How do we encourage legal service innovation replication?

One of the teams in my Intro to Legal Design class this quarter is working with Legal Services of North Florida to think through a replication strategy for their recent services innovations. In the process, they’ve refocused to a wider scale: how can the access to justice innovation community get better at replication?

This means doing more and better homework before initiating a new tech or service project, on the part of people with ideas for doing things better. How can we incentivize more project leads and aspiring innovators to know what other legal groups and law-analogous groups are doing, that can be the basis for replication (rather than starting from scratch)?

And it means getting better at capturing past projects, so they are easy to research. How can we better document, package, and make discoverable all of the protocols, insights, and logistics that have gone into a project?

The team is working on its proposals to address these questions — beginning with a first prototype that’s around a new requirement for grantees to do a post-project Replication plan, that would explicitly capture, in a structured way, what future groups should know and do to run a similar project.

This information could then be displayed on a browsable, searchable directory — so that future projects could learn what’s the state of the art, and could also take/customize project ideas from there.

There might also be the chance to make these past projects into more concrete products. Can the structure of these projects, the planning of them, be made into a canvas (like a business model canvas) that can guide future replicators?

This canvas, along with some amount of pre-made templates for planning, recruiting, advertising, etc. — could help a future team operationalize what your team has already done.


Margaret, as usual, I completely agree. Templates and demonstration sites are very useful as our court friends need to see it before they “buy it”. But how about one other idea? Technical resources (and/or the funding to get them) are often in very short supply. So perhaps we need a “dating site/app” for courts who are looking for a “technical match” to help them apply the tools. Is there one out there that you know of that might be tried?

This should probably be done… the match and the demonstration in the cloud as the courts often take quite a bit of time to spin up the infrastructure. And there should be some kind of data download tool also as security is always a concern.

All I can think of is all those students looking for meaningful projects each summer?

Thanks for the great post! – Jim