Tech Lab's new summer cohort includes four startups focused on access to justice
The three-month virtual program gives participants opportunities to expand their networks, navigate the legal tech market, and move their business plans forward.
Four early-stage legal technology companies with a core mission of expanding access to legal services make up the new cohort of Duke Law Tech Lab’s summer 2021 pre-accelerator program.
Now in its fifth year, Duke Law Tech Lab will offer each of the companies an initial $1,000 grant along with mentoring, resources, and weekly live remote presentations by legal tech leaders, subject matter experts, and key industry players. Throughout the three-month program, participants receive opportunities to expand their networks, navigate the legal tech market, and move their business plans forward.
“It’s clear from our application pool that there’s a tremendous amount of energy among those looking to help the law to benefit from available technologies, to create new opportunities for clients and lawyers, and to make legal services better and more accessible,” said Clinical Professor Jeff Ward, Associate Dean for Technology & Innovation at Duke Law and Director of the Duke Center on Law & Technology.
The 2021 cohort includes:
- Creator’s Legal – a platform for content creators offering industry standard contracts
- Justice Innovations – state-of-the-science information management software built for district attorneys’ offices that transforms the prosecutorial decision-making process
- SAEF Legal Aid – a self-help triage and screening platform through which users can diagnose their core legal problem and receive reliable referrals to Legal Aid and other free and low-cost legal service providers
- Viva Translate – a messaging platform that automatically translates conversations between non English speakers and attorneys
Tech Lab, which began on July 14, is sponsored by LexisNexis, Travelers, and the global law firm Latham & Watkins.
The program also is supported by an active advisory board who provide feedback and guidance on the direction of the program. Camille Stell, president of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services, loves “sharing ideas with creators and founders. Their energy and enthusiasm is inspiring. They don’t view the challenges and get discouraged, rather they spend their time and effort understanding the barriers while working to develop solutions.”
Stell also noted that Tech Lab program participants “demonstrate that tech isn’t a threat to lawyers. Rather they can showcase that tech is one of several solutions, many of which aren’t possible without lawyers.”
Each company will have the opportunity to share their product and compete for additional prize money at the program’s culmination, a virtual Demo Day this fall.
“We can’t wait for people to join us at this year’s Demo Day, as they’ll see a snapshot of the better legal services ecosystem where passionate and caring people can take us,” Ward said. “The four teams in this year’s cohort represent a wide range of creative approaches to making the law better.”