About us

Our Mission

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 capacity 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.

What We Do

In industry after industry, new technologies are transforming traditional models and creating both new challenges and opportunities. Over the last decade alone, software has produced radical changes in the way Americans shop for goods (Amazon), obtain transportation (Uber), and visit new places (Airbnb). The legal profession stands at a crossroads of its own, with emerging technologies and shifting behaviors forcing a rethinking of how legal help is delivered.

At Community.lawyer, P.B.C., we believe that embracing these trends should not require the legal profession to compromise either its autonomy or its ethical obligations. Rather, the right technology can unlock new opportunities to — in the words of former ABA President Hubbard — “deliver justice, not just to some, but to all.” Community.lawyer develops technology to deliver on that belief and empower legal networks and organizations to amplify their impact. Our products range from portals that help bar associations operate their lawyer referral services to hosting services that help legal experts encode their knowledge.

Our ultimate aim is to build an ecosystem of services that combine technological innovation with respect for professional standards to deliver quality legal help to more Americans.

Our Team

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 ACLU 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.

Scott Kelly

President

Prior to Community.lawyer, Scott served as an attorney and policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. His direct services and legal advocacy there included contributions on matters involving police reform, freedom of speech, and property rights. Scott graduated with honors from Yale University and Columbia Law School and interned previously at the Legal Aid Society of New York City and the Human Rights Institute.

Michael Hassin

Chief Technology Officer

Before co-founding Community.lawyer, Michael worked as an engineer at one of the leading global technology consultancies, ThoughtWorks, and developed software for Fortune 500 companies across a diverse array of industries. In his spare time, Michael has contributed to and led various open-source civic technology projects in Chicago and New York City.

Thomas F. Officer

Design Lead

Thomas is a self-taught designer and front-end developer with a legal education. Prior to Community.lawyer, Thomas was a user experience designer at FoundationLab, a Boston-based development agency specializing in legal technology. He has a LLB from the University of Edinburgh School of Law and an LLM from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude.

Michael Alpert-Appell

Software Engineer

Mike has had a deep love of science and technology his entire life. Having graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a B.S. in Computational Physics, he more recently attended Flatiron School before joining the social impact incubator 1776 as a developer. When not working to make Community.lawyer's platform ever more awesome, he can sometimes be found practicing krav maga on those who dare malign JavaScript, or destroying worlds as an epic-level sorcerer in Dungeons and Dragons.

Our Advisors

Our advisors generously donate their time and insight to support Community.lawyer and its mission.

Hannah Calhoon

Managing Director

Blue Ridge Labs

Bill Cromie

Director of Emergent Technology

Blue Ridge Labs