One question that many people have asked in recent years is: can legal tech really help with access to justice (A2J)? If that is a question that resonates with you, then please come along to an important fundraising event organised by The Personal Support Unit (PSU), in partnership with legal engineering consultancy, BamLegal, on the 25th March in London.
The PSU is a charity dedicated to providing free, independent assistance to people facing legal proceedings without representation. And, in the UK – as with many other countries now – the number of people facing litigation, but without the means to pay for a lawyer is growing.
At the PSU over 700 trained volunteers and 36 staff provide free services from 24 court-based locations across the country. They provide comfort, support and guidance before, during and after court. They ensure people facing court alone feel prepared and supported to access justice.
In short, this is a very good cause and the event will help to raise funds for it – so, if you can make it, please come along to the breakfast that will be held at the Law Society on Chancery Lane from 8.30-10.30 am, 25th March.
Legal Tech and A2J
But, what of the main question: can legal tech really help here? Isn’t this just too massive a problem? Can automation of documents or workflows, and applications such as expert Q&A systems that provide information to people, make a significant difference? Are there other types of technology that can be of assistance and reduce the burden for litigants in person and more broadly help improve access to justice?
Please come along to find out and hear from a range of expert speakers, which includes:
- Lord Michael Briggs, Deputy Head of Civil Justice of England and Wales & Author of the Briggs Review
- Sophie Walker, Just Access
- Kat Barry, Strategy Manager, Mishcon de Reya LLP
- Maeve Lavelle, Director, Education & Community Programmes, Neota Logic
- Hayley Blundell, Assistant Manager at the Personal Support Unit
- Catherine Bamford, Founder of BamLegal
- Event chair – Richard Tromans, Founder of Artificial Lawyer
Among other things the breakfast event will aim to help illustrate to the legal tech community the true state of access to justice in the UK today.
The focus will be on real user needs and we will hear from some of those working at the front line of our justice system. As well as raising vital funds for the Personal Support Unit, so that they can continue to assist Litigants in Person, the goal of the event is to spark ideas and inspire the audience to use their skills, form collaborations and try come up with some useful solutions.
Catherine Bamford, of BamLegal, said: ‘I became a volunteer for the PSU in 2018 in order to not only help litigants in person, but also to get first-hand experience of the challenges to access to justice in the UK.’
‘I am hoping that this event will help to facilitate the coming together of the legal tech community and those working at the sharp edge of our justice system to collaboratively help improve access to justice,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Radiant Law, which is sponsoring the event, said: ‘We are huge fans of the PSU and its work, which is helping to pick up the pieces for our justice system. Legal tech is going to be a critical part of improving access to justice and we are thrilled that the PSU are bringing these tribes together to work on the challenge.’
And finally, Otto Godwin, Data Scientist at DLA Piper, concluded: ‘Legal tech has been designed to enhance and complement legal services; yet, market adoption of these enriching solutions has often been frustrated by Jurassic habits and ‘ways of doing things’ cultures. Working with the PSU offers relief from these frustrations as their clients simply do not have the luxury to pick and choose how legal work is completed.’
Legal tech startup, Avvoka, is also helping to sponsor the event. Artificial Lawyer is also very pleased to be a part of this initiative and strongly recommends to all readers who can make it that day to attend, to take part, ask questions, share your views, and support a genuinely good cause.
It should be a fascinating discussion and an opportunity to support the PSU in the great work it is doing. For more event details and tickets, please see the link: here. Funds raised by the event will be going directly to the PSU.
Event partner and sponsors: