Legal Hackers Congress: Part 3

We opened this morning with Jameson leading an impromptu session on the shared goals of all Legal Hackers, with the group brainstorming a list of descriptors to guide our remaining discussions. John E. Grant then built on that activity with an interactive presentation on project management and efficient collaboration skills for lawyers, introducing discussion processes that our group would use for the remainder of the day.

Ngoc Nguyen was up next with a discussion of legal process automation as applied to bankruptcy law, where consumers often cannot or will not access an attorney to handle their filings. The automation ideas behind Ngoc’s presentation, represented by existing products like Trademarkia, have broad applicability to other areas of law and go to the core of our mission.

Thomas Brooke‘s presentation combined past and present, beginning with lessons from his father’s work on the first truly programmable computer, which inspired Tom to learn how to code, and leading into an update on the growing North Carolina chapter.

Martin Zerbib gave our final presentation of the Congress, demonstrating the creative potential of HP IDOL On Demand, a sustaining partner of Legal Hackers. IDOL is an API for more efficiently organizing large sets of data and may very well form the basis of many future Legal Hackers projects.

Wrapping up, we recapped our weekend’s discussions using John Grant’s organizational techniques. We came away with some great suggestions for a future Congress and expect to be planning one before we know it.

Thanks to all who participated, to SPACE for hosting us, and especially to our sponsors: HP IDOL On Demand, Avvo, Seyfarth Shaw, and Davis Wright Tremaine.


Legal Hackers Congress: Part 2

The afternoon session began by featuring insights from two of the largest Legal Hackers chapters: New York and DC. First, we heard from Meetup GC and LH advisory board member David Pashman alongside NYLH organizers Warren Allen and Tariq Badat, who shared their perspectives as tech-enabled in-house counsel retaining outside firms.

Next, the DC crew took the floor as Rebecca Williams recapped their recent Le Hackie Awards, a celebration of many incredible civic hacks. We previously covered the Le Hackies and expect it to be a model for many future events across our community. Check out Rebecca’s presentation (a treasure trove of projects) and a recent DC Legal Hackers collaboration with the White House!

The do-gooding continued as our host city presented next, showing off the latest open government and access to justice initiatives coming out of the growing Chicago chapter. Cathy Deng and Derek Eder demoed sites including, a service helping Illinoisans expunge their own juvenile records.


Our focus then turned to chapter development as Jameson Dempsey of DC moderated Aria Safar of Los Angeles, Lauren Mack of New York, and Dan Lear of Seattle in reflecting on their respective chapters’ successes and challenges. The panel led into a breakout session where the entire Congress brainstormed solutions for more engaging and sustainable chapters. The results are summarized on this Hackpad; thanks to Jameson for setting it up!

One more update to come, following tomorrow’s final session.

Legal Hackers Congress


Legal industry innovators from around the world are converging in Chicago this weekend for the first-ever Legal Hackers Congress!  With representatives here from Chicago, Detroit, New York, DC, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, North Carolina, Miami, and even Stockholm, Sweden, we could not be more excited to celebrate the growth of our community.

Kicking things off last night, Jonathan Pasky moderated “How to Hack Your Law Firm,” a panel featuring both products for more efficient practice and the firms those products are intended to serve.  Panelists included Stephen Nazaran of PageVault, Aileen Tien of kCura (creators of Relativity), Irina Matveeva of NexLP, Amani Smathers of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Jay Hull of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

This morning, Dan Linna of MSU Law School briefed us on the importance of improving our profession’s responsiveness to consumers’ needs, noting that the United States recently ranked 66th out of 98 countries in overall access to and affordability of civil legal services.  Dan and others in Detroit and Chicago are bolstering our presence in the Midwest and will host the first Chicago-area legal hackathon on June 6 and 7 (details here).  We also heard from Larry Bridgesmith of Vanderbilt Law School on innovation in the legal academy and the exciting growth of Larry’s chapter, Music City Legal Hackers.

On the international front, we checked in remotely with Daniel Santiago Acevedo in Colombia, Astrid Baldissera in Barcelona and (in person) Robert Gullander of Stockholm Legal Hackers.  Congratulations to all of these outstanding new chapters!

The morning session closed with a talk by LH advisory board member Sarah Feingold, Etsy’s first in-house lawyer, who shared wisdom from her eight years with one of New York’s premier startups.

More to come after lunch!

Let’s Talk PACER

DC and NY are gearing up for back-to-back talks on PACER, the federal courts’ online court records system.

Carl Malamud is hitting the road, and is speaking at both events, to discuss, among other things, a full day of PACER protest to take place on May 1, 2015, in honor of Aaron Swartz.

If you’re interested in participating in Carl’s campaign, check out

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NY Video: Open Patent Licensing for Fun and Profit

A traditional patent license involves a payment for permission to use a new technology. But a series of new licensing models are bringing the power of open innovation into the patent arena. Can these new licenses help improve the patent system or win the patent wars? Will they incentivize R&D and attract top engineering talent? Will they stand up in court? Can they curb abusive patent litigation?

