteen "types of limited scope legal assistance" including centers that provide information, self-help resources and limited advice; hotlines; online information; preparing or reviewing documents and pleadings; and representation, including coaching, in litigation with limited disputes, to name just a few. (328) However, unbundling is not always an option, as it is not ideal in all cases, especially for issues that may be more complex. (329)

According to the Maricopa Self-Service Center, unbundled legal services can help reduce the burden on court employees by twenty-five percent and the counsel of an attorney "is often the boost needed" to assist otherwise pro se litigants. (330) As in the technology-enabled context, ethical issues regarding competency and consent arise when there is limited use of an attorney.331

Perhaps the United States will never fully close the justice gap, as it is likely there will always be a number of individuals left without representation. However, investing time, money, and research into new and innovative ways to provide legal aid and representation to low- and middle-income individuals can help bridge the justice gap. The Center for American Progress has developed the "Doing What Works" Project through which it explores the gap between the legal needs of low-income people and the capacity of the civil need assistance system to meet those needs. (332) Suggested methods to improve access to justice include the recognition of "Civil Gideon" rights, that is, an extension of the right to counsel provided in certain criminal contexts to civil cases where fundamental needs and rights are at stake; "unbundling" and pro se resource centers; increased funding; and greater availability of nonlawyers to help address some legal needs. (333) In particular, increased participation of nonlawyers may be useful in mediation and family law cases. (334)

In 2006, the American Bar Association "adopted a resolution urging governments to provide a right to counsel for low-income individuals in cases where basic human needs--shelter, sustenance, safety, health, or child custody--are at stake." (335) Following the adoption of this resolution, California created several pilot programs to help close the justice gap. (336)

Many states have created their own publicly funded programs to supplement LSC funding in an attempt to close the justice gap and are relying heavily on law graduates and students currently in law school. For example, new service delivery models are emerging, such as Lawyers for America, a nonprofit organization founded by the University of California. (337) The University has instituted a two-year fellowship that includes a "training year" during a law student's final year of law school and a "service year" for the student's first year after graduation. (338) Similarly, the University of Miami School of Law's Legal Corps places recent law graduates in public sector organizations nationwide. (339) In addition, in the fall of 2013, Arizona State University began a program, supported by its law alumni association, which hires between ten and thirty associates each year in a two- or three-year program where "participants take on both pro bono and moderate-income clients." (340) Another program serving "the unmet legal needs of those with moderate incomes ... at an affordable cost" is the Chicago Bar Foundation's Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), where participants operate as their own independent law firms. (341) The bar foundation provides the seed money and is funded through a combination of grants, donations, and revenue from law schools. (342) A participation fee is required during the last twelve months of the eighteen-month program, and the program purchases umbrella insurance for participants. (343) The initiative currently has ten participants and plans to add ten more at six-month intervals for a maximum of thirty participants at a time. (344) In addition, JEP includes a twenty-hour-per-week pro bono requirement to be performed within the first six months of the program. (345) Lastly, since 2007, the City University of New York has offered "training and technical assistance to public interest attorneys" who "take on pro bono and moderate-income clients." (346) As many as nine participants are in the program at a time. (347) They are required to "pay a flat monthly license fee for the space and training while enrolled in the program ... [and] must also obtain their own malpractice insurance." (348)

The American Bar Association also has a range of programs designed to close the justice gap, such as the Young Lawyers Division Career Development Initiative, its New Lawyer Bootcamp, and the Next Steps Challenge Program. (349) "[T]he ABA Division for Legal Services has ... surveyed a number of these programs," noting that "[s]ince the downturn of the national economy, law firm incubator and residency programs have emerged" to help increase access to justice for low- and moderate-income individuals. (350) However, "[s]ome reputable and successful programs are running into long-term sustainability issues." (351) Additional proposals include pro se court reform measures, increased funding and availability for civil legal services programs, and the "elimination of] restrictions on legal services that prohibit engagement in certain classes of impact cases that could foster substantive change more effectively than individual representation alone." (352)

Funding for civil legal services at current levels, even combining federal and state sources, cannot come close to meeting the needs of low- and moderate-income communities for legal representation. Programs across the country have developed innovative service delivery models that can spread resources to the greatest number of recipients possible, yet the justice gap still remains for the overwhelming majority of low-income Americans, and many of moderate income. The advances in communications technology made possible by the invention and spread of the internet, which have challenged traditional notions of legal services, are ripe for exploration as a means of closing the justice gap. As discussed above, ethical considerations that plague some of the for-profit models of web-based legal services delivery are less of a concern in the not-for-profit context, where rules of the legal profession permit the provision of assistance to individuals wishing to represent themselves pro se when that advice is limited to generalized advice designed to facilitate effective self-representation. (353) In the next section, we will explore some attempts to harness technology to expand access to justice.

B. Technological Innovation and the Justice Gap

In early August 2014, the American Bar Association Journal cosponsored a technology competition entitled "Hackcess to Justice" with Suffolk University Law School. (354) The event website described its goals as follows: "[w]e are challenging lawyers, law students[,] developers, coders and others interested in improving access to justice through technology to devise a technology-enabled solution" to address access to justice issues. (355) Submissions could have been anything technology enabled. (356) The three judges for the event were K. Krasnow Waterman of LawTechIntersect, LLC; Glenn Rawdon, program counsel for the Legal Services Corporation; and attorney Robert Ambrogi, a media and technology professional. (357)

There were six submissions total: four apps, one website, and one online interactive tool. (358) The three winning submissions included, in order of first to third: PaperHealth, disastr, and Due Processr. (359) PaperHealth is an app that creates living wills and healthcare proxies through form automation. (360) It was created by William Palin, an attorney from Massachusetts. (361) Second place was disastr, an app that provides news and legal information, including forms, related to natural disasters. (362) The app "was created by Matthew Burnett, the director of the Immigration Advocates Network, and Adam Friedl, program and special initiatives manager at Pro Bono Net." (363) Due Processr is an interactive tool for those in Massachusetts to determine their eligibility for free legal services and calculate state prison sentences. (364) A three-person team consisting of David Zvenyach, a general counsel in Washington, D.C.; David Colarusso, staff attorney for the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services; and William Li, a computer science Ph.D student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created this online tool. (365)

This recent event shows some of the creativity that committed advocates have brought to bear when exploring ways that technology can help close the justice gap. Yet these types of initiatives have been around since the early days of the internet. One organization that has been at the forefront of these efforts is Pro Bono Net, an organization that has as its mission increasing access to legal services for the poor and unrepresented. (366) It pursues this objective in three ways: "(i) [Supporting the innovative and effective use of technology by the nonprofit legal sector, (ii) increasing participation by volunteers, and (iii) facilitating collaborations among nonprofit legal organizations and advocates working on similar issues or in the same region." (367) Currently, it has regional sites in over twenty states; a national site; and an international site, including resources in regions of Canada. (368) The non-profit organization was founded in 1999 through an Open Society Institute grant, and from there it has developed web-based tools connecting pro bono services and legal aid advocates and providing information to consumers. (369) It has evolved by garnering a wide range of support, from corporate sponsors and law firms to foundations and nonprofit partners. (370) Based out of New York City and San Francisco, Pro Bono Net currently hosts four programs:, Pro Bono Manager,, and LawHelp Interactive. (371)

The first version of Pro Bono Net was launched in March of 1999 in New York City. (372) This online resource is a national network for those who are looking to offer pro bono legal services to low-income individuals and families in need of such services. (373) The website is organized by practice area as well as geographic region, allowing advocates to find tools located close to them. (374) It encourages teamwork between the range of advocates that use the site and connects them with resource libraries, mentors, and even training events for continuing legal education credit. (375) It also has a blog called Connecting Justice Communities for members to post about access to justice issues. (376) There are more than 75,000 members from the public and private sectors affiliated with Pro Bono Net. (377)

With initial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Booth Ferris Foundation, Pro Bono Net created a web application, Pro Bono Manager, designed to help law firms more efficiently manage their pro bono programs. (378) The web application is a "platform [that] integrates content from the public interest legal community regarding training events, volunteer opportunities and news with powerful reporting, knowledge management and lawyer matching tools that draw on data from the law firm's internal personnel, billing, time keeping and docketing systems." (379) To date, fifteen international law firms use this tool. (380)

LawHelp is a collection of websites designed to help low-income individuals find free legal aid locally, get access to social service agencies, and obtain information about court processes and legal rights. (381) The first site was launched in 2001 in New York City. (382) It is now available in all fifty states. (383) The first step to accessing its resources is for the consumer to click the geographic region where he or she resides or needs assistance. (384) Then, the individual can choose resources based on the practice area; some examples of such areas include disaster recovery and relief, family and juvenile issues, consumer rights, senior issues, health law and life planning, immigration, worker rights, housing, and public benefits. (385) Since its creation, the website was awarded the 2007 Webby Award as Best Law Site. (386) More recently, in 2012, through the LSC Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program, LawHelp was able to launch a Spanish version of the site. (387) Two screenshots from and, which show how each state version has the same basic layout, are available in the Appendix. (388)

LawHelp Interactive is an online document assembly tool available in more than half of the states that can be used by self-represented individuals, legal aid advocates, and pro bono lawyers. (389) It covers "child support and custody, domestic violence, debt collection, foreclosures, evictions, and divorce." (390) In 2009 alone, the tool generated more than 145,000 forms. (391) LawHelp Interactive's forms are designed by local pro bono and legal aid programs by using the HotDocs and A2J Author softwares. (392) LSC funded this project along with the State Justice Institute and Montana, New York, and California state courts. (393) In 2010, the College of Law Practice Management awarded Pro Bono Net the InnovAction Award for this tool. (394) In addition, New York court systems already support the use of this tool. (395)

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), with the assistance of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago-Kent College of Law's Center for Access to Justice & Technology (CAJT), has written and helped distribute software called A2J Author. (396) Similar to LawHelp Interactive, the full name of the cloud-based software is Access to Justice Author, and it is designed to help a self-represented party in the process of litigation. (397) It is a document assembly tool to assist self represented parties to prepare for court. (398) Through the A2J Guided Interviews, the A2J Authoring System, and A2J Player, the self-represented individual can create and print court documents. (399) To date, the website is still evolving. (400) CAJT currently manages the software and strives to have student involvement in projects that emanate from it as well, which can include guided interviews as well as court-based initiatives. (401)

In late 2013, the LSC issued a report after a national summit that identified five ways to incorporate technology in legal services for Americans. (402) The LSC website summarized these as the following:

[1.] Creating in each state a unified "legal portal" which directs persons needing legal assistance to the most appropriate form of assistance and guides self-represented litigants through the entire legal process.

