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Fellows of the American Bar Foundation to Present CLE on New Legal Technologies and Access to Justice

January 2, 2019, Press releases

CHICAGO, Jan. 2, 2018 — The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) will present the CLE research seminar, “Maybe There’s an App for That: New Legal Technologies, Access to Justice, and the Changing Practice of Law” from 2 – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas. This seminar is one of several events hosted by the Fellows of the ABF during the 2019 American Bar Association (ABA) Midyear Meeting which takes place from Jan. 23-28, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The research seminar will focus on the rapid pace of digital technology development.  More specifically the seminar will explore the automation of activities – including legal practice and legal services delivery – that once required intense human involvement. Panelists will highlight contemporary developments, and explore the implications for how law is practiced, for legal empowerment of non-lawyers, and for the definition of the practice of law itself.

The seminar will feature Rebecca L. Sandefur, ABF Faculty Fellow and University of Illinois Associate Professor of Sociology. Sandefur, who was recently selected as a MacArthur Fellow, is a prominent scholar whose research has informed the understanding of how ordinary people view the law and legal processes. She is one of the founders and leaders of the ABF's Access to Justice research initiative, and her research has been an important resource for legal providers and policy makers to rely on when responding to the legal needs of the public. 

Sandefur will be joined by four other panelists: Katherine Altender, the Director of the Self-Represented Litigation Network; Barbara Buckley, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada; George Clement, the Co-Founder of; and Daniel B. Rodriguez, the Harold Washington Professor at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

The Moderator of the seminar will be Hon. Elizabeth S. Stong, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge from the Eastern District of New York. Judge Stong works to assist pro se litigants in bankruptcy court by hosting roundtable discussions with pro bono and public interest professionals to examine new and creative ways to improve access to justice in bankruptcy court.

“This panel will provide an unparalleled opportunity to hear some of the nation’s most distinguished scholars and practitioners engage with the fundamental questions of access to justice and civil legal needs,” said ABF Executive Director Ajay K. Mehrotra. “These experts, including the ABF’s own Rebecca Sandefur, will provide insights and guidance on how to use technology, education, and targeted outreach to bridge the access to justice gap.”

This program is sponsored by the ABA Center for Innovation, ABA Criminal Justice Section, ABA Division for Legal Services, ABA Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division, ABA Section of Civil Rights & Social Justice, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, and ABA Young Lawyers Division.

The CLE program is free for anyone registered for the ABA Midyear Meeting.

Event Details:

The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

Fellows CLE Research Seminar

Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Caesars Palace Hotel

3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Las Vegas, Nevada



1 (800) 292 5065


About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is among the world’s leading research institutes for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions.  To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.

Posted by Whitney Peterson

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