Georgetown’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) are seeking a fellow for an 18-mont project that will have a transformative effect on the accessibility of legal services across the country.
The composition of state court litigants has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Where complex civil litigation and lawyer-represented parties had been the norm, 60-100% of cases today involve at least one pro se (self-represented) party in matters such as family, housing and consumer litigation. The rise of the self-represented litigant has created an unprecedented disruption in the practice of law and the management of courts.
The Fellow will undertake a first-of-its-kind initiative to create a county-level mapped database of innovations and self-help reformsthat are improving litigants’ access to justice throughout the United States. The Fellow will build on this rich data set to gain a nuanced understanding of best practices in various counties, layering this knowledge with user demographic information to assist decision makers in identifying which reforms and service delivery systems are best suited to particular communities based on their population profile and needs. The initiative is designed to support comprehensive, systemic, data-informed reform, promoting innovation and peer network building throughout the country.
The Fellowship is a collaboration of Georgetown Law and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN), a leading non-profit that supports justice system professionals focused on the question of how best to reform all aspects of the legal system (courts, legal aid, the bar and non-legal partners) so that self-represented litigants experience the legal system as a consumer-oriented environment guided by the principles of equal protection and due process. SRLN is a resource center that provides toolkits, evaluation, implementation guidance and thought leadership; a network that connects and supports reform-minded leaders throughout the country; and a central geospatial data and analysis hub working in the civil justice space.
The Fellow’s research will be conducted under the supervision of Katherine Alteneder, Executive Director of SRLN, and SRLN’s Data and Geographic Information Systems Manager. Through this project, the Fellow will contribute actively to the expansion of SRLN’s national network of legal reform leaders, and will develop a nuanced understanding of the diverse strategies being implemented to improve access to the civil justice system—and thechallenges such strategies face. By the conclusion of the project, the Fellow will have had the opportunity to develop relationships with judicial and administrative leadership in every state.
The Fellow will be located at Georgetown Law, under the supervision of Georgetown’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy and Professor Tanina Rostain, a nationally-recognized expert in access to justice and the founder of the Iron Tech Lawyer Competition, in which students create apps to promote access to justice and support pro bono legal services. Complementing his or her
work with SRLN, the Fellow will be an integrated member of the Technology Institute and the community of faculty, students and fellows focused on access to justice issues at Georgetown Law. The Fellow will contribute to campus events, engage with students, and write and speak about his or her work.
The Georgetown Law-SRLN Access to Justice Fellowship is open to individuals with a United States law degree who have a demonstrated interest in data collection strategies and a commitment to improving access to legal services.
In particular, applicants should have the following skills:
- Knowledge of CRM tools and systems.
- Demonstrated interest in data collection, survey design, and problem solving.
- Self-directed, task-oriented worker who prides himself or herself on efficiency and can prioritize competing obligations.
- Preference for direct service experience in a criminal or civil legal aidoffice.
- Excellent legal research, writing and analytical skills.
- Experience in interviewing, ideally telephone-based.
- Experience with fast-paced, contemporaneous, cloud-based record keeping.
- Interest in civic and legal tech; basic understanding of the concepts behind human-centered design.
- Demonstrated commitment and experience in improving the quality of services for low-and moderate-income people.
- Demonstrated cross-cultural communication skills.
- Education: J.D.
- Experience: 3+ years work experience preferred
Location: Washington, D.C.
Compensation: $55,500 plus benefits per year(18-month appointment).
Start Date: Flexible; preference for September 2017
Application Deadline: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning July 17, 2017, until the position is filled
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