[2.] Deploying sophisticated document assembly applications to support the creation of legal documents by service providers and by litigants themselves.

[3.] Taking advantage of mobile technologies to reach more persons more effectively.

[4.] Applying business process/analysis to all access-to-justice activities to make them as efficient as practicable.

[5.] Developing "expert systems" to assist lawyers and other services providers access authoritative knowledge through a computer and apply it to particular factual situations. (403)

In addition, LSC also offers TIG grants, as mentioned earlier, that help fund projects that increase client access to legal services through technology. (404) LSC held its most recent TIG conference, a national event that focuses on technology in the provision of legal services to low-income individuals and communities, in January 2015. (405)

C. Technological Innovation to Address the Foreclosure Crisis

By recent count, roughly one out of six mortgages in the U.S. real estate market is underwater, meaning that the outstanding principal of the mortgage exceeds the value of the underlying property securing the mortgage. (406) Nationally, there were nearly 52,000 foreclosure auctions scheduled in August 2014 alone, a slight year-over-year increase from the same month in 2013. (407) A recent collaboration between a legal services provider, a law school, and a school of computer science helps to chart a course for interdisciplinary efforts moving forward that can utilize technology to improve access to justice, in this instance, in response to the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

In 2014, representatives from the Empire Justice Center, a New York-based, not-for-profit legal services provider; Albany Law School; (408) and students in the Informatics Department at the University at Albany, teamed up to create an interactive, web-based application to assist homeowners facing foreclosure in New York State. In 2010, nearly fifty percent of borrowers in the state faced foreclosure without the assistance of an attorney. (409) In order to help bridge that justice gap, the Empire Justice Center created a comprehensive foreclosure guide that was made available to homeowners in print form, and as a PDF, downloadable from the Empire Justice website. (410) The team working on the web-based application converted that lengthy and detailed guide into a user-friendly, interactive, web-based application that helps homeowners navigate the foreclosure system. (411)

Here is an excerpt from the text of the home page of the web-based foreclosure guide:
   This guide is designed to empower you with knowledge of
   the mortgage foreclosure process so you can do your best to
   prevent the loss of your home through foreclosure. This tool
   provides you with information about the process and guides
   you through the steps you must take to defend yourself.
   Although this guide can help you understand much of the
   process and the steps you need to take to defend yourself, we
   recommend finding a housing counselor or lawyer to
   personally help you and tell you more about your options.
   There is a link under the "Resources" menu to help you find
   such assistance. You do not need to pay someone for these
   services, as free, high quality housing counseling services are
   available. If you use the Resources tab, this will direct you
   to a credible counselor. (412)

The guide goes on to direct the end user to four different channels: "What is Foreclosure?" (which takes the end user to a page containing answers to frequently asked questions concerning the foreclosure process generally), "At What Stage Am I in the Foreclosure Process?" (which helps the end user identify the procedural posture of his or her foreclosure action via a series of prompts), "Step-by-Step Guidance in the Foreclosure Process" (which provides an overview of tips and advice on how to navigate a foreclosure), and "Resources" (which provides links to an array of different services and information). (413) Throughout the website are examples of the types of correspondences a homeowner might receive, as well as blank, tillable forms appropriate for use in different stages of the foreclosure process. (414) The goal of this guide is to provide homeowners in New York State with a wealth of knowledge and guidance on how to navigate the foreclosure process. (415) While such guidance is no substitute for an attorney or counsel, when the homeowner has none it certainly offers some information and support to help the homeowner avoid the loss of his or her home. One surprising development with the application is not just that homeowners seem to be flocking to it, but housing counselors and attorneys are also accessing it for clear and concise guidance about and information on law and practice in the state. (416)

While this foreclosure guide is certainly an example of an effective use of technology to disseminate information and provide some support to homeowners facing foreclosure without the assistance of an attorney or housing counselor, the process by which the guide came about is also instructive and offers a roadmap for future collaborations to improve access to justice through technology.

First, coauthor Raymond H. Brescia discussed the possibility of creating a web-based program with a staff member from the Empire Justice Center, Kirsten Keefe. When Keefe pointed out that the Empire Justice Center had drafted its written foreclosure guide already, it seemed primed as an object to convert into a web-based or mobile program. Brescia then reached out to contacts at the University at Albany about the prospect of identifying faculty and students who might be interested in working on such a project. As it turned out, Eric Steinborn, a faculty member at the time at the University at Albany, was looking for a project for a class he taught in web-based design. He was struggling with creating a problem for the students to solve. He was afraid he was going to have to play the role of "client" for each of his student teams and imagine all of the potential interests and needs of such a client so that the students could design a web-based program to respond to this fictional problem. When the prospect of working with the Empire Justice Center and Albany Law School converting the Empire Justice Center's foreclosure guide into an application arose, Steinborn jumped at the chance.

As the semester unfolded, law students, staff at the Empire Justice Center, other legal services providers, and several homeowners who had faced foreclosure attended the class and discussed the foreclosure guide, the law of foreclosure, and the most effective way to present this information and organize a web-based version of the guide. The students gathered in teams, and those teams worked together to develop the application over the course of the semester, bringing in the "clients"--the homeowners, legal services attorneys, and law students--periodically to provide feedback and offer insights into the progress the students were making on their projects. At the end of the semester, a team of judges, including Brescia and several homeowners, "voted" on the winning team's design, then went to work to translate the student project into the web-based application available to homeowners, housing counselors, and lawyers today.

Some of the lessons of this process include, first, that interdisciplinary teams are essential to executing such a technology-based project. Lawyers working on their own, without web-programming skills, could never have translated the Empire Justice Center's written guide to an easy-to-use and widely accessible web-based format. Second, and on the other hand, what lawyers can do is provide the content for the website. For a programmer, having the content already developed by a legal professional means that the computer expert can focus on the design and feel of the web interface, as opposed to the information the site will impart. While some knowledge of the content is important, and the students, practitioners, and homeowners worked throughout the semester to educate the computer students about the foreclosure process itself, that content was already there and waiting for the programmers to convert it into an interactive, web-based program. Of course, there were times when the programmers actually took some liberties with the content, changing critical terms and subverting some of the important information contained in the guide. When this happened, they had to be reeled back in by the lawyers. For the most part, though, the process went quite smoothly, and the students appreciated having such rich content to form the basis of their projects.

In the end, this interdisciplinary collaboration is going to help improve access to justice for low- and moderate-income homeowners facing foreclosure in New York State by providing them with easy-to-access information and guidance that will help them face the foreclosure process. As it turns out, though, the application is also being used by housing counselors and lawyers alike, hopefully making their jobs a little easier and enabling them to serve homeowners better.

The project would have not been possible without the interdisciplinary collaboration of lawyers, law students and law faculty, computer science students and faculty, and, perhaps most importantly, homeowners. The end user voice was so important in this process, not just because the students were able to learn insights from the potential "customers" of their product, but it also humanized their work and allowed them to put a face on their efforts, keeping them motivated, engaged, and inspired.

Collaborations such as these can help bridge the justice gap. The American Bar Association, legal services providers across the country, law schools, consumer advocacy groups, pro bono lawyers, and, last but not least, programmers, need to collaborate in the manner described here to leverage technology to improve access to justice.

D. Some Caveats and Concerns about Technology and the Justice Gap

Apart from raising some of the issues described earlier, like, do such services cross the line into the unauthorized practice of law, or do they provide competent services, concerns which are not unique to delivering services through technology to low- and moderate-income consumers, there are other issues that arise when technology is used to promote access to justice for these consumers. (417) As this article has likely exceeded any length that might be considered reasonable already, the following discussion just begins to plumb the depth of some of these issues.

First and foremost, one must ask the question: are these types of innovations a "substitute" for true access to justice? In many respects, the clear answer is "no." Services such as the foreclosure application are no substitute for an individual receiving full representation by an attorney that is tailored to his or her needs and through which that individual receives the benefit of the lawyer's training and experience. Representation by an attorney provides not just competent but zealous services rendered in a way that is unique to the needs of the individual, and those services are backed up by the disciplinary machinery that ensures they are rendered in a way that satisfies the attorney's ethical obligations to the individual. An app can never substitute for that constellation of services, benefits, accountability, and oversight. Moreover, an app will not empower pro se consumers to take the aggressive steps a lawyer might take against his or her adversaries, the types of steps

and tactics honed by a lawyer over years of practice and experience. For example, in the foreclosure context, the so-called "Robo-Sign Scandal," in which bank officials fabricated court documents related to foreclosures in the thousands, (418) was not uncovered by one of the millions of American homeowners who have faced foreclosure without a lawyer. Rather, it was an intrepid and experienced lawyer working pro bono in collaboration with a legal services office in Maine whose discovery tactics helped to expose the practices that ultimately led to a multibillion-dollar settlement with five of the nation's largest banks. (419)

But the reality for too many Americans of low and moderate income is that they may never have the benefits of this cluster of protections that comes with full representation by a lawyer. Does the question then become "whether technologically innovative legal assistance is good enough, or better than nothing?"

