Could we build an Open Source Legal Software Hub

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One item on my ever-growing Access to Justice agenda is an online hub full of worthy software solutions for legal organizations to use. Ideally, with software that is affordable if not free — and designed to be easily updated & changed. As opposed to software that is proprietary to one company, who, after they sell it to a court or a legal aid group, continues to extract money from them for updating and adapting the software.

Such a hub could set best practices for what tech legal organizations should be deploying. It could guide non-techies as to the essential categories of tech they should be using to manage their cases, interact with clients, and promote efficient and satisfying workflows inside the org. And it could house advice, tutorials, and support for how to use these tools well.

Actually setting up such a hub is not that difficult — just a matter of a website and then some initial content curation:

  • what the essential tech categories should be,
  • what the examples of free or low-priced tech options are, and
  • some guidance as to how to use these.

What’s more challenging is getting the brand of the site elevated enough to reach all of the courts & legal aid groups that need this guidance. Building awareness and engagement — so that the users can find it and then trust it enough to follow through with its resources — that’s a harder undertaking.