Legal Technology Series: Bridging the Justice Gap

The Atlantic has shared “Justice for Some,” an article discussing the existing justice gap in the United States and the anticipated impact that innovation and legal technology will have on bridging that gap.

Anybody with even a passing interest in the law must think about the “Justice Gap,” the difference between the legal needs of low income citizens and the resources available to meet those needs. There are two aspects of the MSL program that are particularly relevant to closing the justice gap.

First, one approach to making legal services more available to those in need is to expand the pool of people who can provide legal services; there are a variety of legal functions that don’t require being a lawyer. By producing well-educated non-lawyer professionals who will be able to deliver some legal services, the MSL can contribute to the narrowing of the justice gap.  Even those MSL graduates who don’t directly deliver legal services will attain important legal knowledge that can address the scarcity of legal services in a variety of contexts.

Secondly, folks are increasingly looking to technology to help address the justice gap – legal technology tools can help make legal services more accessible. Here again, MSL students are well-situated to have an impact – their technical backgrounds and their knowledge of law provide them with a unique combination of skills which they can use to contribute to the development of useful technology tools and platforms that will make law more accessible to all.

While many MSL students maintain their focus on STEM and business after they graduate from the program, some find themselves drawn to law, and some will become directly involved in the delivery of legal services.  In this way, the MSL program can contribute to narrowing the justice gap and improving the delivery of legal services.

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