The answer to this question is subject to debate. The key issue is the quality of the information and guidance imparted through technologically innovative delivery systems. There is certainly the risk that a consumer utilizing such services will be worse off, and not better, than if he or she had never used the services in the first place. If a lay person misinterprets some guidance, or worse, receives bad guidance through one of these outlets, it could leave the client in a worse situation than if he or she had never had such assistance in the first place. While this is an extreme example, individuals have long received terrible advice from tax-protesting hacks: those that believe the federal government is not permitted to collect income taxes. Some poor souls have followed such advice to their great detriment. (420)

There are several ways to overcome the twin concerns of misinterpretation of information and ensuring quality of information. To overcome misinterpretation, the providers of technology-enabled legal assistance can do at least two things. First, those who would provide information to consumers must strive to make it as clear as possible to identify the situations in which consumers can rely on the information they receive, as opposed to situations where they cannot. Queries can help situate the consumer and help him or her understand when certain strategies can be deployed and when they should not be deployed. Service providers can identify complicating factual scenarios that take an individual out of the "commodified" scenario; that is, where the one-size-fits-all approach does not quite match that individual's situation. Second, if funding allows it, organizations can make interactive resources available for individuals to navigate the online system. For example, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act included provisions for funding for "navigators": trained individuals who could assist those seeking to apply for health coverage. (421) With the foreclosure guide, a "Resources" link connects consumers to a tool for finding a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). (422) Housing counselors can serve as a live resource to homeowners and, according to anecdotal information we have received about who is using the guide, they are accessing the guide and using it as a tool to advise consumers on how to navigate the foreclosure process. Of course, the more one moves away from offering information over websites and does one-on-one counseling, the more one is moving closer to dispensing legal advice, which may begin to run afoul of legal ethics guidelines and provisions related to the unauthorized practice of law. As We The People found out as well, the cost structure of providing personal counseling services is very different from a service that offers a static, though interactive, web-based information portal.

In terms of the quality of information, there is reputational risk associated with offering a product or service that is poor, inadequate, or harmful. Organizations that offer sites such as these should make it clear that they are putting the reputation of the organization behind the site. With the foreclosure guide, the logos of the Empire Justice Center, the University at Albany, and Albany Law School are all prominently displayed, and each entity is identified as a sponsor. (423) Disclosure such as this assists the consumer to determine the trustworthiness of the information. Organizations with a strong reputation will strive to ensure that the information they provide will be of the highest quality, not just because they do not wish to harm the individuals they are setting out to assist, but also because their reputations will be at stake.

Just as nonprofits that deliver know-your-rights information, as opposed to dispensing legal advice or processing forms, have an advantage over for-profit entities that do both of those things, and run the risk of UPL charges, many providers of free legal services have both good reputations in the community and work to cultivate those relationships by inviting local leaders to serve on boards of directors and working with local elected officials to accept referrals through those officials' constituent services departments. Legal services providers have a reputation to maintain and are accountable to the communities in which they operate. Organizations such as these with a reputation to maintain and defend will strive to ensure that information offered through a web-based portal will be current and effective.

In related fields, the so-called "sharing economy" has had to grapple with ensuring the safety and quality of its services through building the reputations of its providers and consumers. (424) Companies like Uber, Lift, and Airbnb are working to strengthen trust among consumers and producers alike by striving not just to create reputational systems that rate both producers and consumers, but, ironically perhaps in the internet age, by attempting to enhance the face-to-face interactions between the provider of the service and the consumer. (425) As a sharing economy of sorts, Cassandra Burke Robertson has described the increasing use of Facebook and other social media as a means of promoting access to justice, as consumers are using social media to conduct informal discovery and "crowdsourcing" legal advice from lay advocates on social media sites. (426) No doubt, a digital marketplace of legal information is a far cry from the local practitioner who knows his or her community and develops a client base through trust built up over years of ethical, competent, zealous, and effective lawyering in that community. But the legal profession itself is likely a far cry from that ideal already. (427) As technology-enabled efforts to improve access to justice roll out, the reputation of those offering such services will likely be put to the test and, hopefully, such reputation will stand or fall on the quality of the product and the effectiveness and salience of the information provided to the consumer.

Putting reputation aside, one might also criticize the one-size-fits-all approach of many of these web-based programs, including the foreclosure guide described above. The designers of these types of initiatives could never anticipate every potential factual scenario that might confront potential end users of the product. At the same time, just as consumers are facing more one-size-fits-all treatment by the institutions with which they come in contact--banks, cell phone companies, employers, credit card companies (428)--they often face standardized pleadings from creditors. In fact, the Robo-Sign Scandal described above was one example where loan servicers used standardized forms to a fault, often fabricating such documents and mass producing them to generate litigation against homeowners in default on their mortgages. (429) While one would not want anyone to emulate the practices of those involved in that scandal, is there some reason why those wishing to assist consumers facing such mass-produced, one-size-fits-all documents cannot respond in kind by using standardized guidance that attempts to counter such mass-produced documents and commodified strategies?

Certainly some degree of triage in sorting cases is appropriate that identifies those who can benefit from standard, commodified services and those whose cases might not fit within the well-worn tracks of typical cases and approaches. Of course, legal services offices have long done this sort of triage and have rejected cases based on procedural posture, complexity, potential conflicts of interest, or other complicating factors. (430) With any type of case, there will be those cases that bear characteristics that make them good candidates for a one-size-fits-many approach, even if it does not fit them all. (431) Since legal services offices are turning down far more individuals and families than they are serving, and, no doubt, are always engaged in some principled basis upon which to accept or reject cases, a sorting approach that attempts to identify those cases that lend themselves well to alternative means of assistance (e.g., web-based interfaces) and rejects them from full representation on that ground--which frees up other cases for representation--seems to be as good an approach as any. In fact, legal services offices likely engage in triage already, which attempts to identify consumers who can likely handle their cases pro se and rejects those consumers on that ground. It would appear logical that a system that has the option of directing those consumers to helpful, web-based information, assuming they have access to the internet, is superior to one where no such options exist. (432)

Another subtler critique that has great legitimacy centers around concerns that technology-based efforts to promote greater access to justice will actually harm legal services providers offering full-service representation. This concern is twofold. First, there is concern that such efforts will divert funds from full-service representation. This is certainly happening through, at a minimum, the TIG grants described above. (433) At the same time, it is not clear that, were it not offering TIG grants, the LSC would simply have these funds to distribute to full-service legal services providers to offer more traditional services. Second, there is a concern that some might see the availability of web-based, online services as a cheaper substitute for full-service representation, lessening the sense of urgency and the sense of need for full funding for full-service representation.

It is difficult to refute such fears, not because they are unassailable but because the funding environment for legal services for low-income people--let alone the middle class--is so challenging right now that any arguments that might undermine efforts to continue support for such funding should give those interested in ensuring access to justice pause, and with good reason. As detailed above, LSC funding has eroded relatively steadily over the last thirty years. (434) And any diversion of existing funds from existing programs will only exacerbate that erosion. The arguments in favor of technology-enabled access to justice programming must thread the needle between making arguments that embrace the existing and future disruptions, while not undermining the effort to ensure full access to justice for all Americans in any way.


If the construct of The Innovator's Dilemma holds true, disruption in the legal industry will happen at the margins, in those segments of the legal services market currently priced out of that market or presently woefully underserved by it. Enabled by new delivery systems made possible by technology, lawyers in nonprofits, lawyers offering their services on a pro bono basis or for a modest fee, technologists working with lawyers, and peer-to-peer networks will help to chart a course towards greater access to justice for low- and moderate-income communities. At present, the rules governing the legal profession seem to reveal a preference for delivery systems that offer information to pro se litigants and assist them in charting their own course over those that offer tailored, though commodified, legal advice. While these rules seem to create a barrier to the expansion of for-profit models, the present approach adopted by nonprofit entities does not appear to cross the line that separates merely offering information from providing tailored advice. Thus, the structure of the rules governing the legal profession would seem to create an environment perfect for disruptive innovation, but only true disruptive innovation, the type that caters to the lower end of the market first and eventually works its way up to higher segments of the market.

Perhaps over time, once organizations and individuals experiment with and establish successful, effective, and efficient technology-enabled systems that can deliver meaningful access to justice to the lower ends of the market for legal services, these successful experiments might just help to ease the fears that something less than individualized, bespoke service is the only form of legal assistance that can serve the entire market for legal assistance. It is only then that that market will face true disruption.

In Tomorrow's Lawyers, Susskind writes as follows:
   Some of these uses of online legal services will be
   "disruptive" for traditional law firms.... But, at the same
   time, many of these techniques will make the law available
   to people who would otherwise have no affordable sources of
   legal help. This I call the realization of the "latent legal
   market"--those countless occasions in the lives of many
   people when they need legal help and would benefit from
   legal help but, until now, they have been unable to secure
   this assistance (whether to resolve, contain, or avoid
   problems, or indeed to afford them some benefit). Online
   legal service, therefore, will liberate the latent legal
   market. (435)

Many lament the disruption they see taking place in the legal profession. As we hope we have shown in this article, those interested in improving access to justice in the United States should embrace some aspects of the current and upcoming disruptions to the profession. Today, for the eighty percent of low-income individuals and the fifty percent of moderate-income individuals who face their legal problems without a lawyer, or do not face them at all, this disruption could not come fast enough.









