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Access to Justice (ATJ) Technology Fellows Program

The Access to Justice Technology Fellows Program is seeking diverse and entrepreneurial-minded law students who are passionate about social justice and want to spend the summer learning new ways to leverage technology to improve access to legal services for people who can’t afford a lawyer.

The ATJ Tech Fellows program is a new and exciting paid summer fellowship program for law students that merge cutting edge legal training with experiential learning. The fellowship program will provide law students around the country a unique opportunity to leverage technology tools to lower barriers to the law so that people can understand their legal options, make informed decisions, and when necessary, represent themselves in court.

The fellowship program kicks off with a virtual competency-based training curriculum to help students gain familiarity with the varied uses of technology in delivering legal services. These sessions will be guest lectured by some of the nation’s leading experts on technology and legal services.

The fellows spend the rest of the summer paired with a host legal services organization, where they’ll work on a range of technology projects and initiatives. Projects include drafting online plain language legal forms, developing online legal triage systems, working with automated document assembly tools, creating educational materials for self represented litigants and more.

Fellows’ stay connected during the summer through a virtual cohort, while participating in a number teaming exercises, guest speaker lectures, and blogging challenges. Each fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend for the 10-week 400-hour summer commitment and the opportunity to make a real impact in the way legal services are delivered.

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Applications are now open! Click here to apply. Deadline to apply is Feb. 15, 2017, at 8 pm EST. Law students must apply through the online application portal or download the application and email their completed application package to fellowship@atjtechfellow….

Fellowship Highlights

  • A 10-week placement at a partner legal services organization.
  • A full-time workload. (35-40 hours per week).
  • Designated on-site workspace.
  • $4,000 stipend to cover expenses over the summer.
  • Training from our nation’s leading legal experts in technology and access to justice issues.
  • A dedicated supervisor who can meet with and provide feedback to the Fellow.
  • Opportunities to gain exposure to legal tech skills.
  • Opportunities to gain exposure to the host organization’s priorities and build networks within the host organization.
  • Access to mentors and support from our team.
  • A hosted blog, where fellows journal their summer experience and complete a series of teaming exercises.

Fellowship positions

ATJ Tech Fellows spend the summer working on a range of innovative initiatives and technology projects at various legal services organizations across the nation. Fellows gain practical experience on the varied uses of technology in delivering legal services and other translational legal skills. Learn more about each of the fellowship positions below.

Michigan Legal Help Program
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

The legal fellow will assist with content development and maintenance for the Michigan Legal Help website (reviewing & updating existing legal information content according to Quality Assurance Protocols; conducting research and drafting new legal information content for the website; learning plain language writing skills; etc.)

Ohio State Legal Services Association
Location: Columbus, Oh.

The legal fellow will assist in the development of self-help kiosks in Ohio rural communities that would include live chat, in an urban community, increase the efficiency of intake systems, and develop social media communication platforms statewide.

Minnesota Legal Services Coalition
Location: St. Paul, Minn.

The legal fellow will assist the Legal Services State Support team. This team manages www.lawhelpmn.org/, www.projusticemn.org/, and a statewide online advice program, www.mnlegaladvice.org/.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
Location: Baltimore, Md.

The legal fellow will assist the CLUE program, which gathers public data and analyzes it looking for possible legal issues clients may have. The fellow will review the program and find ways to improve it and find additional databases to add. The fellow will also assist in finding patterns in the data to better detect issues low-income individuals face.

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
Location: Honolulu, Hi.

The legal fellow will assist in developing a training program for pro bono attorneys volunteering at the court self-help center. The fellow may also be tasked with developing technology projects to better assist clients at the court self-help centers such as integrating the use of videos and A2J forms.

New Mexico Legal Aid
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.

The legal fellow will assist NMLA’s mobile and remote access technology/virtual practice. These mobile and remote access technologies to increase its capacity to deliver services across New Mexico’s huge geographic territory, especially to meet the need for urban-based staff to meaningfully communicate with and assist clients in distant rural communities.

Alaska Legal Services CorporationLocation: Anchorage, Alaska

Brief Description: The legal fellow will assist in drafting, researching, and editing legal education materials and legal forms to bolster ALSC’s Pro Bono Training Academy (PBTA)— an online support mechanism for pro bono attorneys to assist clients in rural communities.

Illinois Legal Aid Online
Location: Chicago

The legal fellow will assist the team responsible for IllinoisLegalAid.org . The fellow will assist in the development of automated legal forms, user research and testing, and market research and analysis of other websites and features.

Montana Legal Services Association
Location: Helena, Mt.

The legal fellow will assist the team responsible for the Montana Online Justice Portal. The online limited scope advice portal, allows attorneys to respond securely and remotely to vetted questions posted by low-income clients.

Northwest Justice Project
Location: Seattle, Wash.

The legal fellow will help facilitate and create an online community for legal aid technologists through the creation of online content and communication with the national Legal Services community. The fellow’s duties may also include document assembly, automated expungement, data destruction, expert systems, online security, or data visualization.

Blue Ridge Legal ServicesLocation: Harrisonburg, Va.

The legal fellow will assist in the creation of new technology tools for applying for legal assistance online; and the creation of new technology tools for filing the most common legal pleadings in Virginia’s courts.

Miguel H. Willis Miguel H. Willis is a third year law student at Seattle University School of Law and Founder of the ATJ Tech Fellows Program. The National Jurist recognized Miguel as Law Student of the Year in 2016 for his work organizing the Social Justice Hackathon and other innovative community initiatives.