Community.lawyer builds software to help networks of lawyers meet the legal needs of their community.
Every year millions of Americans confront high-stakes legal matters like eviction, deportation, and child custody without the assistance of counsel. Yet study after study indicates that quality legal assistance often means the difference between success or failure, between keeping a family in their home or not. That’s why community.lawyer is committed to developing technology to break down the barriers of cost and complexity that separate everyday Americans from quality legal help. Every choice we make as a company, every product we design, every partnership we form — we measure against that standard.
To formalize this commitment, we’ve incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation (“PBC”) and, in our company charter, enshrined our mission to promote access to quality legal help. PBCs are new kinds of social enterprises that are legally required to think beyond their bottom lines. We are proud to join the less than 1% of American corporations that are empowered to place mission and sustainability before profit.
Every year millions of Americans confront high-stakes legal matters like eviction, deportation, and child custody without the assistance of counsel.
At Community.lawyer, we believe that embracing technology should not require the legal profession to compromise either its autonomy or its ethical obligations. Rather, the right technology can unlock new opportunities for lawyers to — in the words of former ABA President Hubbard — “deliver justice, not just to some, but to all.” We envision a future where lawyers everywhere have access to technologies built in partnership with the legal profession itself, rather than imposed from outside. In this way, technological innovation can be combined with respect for professional standards to deliver quality legal help to more people.
Community.lawyer has a range of technologies either launched or under development that embody this vision. In October of 2016, we debuted a pilot of our client portal technology — an online directory of vetted, affordable lawyers — in partnership with the Court Square Law Project, a modest means law firm sponsored by the New York City Bar Association. With the help of a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation’s accelerator program, Community.lawyer continued to hone this technology and, as of February 2017, began offering it free of charge to bar associations and legal incubators across the country. In June 2017, Community.lawyer annouced the forthcoming launch of its second technology: an online commons for lawyers to buy, sell and share practical know-how specific to their jurisdiction.
As Community.lawyer looks toward the future, our goal is to continue to develop a 21st-century toolkit to support networks of lawyers and the communities they serve.
We believe that embracing technology should not require the legal profession to compromise either its autonomy or its ethical obligations.
We are a team of public service-driven lawyers and engineers with a track record of social impact work at organizations like the Legal Aid Society and through contributions to open-source technology projects. We also have deep experience in software development, shipping scores of products and features for Fortune 500 companies in diverse sectors like media, travel, and retail.