Figure 4

       Disruptor                    Disruptee

  Community colleges            Four-year college

Retail medical clinics    Traditional doctors' offices

  Personal Computers           Mainframe and mini

        Tablets                Personal Computers

        Pandora                Conventional Radio

        Toyota                 General Motors/Ford

        Amazon                       Borders

         Skype                  Wireless Carriers

Figure 7

1976-2012 Annual LSC Appropriations (5)

          Annual LSC       Pwaantage      Annual LSC
Grant   Appropriations    Change from   Appropriations
Year          ($)         Prior Year    in 2012 Dollars

1976      116,960,000           --        $471,939,000
1977      125,000,000         6.9%        $473,585,000
1978      205,000,900        64.0%        $721,883,000
1979      270,000,000        31.7%        $853,862,000
1980      300,000,000        11.1%        $835,900,000
1981      321,300,000         7.1%        $811,535,000
1982      241,000,000       -25.0%        $573,390,000
1983      241,000,000         0.0%        $555,544,000
1984      275,000,000        14.1%        $607,684,000
1985      305,000,000        10.9%        $650,801,000
1986      292,363,000        -4.1%        $612,452,000
1987      305,500,000         4.5%        $617,438,000
1988      305,500,000         0.0%        $592,908,000
1989      308,555,000         1.0%        $571,309,000
1990      316,525,000         2.6%        $556,023,000
1991      328,182,000         3.7%        $553,220,000
1992      350,000,000         6.6%        $572,758,000
1993      357,000,000         2.0%        $567,232,000
1994      400,000,000        12.0%        $619,687,000
1995      400,000,000         0.0%        $602,609,000
1996      278,000,000       -30.5%        $406,801,000
1997      283,000,000         1,8%        $404,829,000
1998      283,000,000         0.0%        $398,620,000
1999      300,000,000         6.0%        $413,435,000
2000      303,841,000         1.3%        $405,111,000
2001      329,274,000         8.4%        $426,874,000
2002      329,300,000         0.0%        $420,263,000
2003      336,645,488         2.2%        $420,063,000
2004      335,282,450        -0.4%        $407,511,000
2005      330,803,705        -1.3%        $388,892,000
2006      326,577,984        -1.3%        $371,926,000
2007      348,578,000         6.7%        $385,987,000
2008      350,490,000         0.5%        $373,754,000
2009      390,000,000        11.3%        $417,372,000
2010      420,000,000         7.7%        $442,223,000
2011      404,100,000        -3.8%        $412,463,000
2012      348,000,000       -13.9%        $348,000,000

Source: LEGAL SERVS. CORP., supra note 298, at 3.

Figure 9

2012 LSC and Non-LSC Funding Summary for Programs (10)

LSC Grants &
Related Support   39.9%

State & Local
Grants            20.6%

Filing Fees        4.4%

IOLTA              5.8%

Other Federal
Grants             6.9%

Other Non-LSC
Funds             12.1%

Source: Legal Servs. Corp., supra note 298, at 8.

Note: Table made from pie chart.

(1) See infra Part IV.D.

(2) Richard Susskind, The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal SERVICES 1 (2008); see also John O. McGinnis & Russell G. Pearce, Colloquium The Great Disruption: How Machine Intelligence will Transform the Role of Lawyers in the Delivery of Legal Services, 82 FORDHAM L. Rev. 3041, 3043 (2014) (predicting that disruption in the legal profession will bring about an "age of unparalleled innovation in legal services").

(3) Disruptive Innovation, CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(4) Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (1997).

(5) Joseph L. Bower & Clayton M. Christensen, Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave, Harv. BUS. rev., Jan.-Feb. 1995, at 45-48.

(6) See Business Books: Aiming High, ECONOMIST, July 2, 2011, at 18; Biography, CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(7) David Whelan, Clayton Christensen: The Survivor, FORBES, Mar. 14, 2011, at 72.

(8) See, e.g., Clayton M. Christensen et al., Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption, HARV. BUS. Rev., Oct. 2013, at 108 ("[W]e have been studying the professional services, especially consulting and law, through the lens of these theories to understand how they are changing and why.... We have come to the conclusion that the same forces that disrupted so many businesses, from steel to publishing, are starting to reshape the world of consulting.").

(9) See id. at 114 (providing six elements that are necessary for an established business to succeed in "self disruption").

(10) How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton Christensen at TEDx Boston, TEDX (July 18, 2012),

(11) IMD Bus. School, Clay Christensen Talks About the Innovator's Dilemma at IMD, YOUTUBE (May 10, 2013),

(12) How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton Christensen at TEDx Boston, supra note 10.

(13) Disruptive Innovation, supra note 3.

(14) Id.

(15) Bower & Christensen, supra note 5, at 45.

(16) Disruptive Innovation, supra note 3.

(17) See id.

(18) See id.

(19) See id.-, Disruptive Innovation Explained, HARV. BUS. REV. (Mar. 6, 2012), /2012/03/disrupti ve-innovation-explaine.html.

(20) Disruptive Innovation Explained, supra note 19.

(21) Disruptive Innovation, supra note 3.

(22) Mike Masnik, Implementing New Ideas Quickly, YouTube (Nov. 16, 2009), https://www.

(23) See infra Appendix Figures 1-2.

(24) Abraham M. Lackman, The Collapse of Catholic School Enrollment: The Unintended Consequence of the Charter School Movement, 6 Alb. GOV'T L. Rev. 1, 9-10 (2013) (alterations in original) (quoting Chester E. Finn, Jr., Disruptive Innovation and Independent Public Schools, THOMAS B. FORDHAM Inst. (June 20, 2012), -gadfly-weekly/2012/june-21/disruptive-innovation-and-independent-public-schools .html).

(25) Clayton M. Christensen et al., Disrupting Class: How Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (2008).

(26) Lackman, supra note 24, at 9.

(27) Id.

(28) Saul Kaplan, How Not to Get "Netflixed," FORTUNE (Oct. 11, 2011), 11/10/11/how-not-to-get-netflixed/.

(29) See, e.g., Kevin Harrington, Is Your Company About to Get Netflixed?, FORBES (Oct. 15, 2013); Kaplan, supra note 28.

(30) Kaplan, supra note 28.

(31) Lauren Fraser et al., Netflix: Disrupting Blockbuster (Nov. 9, 2009) (unpublished manuscript).

(32) Id.

(33) Id.

(34) Willy Shih et at, Netflix 2 (Harvard Bus. Sch. Case Study, No. 9-607-139, 2009).

(35) Id.

(36) Id.

(37) Fraser et al., supra note 31.

(38) Shih et al., supra note 34, at 2.

(39) Id.

(40) Fraser et at, supra note 31.

(41) Shih et at, supra note 34, at 1.

(42) Id.

(43) Id.

(44) Id. at 3; Kaplan, supra note 28.

(45) Shih et at, supra note 34, at 4-5.

(46) Fraser et al., supra note 31.

(47) Shih et al., supra note 34, at 3.

(48) Id. at 4.

(49) Id. at 9.

(50) Kaplan, supra note 28.

(51) Id.

(52) Id.

(53) Id; see also infra Appendix Figure 3 (illustrating Blockbuster's and Netflix's movie

rental revenues between 2004 and 2010).

(54) Kaplan, supra note 28.

(55) Id.

(56) Id.

(57) See infra Appendix Figure 4.

(58) See Christensen Institute, CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN, ideas-in-action/christensen-institute/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(59) Id.

(60) Id.

(61) Christensen et al., supra note 8.

(62) Robert Ambrogi, At Harvard Law, Talk of Disruptive Innovation, L. TECH. NEWS (Mar. 7, 2014), available at LEXIS, Law Technology News File.

(63) Matthew Yglesias, Stop "Disrupting" Everything: Houi a Once-Useful Concept Turned into a Meaningless Buzzword, SLATE (May 1, 2013), moneybox/2013/05/disrupting_disruption_a_once_useful_concept_has_become_a_lame_catchphrase.html.

(64) See, e.g., Georgetown Law, Ctr. for the Study of the Legal Profession & Thomson Reuters, Peer Monitor, 2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market 13 (2014) [hereinafter GEORGETOWN Law & THOMAS REUTERS], available at https://peermonitor. (noting the inevitability of disruptive innovation within the legal field); Lesley H. Curtis & Kevin A. Schulman, Overregulation of Health Care: Musings on Disruptive Innovation Theory, 69 Law & CONTEMP. PROBS. 195, 201 (2006) (discussing how disruptive innovation has affected the healthcare industry); Jon M. Garon, Mortgaging the Meme: Financing and Managing Disruptive Innovation, 10 Nw. J. TECH. & INTELL. PROP. 441, [paragraph][paragraph] 5-16 (2012) (providing an overview of profound disruptive innovation); Lackman, supra note 24, at 9-10 (arguing that charter schools have disrupted Catholic education); Fred von Lohmann, Fair Use as Innovation Policy, 23 BERKELEY TECH. L.J. 829, 850-51 (2008) (discussing how copyright laws can protect companies from disruptive innovation); Jordan Furlong, What Disruption Really Means, LAW21 (Apr. 8, 2013), (discussing the difficulties traditional law firms face when dealing with disruptive innovation and providing two instances where law firms have welcomed innovative change); John Rider, Disruptive Innovation and the Law, COGNITION LLP (Mar. 23, 2014), http://www.cognitionllp .com/disruptive-innovation-and-the-law/ (highlighting that law firms have resisted innovations and have maintained traditional structures which have existed for decades).

(65) Georgetown Law & Thomas Reuters, supra note 64, at 13; Furlong, supra note 64; Rider, supra note 64.

(66) Christensen et al., supra note 8, at 109-10.

(67) Id. at 108.

(68) See id. at 108-09.

(69) Id. at 108.

(70) Id.

(71) Id. at 108-09.

(72) Id. at 109.

(73) Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

(74) Id.

(75) Id.

(76) Id.

(77) Id.

(78) Id.

(79) Id. at 110. In addition, new products and services are utilizing machine learning to make production and processing of contracts, legal forms and pleadings easier and more efficient to manage. In turn, this saves lawyer time and reduces client costs. EBrevia is a recent example of this type of innovative company that is serving the legal services industry by utilizing technology to "bend the cost curve" of legal services. See EBREVIA, http://ebrevia

.com/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(80) See Id. at 109-10 ("Emerging law firms are innovating quickly to take business away from white-shoe firms.").

(81) See, e.g., Jill Lepore, The Disruption Machine: What the Gospel of Innovation Gets Wrong, The New YORKER, June 23, 2014, at 30.

(82) See, e.g., SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 1 (assessing the role of technological and other changes on law firm practice); Larry E. Ribstein, The Death of Big Law, 2010 WIS. L. Rev. 749, 751-52 (discussing the economic viability of big law).

