It’s quite amazing to reflect on the similarities between two websites – Dynamic Legal Forms and Advicescene – that are trying to enhance access to justice through technology. Dynamic Legal Forms, started by my in November 2008, allows users to post their legal issue(s) a la Craigslist and have Ontario lawyers respond with free information and quotes. Advicescene, started by Nancy Kinney in March 2009, features an online Canadian legal wiki, a lawyer directory, and online legal forms and other resources. Here are some similarities:
- Both websites were started recently by individuals in the legal field (I am a Toronto business lawyer and Nancy Kinney has a law degree).
- Both websites leverage social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to promote themselves.
- Both websites have posted their stories on lawbuzz.ca (and created some controversy in the process!).
- Both websites feature videos and free legal information (not advice).
- Both websites have newsletters and links to other online legal resources.
- Both websites have reached out to and been featured in the media.
- Both websites have reached out to and been featured by prominent legal bloggers.
- Both websites will feature lawyer directories.
- And the list goes on…
Based on our respective goals, Nancy Kinney and I have agreed to collaborate and cross-promote our websites towards the greater good – namely, the enhancement of access to justice and the further democratization of the law. The bottom line is that we’re doing what Richard Susskind wrote about (i.e. leveraging technology to allow people to find lawyers and legal services and share knowledge and information about their experiences). As per McDonald’s: “I’m loving It!”