This article, Internet Attorney: More Than Pro Se, New Factor Network (1/17/05) reports on the Chicago-Ken College of Law’s Access to Justice (A2J) program that includes a sophisticated computer system for pro se litigants to file complaints and pleadings. But it also includes other toosl such as a “Logic Learner” that teaches litigants how to construct consistent arguments; the “HonorInsider” that provides “inside” information about the judge who will hear the case, including his or her preferences and courtside behaviors; and a “Story Builder” to construct fair and coherent case representations. Finally, an “e-mediator” facilitates collaboration and negotiation between opposing parties who wish to resolve issues themselves.
So why should MyShingle, a site for current and would-be solo and small firm attorneys care about A2J? First, it sounds like A2J can offer some valuable information to solo attorneys – such as inside information on judges or ways to construct fair case representations. Second, it’s primarily solo and small firm lawyers who serve on the front lines of the law and are the ones who encounter those clients who don’t have the funds for full service representation. We can help these clients by alerting them to resources like A2J – or even offering unbundled services at a reduced cost in conjunction with A2J (for example, even after the client follows the A2J tutorial, a lawyer might still, for a modest fee, agree to review the client’s pleading before filing).