(83) See Bower & Christensen, supra note 5, at 45.

(84) See id.

(85) See id. at 45-46 (describing how at first Sony's transistor radios were unattractive to mainstream customers due to their inferior sound quality, yet their smaller size and portability created a new market for their use).

(86) Ray Worthy Campbell, Rethinking Regulation and Innovation in the U.S. Legal Services Market, 9 N.Y.U. J.L. & BUS. 1, 39 (2012).

(87) See Richard D. Lyons, Norman Dacey, 85; Advised His Readers to Avoid Probate, N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 19, 1994, at 52.

(88) Norman F. Dacey Wrote Book on Ways to Avoid Probate, L.A. TIMES, Mar. 21, 1994, at A16.

(89) Lyons, supra note 87, at 52.

(90) See How to Avoid Probate!, AMAZON, n-Dacey/dp/0020081812 (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(91) Lyons, supra note 87, at 52.

(92) How to Avoid Probate!, supra note 90.

(93) How to Avoid Probate!, BARNES & NOBLE, how-toavoid-probate-norman-f-dacey/1000260337?ean=9780062731883 (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(94) Nolo, 101 Law Forms for Personal Use (9th ed. 2013).

(95) 101 Law Forms for Personal Use, NOLO, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(96) See, e.g., Know Your Rights, NaTL RIGHT TO WORK LEGAL DEF. FOUND., INC., http://www (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(97) For example, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation's guide is designed to assist employees who claim their civil rights have been violated by a union. See id.

(98) Know Your Rights, A.B.A. (Nov. 21, 2011), http://www.americanbar.Org/news/abanews/a ba-news-archives/2013/08/know__your_rights.html. The video is available for free streaming in English, Spanish, and French on the American Bar Association website and available for purchase from their web fstore. Id.

(99) Know Your Rights Campaign, GOV'T ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT, http://gaproject.nonprofi (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(100) Id.

(101) Know Your Rights, NAT'L Law. GUILD, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(102) See Brandon Schwarzentraub, Electronic Wills & the Internet: Is LegalZoom Involved in the Unauthorized Practice of Law or is Their Success Simply Ruffling the Legal Profession's Feathers?, 5 EST. PLAN. & COMMUNITY PROP. L.J. 1, 1 (2013).

(103) See Campbell, supra note 86, at 8 (analyzing the development of online legal research as a sustaining innovation); BLOOMBERG BNA, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); LEXISNEXIS, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); WESTLAW, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(104) About LexisNexis, LEXISNEXIS, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(105) See Christina L. Kunz et al., The Process of Legal Research: Authorities and OPTIONS 90-94 (8th ed. 2012) (discussing key number system and its development).

(106) Id. at 97.

(107) Better Legal Connections--Our Legacy of Innovation, The KNOWLEDGE EFFECT: THOMSON Reuters, gacy-of-innovation/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(108) New Release of Lexis Advance Significantly Expands Content Breadth and Functionality, LEXISNEXIS (July 19, 2012), http://www.lexisnexis.eom/en-us/about-us/media/p

(109) KUNZ ET al., supra note 105, at 98.

(110) Id. at 110. Westlaw's citing system is referred to as KeyCite and LexisNexis's as Shepard's. Id.

(111) Mobile Legal Research, THOMSON REUTERS, w-products/westlaw-legal-research#mobile (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(112) KUNZ ET AL., supra note 105, at 122.

(113) Nolo is the company that best illustrates how these disruptive technologies have transformed with advances in technology. The company began offering paper legal guides for consumers in 1971 and has expanded its service to offer do-it-yourself software products. About Us, NOLO, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). Nolo offers software products such as Quicken Willmaker, Quicken Legal Business Pro, Nolo Digital Forms, and electronic products such as e-books. See Legal Forms and Online Documents, Books, & Software, NOLO, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). Nolo became one of the first legal websites as well. Nolo joined the online service with creation of ExpertHubOne in 2008 for small firms and solo practitioners while still offering its software products. About Us, supra. Nolo is predominantly known for its Quicken software products. See, e.g., Quicken WillMaker Plus 2015, NOLO, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015) (advertising Quicken WillMaker Plus as Nolo's bestseller).

(114) JUSTANSWER, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(115) ROCKETLAWYER, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). RocketLawyer was created by attorney Charley Moore with the goal of providing simple and affordable legal services to more people. See About Us, ROCKETLAWYER, http://www.rocketla (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). Its catch phrase is "everything you need to make it legal." RocketLawyer, FACEBOOK, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). The website "combine[s] free legal documents and free legal information with access to affordable representation by licensed attorneys." About Us, supra.

(116) LAWYERS.COM, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(117) LEGALZOOM, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). It was created in 2000 by attorneys Brian Liu, Brian Lee, Robert Shapiro, and Eddie Hartman (who possessed a background in computer science). About Us, LEGALZOOM, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Management Team, LEGALZOOM, bout-us/management-team (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(118) MyAttorneyHome, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(119) See Linda Morton, Finding a Suitable Lawyer: Why Consumers Can't Always Get What They Want and What the Legal Profession Should Do About It, 25 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 283, 299 (1992).

(120) See id.

(121) For example, see MYATTORNEYHOME, supra note 118.

(122) See, STARTUPS (Nov. 25, 2013), ce-com/.

(123) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 112.

(124) Jennifer Schiff, Get Basic Legal Help Without a Lawyer, SMALL BUS. COMPUTING.COM (Jan. 11, 2007), t-Basic-Legal-Help-without-a-Lawyer.htm.

(125) Id.

(126) Legal Questions? Find Answers Here!, MyAttorneyHome, http://www.myattorneyhom (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(127) Delia Venables, TakeLegalAdvice, INFOLAW (Mar. 2010), letter/2010/03/takelegaladvice/.

(128) Find an Attorney You Can Trust at a Truly Affordable Price, LEGALZOOM, http://www.le (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(129) See William A. Hilyerd, Using the Law Library: A Guide for Educators Part TV: Secondary Sources to the Rescue, 34 J.L. & EDUC. 273, 279 (2005).

(130) See, e.g., MYATTORNEYHOME, supra note 118.

(131) See, e.g., id.

(132) One example would be American Jurisprudence.

(133) See, e.g., MYATTORNEYHOME, supra note 118.

(134) KUNZ ET AL., supra note 105, at 97.

(135) Bruce H. Kobayashi & Larry E. Ribstein, Law's Information Revolution, 53 ARIZ. L. REV. 1169, 1173 (2011).

(136) Id.

(137) Id. at 1197-98.

(138) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 123.

(139) Schiff, supra note 124.

(140) MyAttorneyHome, supra note 118. Its catch phrase is "Your Home for Legal Solutions." Id.

(141) LAWYERS.COM, supra note 116. The website's main page is organized by either finding a lawyer by location or by area of law and has the option of finding legal information by topic. Id. Its catch phrase is: 'Tour Legal Solution Starts Here." Id.

(142) Id.

(143) Nolo owns a number of subsidiaries, including, and About Us, supra note 113.

(144) Id.

(145) See, e.g., LexisNexis Automated Forms, LEXISNEXIS, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Quicken WillMaker Plus, TOP Ten REVIEWS, .html (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(146) For example, Nolo's Quicken WillMaker Plus allows users to create wills, health care directives, and power of attorney documents. Quicken WillMaker Plus, supra note 145.

(147) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 101.

(148) See Johnathan Jenkins, Note, What Can Information Technology Do for You?, 21 HAHV. J.L. & TECH. 589, 597-600 (2008); Kobayashi & Ribstein, supra note 135, at 1199-1204 (explaining how computer algorithms could potentially be used to predict legal implications of specific sets of facts).

(149) How It Works, LEGALZOOM, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); What We Do, ROCKET LAWYER, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(150) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 101-02.

(151) Campbell, supra note 86, at 55, 62.

(152) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 101-02.

(153) Id. at 102.

(154) Id.

(155) See Jenkins, supra note 148, at 591.

(156) SUSSKIND, supra note 2, at 104.

(157) Schwarzentraub, supra note 102, at 3.

(158) Id. at 3-4.

(159) Kobayashi & Ribstein, supra note 135, at 1194.

(160) WE THE PEOPLE, http://www.wethepeoplemdr.eom/# (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(161) Campbell, supra note 86, at 46.

(162) Richard Acello, We the Pauper, A.B.A. J., May 2010, at 24, 24.

(163) Id.

(164) Id. at 25 (first alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted).

(165) Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

(166) Id.

(167) Schwarzentraub, supra note 102, at 7.

(168) About Us, supra note 117.

(169) Pane S. Ciolino, Is LegalZoom Engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law in Louisianaf, La. Legal ETHICS (Nov. 8, 2013), web-based-legal-service-providers-engaged-unauthorized-practice-law/. As of February 2015, LegalZoom has stopped advertising "personalized, affordable legal services." See About Us, supra note 117.

(170) Catherine J. Lanctot, Scriveners in Cyberspace: Online Document Preparation and the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 30 HOFSTRAL. REV. 811, 815 (2002).

(171) Id. at 820. For example, websites such as National Court Documents, US Legal Forms, Legal Forms, Form Preparation Services, and Docupronet provide legal forms. Id. at 819 n.34.

(172) Kobayashi and Ribstein, supra note 135, at 1193.

(173) Lanctot, supra note 170, at 829-30.

(174) Schwarzentraub, supra note 102, at 5.

(175) Id. at 6-7 (internal quotation marks omitted).

(176) See Legal Advice Law & Legal Definition, USLegal, http://definitions.uslegal.eom/l/lega 1-advice/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(177) See Am. Bae Ass'n., State Definitions of the Practice of Law, available at hcheckdam.pdf (listing each state's definition and applicable rules regarding the practice of law).

(178) See, e.g., Welcome to Tully Rinckey PLLC, TULLY RlNCKEY PLLC, http://www.tullylegal .com/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(179) Susskind, supra note 2, at 122.

(180) MyAttorneyHome, supra note 118.

