Top Blogs: access to justice and technology

A list of the top 30 Legal Tech blogs, in which this one was flatteringly rated 25th (though there actually seem to be only 27), raises some interesting issues. It was produced by US-based Feedspot which specialises in aggregating the best in various different fields of which law is just one. But, where can you go for authoritative uptodate information in blogs about developments in the legal tech field which are relevant to those working in the access to justice field? This is a pretty specialist field. This is a first attempt to draw up a list that might be helpful to others. Unavoidably, it reflects personal limitations – geographical and otherwise.

The top blog in the Feedspot list was Bob Ambrogi”s LawSites. Mr Ambrogi is a US professional journalist and lawyer who makes it his job to deliver comprehensive coverage of technology developments that includes access to justice issues. He is very good. And he is tireless. Sign up for his blog and your inbox will never be empty again. His English equivalent would be Richard Troomans whose artificial lawyer blog is similarly comprehensive; work rate equally impressive and whose judgement equally sounds. Mr Troomans not only writes but also runs a London-based consulting firm. He should really be in any top 30 list, probably at number 2, but he may have suffered from American parochialism. Both of these do not focus on access to justice but are broad enough to cover it pretty well. David Curle of Thomson Reuters has also been a good general commentator though he does not seem to have written much as a blogger recently.

Beyond these general titans of the field, there are a number of blogs reflecting an interest in fields that include access to justice but are not limited to it. In the Netherlands, the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (most famous for its Rechtwijzer) includes digital matters within a blog having a wider focus on its current work on development. London-based LegalFutures covers what you would expect – a general source of information with a bias to the commercial – but runs a blog that sometimes, as at this precise moment, reflects matters relating to access to justice. 

There are, of course, a number of writers and institutions who focus on access to justice issues generally but where digital issues sometimes arise. An individual example would be US-based Richard Zorza’s blog.

Around the world, organisations with an interest in legal and advice services include digital developments within their general coverage. For example, in the UK, the Citizens Advice digital services post regularly on a website page. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service blog regularly under the heading ‘Inside HMCTS’. For a somewhat more critical take on the court modernisation programme, Transform Justice produces regular postings on Digital Courts. You might legitimately wonder if the two were talking about the same things – but they are.

A number of overseas organisations in the access to justice field similarly include digital coverage from time to time, for example the US Legal Services Corporation. This happens at an individual service level as well. For example, Illinois Legal Aid Online has an intermittent blog where coverage includes technology issues – though the last post was last July. British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has a blog wholly orientated to its digital delivery and provides a very good way of keeping in touch with its development.

Finally, it is always worth remembering that before we had blogs we had newsletters and veteran tracker of events, Delia Venables jointly edits the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers which, just like some of the blogs above includes content relevant to access to justice and general matters in addition to its main focus on the commercial profession. And, or course, after blogs, we had twitter and products like LinkedIn. To keep fully up to date, you would have to follow quite a lot of contributors to them, particularly Twitter. How lucky that this blog seeks to follow up the best leads just for you.

This is an initial stab at getting a list of the most relevant content. If you have a blog which you think should be brought to the attention of those interested in technology and access to justice, email me at rsmith@rogersmith.info.  

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