This panel discusses the evolution of technology licensing through the lens of the Defensive Patent License, Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement, License on Transfer, and more.

Michael Kasdan, Attorney and Partner, Wiggin and Dana LLP

Jason Schultz, Professor, NYU Law
Andrea Casillas, Director of Linux Defenders, Open Invention Network
Brian Chase, General Counsel, Foursquare
Kevin Prey, Member of the Board of Directors of LOT Network, IP Counsel at SAP

Sponsored by HP IDOL On Demand, DomainSkate, and Clio. Thank you to our host General Assembly and the Internet Society New York Chapter for the video!

Bogota Legal Hackers Is Alive!

We are proud to announce the first South American chapter of Legal Hackers.

Daniel Santiago Acevedo has spearheaded the Bogota, Colombia chapter, and we are pumped to hear about their first event Thursday March 12.

Until then, buena suerte, Bogota!

NY Video: 3D Printing in a 2D Legal Landscape

3D printing is most certainly the next major disruption in distribution since Napster.  Yet unlike file-sharing, 3D printing takes the digital into the physical realm, giving it the potential to challenge nearly every imaginable industry on Earth.  With daily stories of printed spaceship parts and custom bikinis beside headlines like “3D printed organs for all”, can the legal community hope to shape a consumer 3D printed world or is it doomed react at every turn?

This panel examines the issues from three perspectives:  1) the current legal landscape and how it may impact consumer 3D printing, such as IP, product liability, food and drug, and controlled substance/items laws; 2) current efforts at making 3D printing a legitimate fixture in the consumer realm; and 3) minor and bold solutions to avoid a fractured legal framework for consumer 3D printing, ranging from IP and tort overhaul to mandatory licensing schemes.


Kaiser Wahab, Attorney and Partner, Riveles Wahab LLP
Zachary Lichaa, Public Policy, 3D Hubs
Jeff Trexler, Attorney, Writer, and Professor

Sponsored by HP IDOL On Demand, DomainSkate, and Clio. Thank you to our host The Yard and the Internet Society New York Chapter for the video!

Stockholm Talks Drones

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Legal Hackers’ first EU chapter is getting some great publicity after their most recent event on civilian drones.  The DC Chapter did a Drone BBQ last summer, so this is a theme Legal Hackers worldwide are wrestling with.  Here’s a note from Stockholm’s organizer, Robert Gullander:

Stockholm Legal Hackers organized an event on Jan 27 focusing on the opportunities of civilian drones. Drones (often referred to as UAVs) is an exciting technology field with many interesting legal implications. Around 100 entrepreneurs, techies and lawyers  joined together for three hours at Stockholm’s most hyped co-working space, SUP46, to mingle, listen to talks, enjoy panel discussions and to co-create. The first half of the event was focusing on two drone entrepreneurs and a drone lawyer sharing their stories and knowledge on stage. The second half was a co-creation session when all attendees joined one out of four groups to generate new ideas on different drone themes.
The ideas were presented on stage towards the end of the evening and showed a diversity of exciting innovative new opportunities within the drone field. The areas discussed were:
– Drones for Transportation/Delivery
– Aerial Visuals (photography, filming, scanning)
– Drones for performing smaller tasks and rescue missions
– Drones, just for fun
The ideas generated will be followed up at a Stockholm Legal Hackers event later this year.
The event was covered and mentioned in the largest business newspaper in Sweden with Stockholm Legal Hackers referred to as part of a global movement where lawyers and techies meet to innovate i.e. the market for legal services
Check out for more photos and info.

Legal Hackers Korea!

Sean Hayes has formed the first Asian chapter of Legal Hackers in Korea.  Message from Sean:

I am excited to announce that Legal Hackers is, now, in Korea.  I will organize the first couple of meetings – we are, presently, discussing topics and a good location for the first meeting.

If you are interesting in joining (no fees), please drop me a line.  Love to have some young lawyers or entrepreneurs willing to take on some of the leg work.

Here is Korea’s Meetup Page!

DC: Le Hackies a Stunning Show of Civic Tech


Last week, DC Legal Hackers put on the organization’s first awards show to recognize people and projects that have made important contributions to Legal Hackers worldwide.  The event was well-attended, great music was playing, and tacos were deeeeee-licious.  Not to mention we got to geek out to all of the awesome work DC’s members put in this year. As you may be able to tell, DC has been putting in werk!

Check out the list of honorees below and this great article from DC!  A huge congratulations to all of the winners.  Here is DC’s full info on the event.




A huge thanks to all the sponsors who made this event possible:

The Internet Society, Fastcase, The OpenGov Foundation, Clio, HP IDOL OnDemand, GitHub, and Google