(181) JUSTANSWER, supra note 114.

(182) See id.

(183) Id.

(184) Id.

(185) MyAttorneyHome, supra note 118.

(186) Id.

(187) See, e.g., Review a Lawyer, Awo, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(188) See Susskind, supra note 2, at 108.

(189) Id. at 109.

(190) LINKEDIN, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(191) See SuSSKIND, supra note 2, at 110 (suggesting that the traditional method of choosing legal representation results in consumers who lack information).

(192) Kobayashi & Ribstein, supra note 135, at 1197. Shpoonkle is no longer a functioning website.

(193) The First Smartphone, IT LOG (June 25, 2009),

(194) Gerard Goggin, Ubiquitous Apps: Politics of Openness in Global Mobile Cultures, 22 Digital Creativity 148,150-51 (2011).

(195) Ryan W. Neal, Apple iPhone to iPhone 6: The 7-Year Evolution of A Game-Changing Smartphone, INT'L Bus. TIMES (Jan. 9, 2014), apple-iphone-iphone-67-year-evolution-game-changing-smartphone-photos-1533776.

(196) Laura E. Gomez-Martin, Smartphone Usage and the Need for Consumer Privacy Laws, 12 U. Pitt. J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 2, [paragraph] 3 (2012).

(197) See, e.g., Blake Ellis, 7 Best Apps for Filing Taxes, CNN MONEY, http://money.cnn.eom/g alleries/2011/pf71102/gallery.tax_smartphone_apps/index.html (last updated Feb. 10, 2011).

(198) One example would be the "Arc Legal Assistance Claims" app, which "allows you to complete and submit a claim form under your Arc Legal Assistance Legal Expenses Insurance policy." Arc Legal Assistance Claims Application, ITUNES, -legal-assistance-claims/id421388700?mt=8 (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(199) See, e.g., Apps, WINDOWS PHONE, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015) (listing several apps under the category "legal issues").

(200) Legal and Copyright Small Business Toolkit, iTUNES, gal-copyright-small-business/id496937612?mt=8 (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(201) LEGAL BUDDY, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). For Albany County in New York, the app has the following selections: Accident (accident, leaving the scene: no witness, leaving the scene: witness), Criminal Law (assault with a vehicle, drug possession, gun possession, minor in possession), DWI/DUI, Traffic Tickets, Bail Bonds (AboutBail contact), and SR-22 which pops up with a link that says "call to advertise!" Availability of public advertising may discredit such an app and make it become similar to a source like Wiki.

(202) Legal Buddy, ITUNES, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(203) See Legal Buddy, supra note 201; see also Legal Buddy, supra note 202.

(204) See infra Appendix Figures 5-6.

(205) See Michael Lewis, Faking It, N.Y. TIMES MAG., July 15, 2001, at 32 (discussing the story of a 15-year old boy who was giving legal advice over the internet); see also Beware of Fake "Legal Aid" Services, LEGAL SERVICES NORTHERN CAL. (April 2004), les/2011/05/fake-legal-aidl.pdf (warning elderly consumers of fraudulent providers of legal services).

(206) See Lanctot, supra note 170, at 820.

(207) Legal DIY Websites No Match for a Pro, CONSUMER Rep., Sept. 2012, at 13.

(208) Id.

(209) Id.

(210) Id.

(211) Schwarzentraub, supra note 102, at 8.

(212) See Michael J. Wolf, Collaborative Technology Improves Access to Justice, 15 N.Y.U. J. LEGIS. & PUB. POL'Y 759, 784 (2012) (discussing how online legal services are a "promising way" for low-income people in need of legal service to have access to the justice system); Lindzey Schindler, Comment, Skirting the Ethical Line: The Quandary of Online Legal Forms, 16 CHAP. L. REV. 185, 191 (2012) (suggesting that a will prepared by LegalZoom is better than no will at all); see also Deborah L. Rhode & Lucy Buford Ricca, Protecting the Profession or the Public? Rethinking Unauthorized-Practice Enforcement, 82 FORDHAM L. REV. 2587, 2596 (2014) (noting that people are desperate for legal help and are turning to online legal services regardless of whether the site is legal or not).

(213) Legal Servs. Corp., Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans 25 (2009).

(214) J.D. Smeallie, From the BBA President: Connecting Supply with Demand to Fill the Justice Gap, BOS. B. Ass'n (July 22, 2013), policy-archive/2013/07/22/from-bba-president-connecting-supply-with-demand-to-fill-the justice-gap.

(215) See LEGAL Servs. CORP., supra note 213, at 6. Lanctot, supra note 170, at 853.

(216) See Rhode & Buford Ricca, supra note 212, at 2597; see also Rocket Lawyer Survey Reveals Top Issues for Small Businesses Are Legal and Financial, with a Majority Optimistic About Growth in 2012, ROCKET LAWYER NEWS (Feb. 1, 2012), https://www.rocketlawyer.eom/n ews/article-SMB-Growth-2012.aspx (discussing how small business owners describe the hardest part of running their business to include "dealing with" legal problems).

(217) Rhode & Buford Ricca, supra note 212, at 2596; Jennifer Smith, Law Journal: No-Frill Legal Services Grow, WALL ST. J., Dec. 3, 2012, at B7.

(218) See Am. BAR Ass'n., supra note 177.

(219) See Rhode & Buford Ricca, supra note 212, at 2597-98 (discussing penalties for UPL violators).

(220) See Am. Bar Ass'n., supra note 177 (detailing each states definition of the practice of law); Deborah L. Rhode, Policing the Professional Monopoly: A Constitutional and Empirical Analysis of Unauthorized Practice Prohibitions, 34 STAN. L. Rev. 1, 45-46 (1981).

(221) Rhode & Buford Ricca, supra note 212, at 2588.

(222) See id.

(223) am. Bar Ass'n., supra note 177, at 10 (quoting Fink v. Peden, 17 N.E.2d 95, 96 (Ind. 1938)).

(224) Model Rules of Prof'l Conduct r. 5.5 (2014); Gerard J. Clark, Internet Wars: The Bar Against the Websites, 13 J. High Tech. L. 247, 275-76 (2013).

(225) See, e.g., N.Y. Cnty. Lawyers' Ass'n v. Dacey, 283 N.Y.S.2d 984, 987 (App. Div.), rev'd, 234 N.E.2d 459 (N.Y. 1967); see also Lanctot, supra note 170, at 828-36 (discussing various unauthorized practice of law challenges in the 1970s and beyond).

(226) Dacey, 283 N.Y.S.2d at 987.

(227) Id. at 989.

(228) Id. at 987.

(229) N.Y. Cnty Lawyers' Ass'n v. Dacey, 234 N.E.2d 459, 423 (N.Y. 1967).

(230) Dacey, 283 N.Y.S.2d at 999 (Stevens, J., dissenting).

(231) Id. at 1000.

(232) See Lanctot, supra note 170, at 823-37 (discussing the effect of Dacey and its progeny).

(233) for examples of websites in which the courts themselves provided forms and/or explanations of the law see Case & Legal Resources, MASS. CT. SYS., ts/case-legal-res/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Court Forms, MASS. CT. SYS., http://www.mass.g ov/courts/forms/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Representing Yourself in Federal Court (Pro Se), U.S. DISTRICT Ct. S. District N.Y., (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(234) Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm. v. Parsons Tech., Inc., No. Civ. A. 3:97CV-2859H, 1999 WL 47235, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 22, 1999), vacated per curiam, 179 F.3d 956 (5th Cir. 1999).

(235) Id. at *6.

(236) Id.

(237) Id.

(238) Id.

(239) Id. at *11.

(240) See Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm. v. Parsons Tech., Inc., 179 F.3d 956, 956 (5th Cir. 1999) (per curiam).

(241) Id.; see Tex. Gov't CODE Ann. [section] 81.101(c) (West 2013).

(242) Schwarzentraub, supra note 102, at 5-13.

(243) See Catherine J. Lanctot, Does LegalZoom Have First Amendment Rights?: Some Thoughts About Freedom of Speech and the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 20 Temp. POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 255, 258-62 (2011).

(244) See id. at 258-61.

(245) See Clark, supra note 224, at 256-86 (detailing the cases involving LegalZoom among the several states).

(246) See Janson v., Inc., 802 F. Supp. 2d 1053, 1063 (W.D. Mo. 2011) (discussing how LegalZoom's use of certain language on its website suggests that its services are the equivalent of an attorney).

(247) Id. at 1057-58.

(248) MO. ANN. Stat. [section] 484.020.1 (West 2014).

(249) Id. at [section] 484.010.2.

(250) Janson, 803 F. Supp. 2d at 1065.

(251) See id. (noting that it was the preparation of legal documents and not simply the provision of blank forms that distinguishes this case from Dacey).

(252) Id. at 1055-56.

(253) Id. at 1065.

(254) Plaintiffs' Suggestions in Support of Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement at 5-7, Janson v. LegalZoom, 802 F. Supp. 2d 1053 (W.D. Mo. 2011) (No. 2:10-CV04018-NKL).

(255) Id

(256) Id. at 3, 8.

(257) See Lanctot, supra note 243, at 258-59.

(258) Webster v. LegalZoom, No. B240129, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 6972 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 1, 2014).

(259) Id. at *7, *17; see also Class Action Settlement Agreement at 18, Webster v., Inc., No. BC438637 (Cal. June 29, 2011).

(260) Frankfort Digital Servs. v. Kistler, 477 F.3d 1117, 1126 (9th Cir. 2007).

(261) Pa. Bar Ass'n Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm., Formal Op. 2010-01 (2010).

(262) Conn. Bar Ass'n Unauthorized Practice of Law Comm., Informal Op. 2008-01 (2008).

(263) Ohio State Bar Ass'n. v. Cohen, 836 N.E.2d 1219, 1219-20 (2005).

(264) See Clark, supra note 224, at 264-67, 277, 281-282, 292-296 (discussing instances where courts or bar associations have proscribed changes needed for the service to comply with UPL laws and emphasized support for the continued use and expansion of internet legal services).

