Lawyerist Podcast

#54: Open Access to Law, with Sarah Glassmeyer & Ed Walters

 

“In its own raw native state, there’s not a whole lot [the law] can do to promote access to justice.”

Sarah Glassmeyer is trying to get to the bottom of open access to law, and Ed Walters is trying to build a company based on access to that law. Both share their frustrations and wishes for open access on today’s podcast. Plus, lawyers are terrible at client intake. News at 11.

If ignorance of the law is no excuse (and we all know it isn’t), it stands to reason that everyone should be able to go find out what the law is. And in 2016, that means putting the law online in a usable format.

Sarah Glassmeyer has been spending a year trying to figure out what primary law is available online, and you can check out the results on her website. On today’s podcast, she talks about the state of open access to law, including the important distinction between content and containers.

Ed Walters is the CEO of Fastcase. On today’s podcast, he talks about how closed-off primary law stifles innovation. (It takes 80% of Fastcase’s employees to keep the database updated.) And just days after we recorded, Fastcase sued Casemaker for access to Georgia law.

We also talk about the important differences between access to law, access to lawyers, and access to justice.