(265) Letter from Anthony S. di Santi, Chair, N.C. State Bar Authorized Practice Comm., to Charles E. Rampenthal,, Inc. (May 5, 2008).

(266) Rachel M. Zahorsky, Alabama Bar Group Files Suit to Ban LegalZoom, A.B.A J. (July 15, 2011), legalzoom/.

(267) See, e.g., Clark, supra note 224, at 258, 272, 277-79; Zahorsky, supra note 266; Letter from Anthony S. di Santi to Charles E. Rampenthal, supra note 265.

(268) Model Rules of Prof'l Conduct r. 1.2(c) (2011).

(269) See id. at r. 1.2(c) cmt. 7.

(270) Id. at r. 1.2(c) cmt. 6.

(271) See id. at r. 1.2(c).

(272) Id. atr. 1.14(a).

(273) Id. atr. 1.14(b).

(274) See supra Part III.B.

(275) LegalShield Services, Pakker Stanbury LLP, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Our Attorneys, Parker Stanbury LLP, html (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(276) BBB Business Review: LegalShield, BBB,

views/legal-services-plans/legalshield-in-ada-ok-9000434 (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(277) See LegalShield Service Standards, Parker Stanbury LLP, http://www.parkstan.eom/s ervice.html (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(278) See supra Part III.D.

(279) See Patricia Jean Lamkin, Annotation, Sale of Books or Forms Designed to Enabled Laymen to Achieve Legal Results Without Assistance of Attorney as Unauthorized Practice of Law, 71 A.L.R.3d 1000, 1003 (2014). For cases that expressly or impliedly support the view that the sale of standardized legal forms, without more, does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law, see People ex rel. Attorney Gen. v. Bennett, 74 P.2d 671, 672-73 (Colo. 1937); Fla. Bar v. Stupica, 300 So. 2d 683, 687 (Fla. 1974); Fla. Bar v. Am. Legal & Bus. Forms, Inc., 274 So. 2d 225, 227 (Fla. 1973); N.Y. Cnty. Lawyers' Ass'n v. Dacey, 234 N.E.2d 459, 459 (N.Y. 1967); State v. Winder, 348 N.Y.S.2d 270, 271-72 (N.Y. App. Div. 1973); Or. State Bar v. Gilchrist, 538 P.2d 913, 919 (Or. 1975); Shortz v. Yetter, 38 Pa. D. & C. 291, 300 (C.P. 1940).

(280) See Stupica, 300 So. 2d at 687; Am. Legal & Bus. Forms, Inc., 274 So. 2d at 228.

(281) James E. Cabral et al., Using Technology to Enhance Access to Justice, 26 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 241, 318 n.377 (2012).

(282) See N.Y. Cnty. Lawyers' Ass'n v. Dacey, 283 N.Y.S.2d 984, 998 (App. Div.), rev'd, 234 N.E.2d 459 (N.Y. 1967).

(283) Model Code of Prof'l Responsibility EC 3-5 (1982); see also Derek A. Denckla, Nonlawyers and the Unauthorized Practice of Law: An Overview of the Legal and Ethical Parameters, 67 Fordham. L. Rev. 2581, 2586-87 (1999) (attempting to define UPL).

(284) Am. Legal & Bus. Forms, Inc., 274 So. 2d at 288 (citing Fla Bar v. Sperry, 140 So. 2d

587, 591 (Fla. 1962)).

(285) See Natalie Gomez-Velez, Structured Discrete Task Representation to Bridge the Justice Gap: CUNY Law School's Launchpad For Justice in Partnership with Courts and Communities, 16 CUNY L. Rev. 21, 21-22 (2012).

(286) See id. at 21-22.

(287) See James R. Silkenat, Trouble in Paradox: Our Nation's Unmet Legal Needs and Unemployed Young Lawyer, N.Y. St. B. Ass'N J., Sept. 2013, at 55.

(288) Id.

(289) Deborah L. Rhode, Access to Justice: An Agenda for Legal Education and Research, 62 J. Legal Educ. 531, 531 (2013).

(290) See Deborah L. Rhode, Access to Justice 79-80 (2004).

(291) Rhode, supra note 289, at 534.

(292) Id

(293) Id.

(294) Rhode, supra note 290, at 79.

(295) Id.

(296) Id. at 79-80.

(297) See Legal Servs. Corp., Strategic Plan 2012-2016, at 2-3 (2012), available at http:// 2.pdf.

(298) See Legal Servs. Corp., 2012 Fact Book 3 (2012), available at / For a complete breakdown of LSC's funding between 1976 and 2012, see infra Appendix Figure 7.

(299) Legal Servs. Corp., supra note 298, at 3. For a breakdown of LSC's appropriations in both actual and inflation-adjusted 2012 dollars, see infra Appendix Figure 8.

(300) AM. Bar Ass'n., Civil Legal Aid Funding by Source (2013), available at http://www.americanbar.Org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_aid_indigent_defendants/l s_sclaid_atj_legal_aid_funding_source.authcheckdam.pdf (noting that LSC funding accounted for $303,957,000, which was only twenty-three percent of total funding). For a full breakdown of funding for legal services in 2012, see infra Appendix Figure 9.

(301) See Legal Servs. Corp., supra note 298, at 3.

(302) Legal Servs. Corp., Documenting the Justice Gap in America: The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans 3 (2009), available at http://www.lsc. gov/sites/default/files/LSC/pdfs/documenting_thejustice_gap_in_america_2009.pdf.

(303) Id.

(304) Id. at 9.

(305) Id.

(306) Id. app. at A-1.

(307) Id.

(308) Id.

(309) Id.

(310) Legal Servs. Corp., supra note 298, at l.

(311) Center For Am. Progress, Closing the Justice Gap: How Innovation and Evidence Can Bring Legal Services to More Americans 18 (201 i), available at http://cdn.; legal servs. Corp., supra note 298, at V.

(312) Legal Servs. Corp., Report of the Pro Bono Task Force 2 (2012), available at

(313) Center for Am. Progress, supra note 311, at 9.

(314) Id. at 16.

(315) Id.

(316) Id.

(317) Id. at 15.

(318) Id.

(319) Id. at 17.

(320) Id. at 10.

(321) Id. at 11.

(322) Id. at 10.

(323) Gomez-Velez, supra note 285, at 40.

(324) Id.

(325) Id.

(326) Id.

(327) Bradley A. Vauter, Unbundling: Filling the Gap, 79 Mich. B. J. 1688, 1688 (2000).

(328) Am. Bah Ass'n, Section on Litigation, Handbook on Limited Scope Legal Assistance i (2003), available at est/report.pdf.

(329) Vauter, supra note 327, at 1688.

(330) Id. at 1688-89.

(331) Gomez-Velez, supra note 285, at 27.

(332) Center for Am. Progress, supra note 311, at 1. While this left-leaning organization has compiled examples of effective delivery of legal services to low- and moderate-income communities, rigorous study of the justice gap is needed to develop a clear sense of the size of the gap, the types of cases where services are most needed, and the likely cost effectiveness of legal services interventions, like eviction defense to prevent homelessness. The National Center for Access to Justice has begun to compile the best existing research on the justice gap through its "justice index." See The Justice Index, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). For more on the need for a more rigorous assessment of the justice gap, see, e.g., Rebecca L. Sandefur & Aaron C. Smyth, Access Across America: First Report of the Civil Justice Infrastructure Mapping Project (2011) available at http://www.americanb ice_infrastructure_mapping_project.pdf; Catherine R. Albiston & Rebecca L. Sandefur, Colloquium Expanding the Empirical Study of Access to Justice, 2013 Wis. L. Rev. 101.

(333) Id. at 112-13.

(334) Id. at 113.

(335) Id. at 112.

(336) Id.

(337) Lawyers for America, U.C. Hastings C. L., 1-programs/lawyers-for-america/index.php (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(338) Id.

(339) University of Miami Law School Offers Their Grads for Free, Huff Post College (Oct. 13, 2010), .html.

(340) Silkenat, supra note 287, at 57.

(341) Id. at 56.

(342) Id.

(343) Id.

(344) Id. at 56-57.

(345) Id. at 57.

(346) Id.

(347) Id.

(348) Id. at 56.

(349) Id. at 57.

(350) Id. at 56.

(351) Id.

(352) Gomez-Velez, supra note 285, at 24-25.

(353) See discussion supra Part III.D.

(354) Suffolk Law Hosts "Hackcess to Justice" Hackathon, SUFFOLK U. L. SCH. (July 23, 2014), http://www.suffolk.edU/law/explore/54604.php#.VCMOZRYYnKd.

(355) Hackcess to Justice 2014 Is an Access to Justice Hackathon Presented by the ABA Journal and Partners, CHALLENGEPOST, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(356) Id.

(357) Id.

(358) Submissions, CHALLENGEPOST, ions (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(359) PaperHealth, CHALLENGEPOST, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Disastr, CHALLENGEPOST, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Due Processor, CHALLENGEPOST, e/due-processor (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). All the winning submissions are available for free public use. The three submissions that did not place were the following: Divorce Decoded, Legal Apptitude, and ReEntry App. Submissions, supra note 358.

(360) See PaperHealth, supra note 359.

(361) Victor Li, 'Hackcess to Justice' Winners Look to Increase the Reach of Their Apps, A.B.A. J. (Aug. 25, 2014), ase_the_reach_of_their_apps/.

(362) Id.

(363) id

(364) Id.

(365) Id.

(366) Our Mission and Programs, PROBONO.NET, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(367) Id.

(368) PROBONO.NET, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(369) Our Mission and Programs, supra note 366.

(370) Id.

(371) Id.

(372) Id.

(373) See id.

(374) Id.

(375) See Pro Bono Calendar, PR0B0N0.NET, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(376) Jake Hertz, PBN & JASA Collaborate on Innovative App to Help the Homebound, Connecting Justice Communities (Nov. 5, 2014), http://www.connectingjusticecommunities .com/jasa-and-pbn-team-up-to-relax-in-the-den/2014/11/.

(377) Our Mission and Programs, supra note 366.

(378) About Us, PROBONO MANAGER, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Our Mission and Programs, supra note 366. For more information about subscribing to this tool, contact Adam Licht at

(379) Our Mission and Programs, supra note 366.

(380) PROBONO MANAGER, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(381) About, LAWHELP.ORG, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); see also Cabral et al., supra note 281, at 246 ("Since 2000, access to legal resources and information specifically targeted to low-income people has grown tremendously. Every state now offers a statewide legal aid website, where legal services providers collaborate with other access to justice organizations to provide a portal for self-help resources and a public entry point for intake and referrals to specific organizations that offer assistance.").

(382) Our Mission and Programs, supra note 366.

(383) See Find Help near You Now, LAWHELP.ORG, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(384) See id.

(385) LawHelpNY.ORG, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(386) About, supra note 381.

(387) Id.; LAWHELP.ORG, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(388) See infra Appendix Figures 10-11.

(389) See About LawHelp Interactive, LawHelp INTERACTIVE, https://www.lawhelpinteractive .org/about (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(390) id.

(391) Id.

(392) Id.

(393) Id.

(394) 2010 InnovAction Award Winners, C. L. PRAC. MGMT., n-awards/award-winners/2010-innovaction-award-winners/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); see also InnovAction Awards, C. L. PRAC. MGMT., (last visited Feb. 13, 2015) (providing additional information about the award application and evaluation process).

(395) LawHelp Interactive Case Study, PROBONO.NET, 4451-LawHelp_Interactive_Case_Study (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(396) A2J Author, CALI, (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Center for Access to Justice & Technology, IIT CHICAGO-KENT C. L., http://www.kentlaw.iit.ed u/institutes-centers/center-for-access-to-justice-and-technology (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); see also Cabral et al., supra note 281, at 251 (describing how A2J Author works).

(397) See Welcome to the A2J Author Community Site, A2J AUTHOR, http://www.a2jauthor .org/ (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); A2J Author, IIT CHICAGO-KENT C. L., http://www.kentlaw.iit. edu/institutes-centers/center-for-access-to-justice-and-technology/a2j-author (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(398) See Welcome to the A2J Author Community Site, supra note 397.

(399) A2J Author, supra note 396.

(400) See Welcome to the A2J Author Community Site, supra note 397.

(401) Center for Access to Justice & Technology, supra note 396.

(402) Summit Report Outlines New Ways Technology Can Expand Access to Justice, LEGAL SERVICES CORP. (Dec. 30, 2013), summit-reportoutlines-new-ways-technology-can-expand-access-justice.

(403) Id.; see also Legal Servs. Corp., Report of the Summit on the Use of Technology TO EXPAND Access TO Justice 2 (2013), available at _Tech%20Summit%20Report_2013.pdf (summarizing the five main components of the implementation strategy); Marilyn Cavicchia, What Role Can Technology Play in Access to Justice--and Should Bar Foundations Help?, A.B.A. B. LEADER (Sept.-Oct. 2014), n-technology-play-access-justice-should-bar-foundations-help.html (supporting the beneficial use of portals).

(404) Technology Initiative Grants, LEGAL SERVICES CORP., (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(405) See 2015 TIG Conference, LEGAL SERVICES CORP. (Dec. 4, 2014),

(406) See Negative Equity Causing Housing Gridlock, Even as It Slowly Recedes, ZILLOW REAL EST. Res. (Aug. 25, 2014),

(407) Les Christie, First Rise in Foreclosure Auctions in Nearly Four Years, CNN MONEY (Sept. 11, 2014),

(408) One of the coauthors of this piece, Raymond H. Brescia, participated personally in the development of the foreclosure guide, and the descriptions of its creation come from his recollections of the process.

(409) Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Servs. in N.Y., Report to the Chief JUDGE OF THE State OF New York 1, 16 (2010), available at s-civil-legal-services/PDF/CLS-TaskForceREPORT.pdf.

(410) See About Us, EMPIRE JUST. CENTER, html (last visited Feb. 13, 2015); Foreclosure Guide, EMPIRE JUST. CENTER, http://foreclosureg (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(411) See Foreclosure Guide, supra note 410.

(412) Id.

(413) Id.

(414) See, e.g., 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notice, Empire JUST. CENTER, http://foreclosureguide.e (last visited Feb. 13, 2015).

(415) See Foreclosure Guide, supra note 410.

(416) See Press Release, Albany Law Sch., Empire Justice Ctr. & Coll. of Computing and Info., Univ. at Albany, New Web-Based Program Offers Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Critical Legal Information for Free (Sept. 17, 2014), press-release/press-release-fc-guide.pdf.

(417) For a brief discussion of some of the concerns mentioned here, as well as others, see Cabral et al., supra note 281, at 305-09.

(418) For an overview of the acts that have come to be known as the Robo-Sign Scandal, see Raymond H. Brescia, Leverage: State Enforcement Actions in the Wake of the Robo-Sign Scandal, 64 ME. L. Rev. 17, 25-27 (2011).

(419) See Nelson D. Schwartz & Shaila Dewan, $26 Billion Deal is Said to be Set for Homeowners, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 9, 2012, at A1 (describing the settlement); David Streitfeld, From This House, a National Foreclosure Freeze, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 15, 2010, at A1 (describing tactics that uncovered robo-sign practices).

(420) It is fitting that one can find information debunking the tax protestor line on the Nolo website. See Stephen Fishman, Tax Protestors Never Win, NOLO (Sept. 2012), http://www.nol

(421) 42 U.S.C. [section] 18031[C] (2010).

(422) See Foreclosure Guide, supra note 410.

(423) About Us, supra note 410; Foreclosure Guide, supra note 410.

(424) See Jason Tanz & Jeff Rogers, From Airbnb to Lyft to Tinder, the Sharing Economy is Rewiring the Way We Interact with Each Other, WIRED, May 1, 2014, at 96.

(425) See id.

(426) Cassandra Burke Robertson, The Facebook Disruption: How Social Media May Transform Civil Litigation and Facilitate Access to Justice, 65 AEK. L. REV. 75, 80-81, 84 (2012).

(427) See Anthony T. Kronman, The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal PROFESSION 380-81 (1993 lamenting the demise of the "lawyer-statesman" and recognizing the benefits of practicing in a small town or small city).

(428) Take one example, As of March 2014, Amazon's market share of new book purchases across different market segments was, respectively, forty-one percent of all new book purchases; sixty-five percent of all new, online book purchases; and sixty-seven percent of e-book purchases. Polly Mosendz, Amazon Has Basically No Competition Among Online Booksellers, The WIRE (May 30, 2014), on-has-basically-no-competition-among-online-booksellers/371917/. Despite the unquestionable trend towards greater standardization in the marketplace, the Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, found that Wal-Mart, one of the world's largest corporations, had a policy of granting local managers discretion in hiring decisions, which undermined the plaintiffs' efforts to obtain class certification because they did not identify the requisite common questions of law and/or fact required under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2555-57 (2011).

(429) See Brescia, supra note 418, at 25-26.

(430) See Paul R. Tremblay, Acting "a Very Moral Type of God": Triage Among Poor Clients, 67 FOKDHAM L. Rev. 2475, 2475-79 (1999discussing triage in nonprofit legal services offices).

(431) One example of such triaging is done across the country in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinics, programs that often receive partial funding from the Internal Revenue Service to offer tax filing assistance to help low-income individuals and the working poor who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. See IRS VITA Grant Program, INTERNAL REVENUE Service, (last updated Aug. 7, 2014). Some tax filings are too complicated for such programs, however, and the applicant will be rejected on that ground. For instance one program, the United Way of St. Joseph County in Indiana, advertises the availability of VITA services but makes clear that certain applicants would not qualify for such services; for example, taxpayers with rental income, farm income, or adoption credits. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), UNITED WAY St. Joseph's County, .html (last visited Feb. 13, 2015). For information about the VITA program, see IRS VITA Grant Program, supra.

(432) Of course, in such situations, to the extent a legal services office has relevant knowyour-rights guides, they are likely to put such informational resources at the disposal of those consumers.

(433) See supra text accompanying note 387.

(434) See supra text accompanying notes 297-98.

(435) Richard Susskind, Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future 91 (2013).

Raymond H. Brescia *

Walter McCarthy **

Ashley McDonald ***

Kellan Potts ****

Cassandra Rivals *****

* Associate Professor of Law and Director, Government Law Center, Albany Law School. B.A., Fordham University; J.D., Yale Law School. The authors would like to thank those Albany Law School faculty who participated in a workshop discussion of an earlier draft, including Dean Alicia Ouellette and Professors Melissa Breger, Christine Sgarlata Chung, Stephen Clark, Joseph Connors, Stephen Gottlieb, Robert Heverly, Deborah Kearns, Mary Lynch, Nancy Maurer, Connie Mayer, and Sarah Rogerson. John Mayer, Mark O'Brien, and David S. Udell also gave thoughtful comments on previous drafts. All errors and omissions are those of the authors, however, particularly Raymond H. Brescia.

** B.A., University of New Hampshire, 2012; J.D. Candidate, Albany Law School, 2016.

*** B.A., University at Albany, 2013; J.D. Candidate, Albany Law School, 2016.

**** B.A., Binghamton University, 2012; J.D. Candidate, Albany Law School, 2016.

***** B.A., University at Buffalo, 2013; J.D. Candidate, Albany Law School, 2016; M.S. Candidate, Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, 2016.
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Title Annotation:III. The Past and Present of Disruption of the Provision of Legal Services E. Technological Innovation and the Justice Gap through Conclusion, with footnotes, p. 587-621
Author:Brescia, Raymond H.; McCarthy, Walter; McDonald, Ashley; Potts, Kellan; Rivals, Cassandra
Publication:Albany Law Review
Date:Dec 22, 2014
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