Honoring the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, & leaders. Lawyer or nonlawyer, techie or nontechie, anyone is eligible.
Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.
“The past year has presented challenges that provided opportunities to advance the law, and even accelerated some innovations into the mainstream,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “We celebrate the diligence, discipline, passion, and creativity of these Fastcase 50 honorees. We are as proud as ever to spotlight the eleventh class of the Fastcase 50, highlighting now 550 people who have inspired our profession, since our first class in 2011.”
Shruti Ajitsaria is changing the way tech companies and law firms work together. She is driving innovation at the United Kingdom firm Allen & Overy and created Fuse, the firm's legal innovation incubator. Fuse aims to bring together tech companies, Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists, and firm clients. Within Fuse, they can explore, develop, and test legal, regulatory, and deal-related solutions in a collaborative space. Fuse has recently welcomed its second group of businesses, including Kira Systems, Neota Logic, and Bloomsbury AI, which was just acquired by Facebook in a deal valued between $23-30 million.
Kenton Brice has been a proponent of legal technology throughout his career, from working in litigation to heading up technology innovation at the College of Law at the University of Oklahoma. Beginning with his days in practice at Christman Kelley & Clarke, PC, where he oversaw technology implementation and efficiency processes, Kenton has consistently advocated for the practical and theoretical application of new methods. As the first Digital Resources Law Librarian for the College of Law at the University of Oklahoma, he has taught tech-focused classes, written articles, and advocated for the use of AI and virtual reality to enhance the practice of law.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s the linguistic value of an emoji? Symbols and emojis have become commonplace in social media, texting, and even the workplace, and legal professionals are now working to understand the evidentiary meaning of nonverbal communications. John Browning has published four books related to social media and the law and has become a leading resource on the issue. When he is not teaching, writing a book, or working as a shareholder at Passman & Jones, John serves on the board of the State Bar of Texas Computer and Technology section.
It’s an age-old problem: legal information is often costly and difficult to access, but the law still affects everyone. A former international commercial law practitioner, Femi Cadmus now uses her role as one of the country’s most celebrated law librarians to fight for open access to legal scholarship and information. Femi is President-Elect of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), and one of the co-founders of LawArXiv, currently, the only non-commercial open access repository for legal scholarship. In the fall, Femi will take on a new role as the Archibald C. and Frances Fulk Rufty Research Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Information Services and Technology at Duke Law School, where we know she will continue to lead the legal information community with vision and passion. In her words, “The quintessential law library and librarian cannot only survive but can also thrive in the digital era by continuing to demonstrate value through the development of new services that satisfy user needs in a digital era.”
Podcasts have become more popular in recent years, providing a forum for discussion and learning that can be easily consumed during a commute or workout. But they weren’t always so prolific, especially in the legal space. Recognizing the convenience of podcasts, Adam Camras has expanded the Legal Talk Network to distribute legal marketing advice and education since its founding in 2005. The Network is just a portion of LAWgical, Adam’s online marketing, software, and media company with several brands under its umbrella. Now with almost 30 podcasts, the Legal Talk Network has grown into an empire packed with useful resources and programming for lawyers. Adam and his team travel the country, broadcasting from the floors of state bar meetings and legal conferences so everyone can listen in. We don’t expect to pull our earbuds out anytime soon.
Although she is barely out of law school, Veronica Canton is already making a huge impact on the legal profession. After working for several years on pro bono immigration cases for children seeking immigration protection via SIJS, asylum and stay of deportation or removal, Veronica became a partner at Impowerus, a company founded by fellow Fastcase 50 classmate Katelyn Ringrose and Notre Dame Law School students that connects juvenile immigrants to pro bono legal aid. Impowerus is a case management platform with secure video chat integration and practical features like time-tracking. In part because of Veronica’s work, Inc. magazine named Impowerus one of the "coolest college startups of 2018." Aside from her time spent on Impowerus, Veronica has also demonstrated leadership as the Law Student Division President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). We can’t wait to see where her career goes next.
The First Amendment is ultimately based on a faith that we’re better off allowing all ideas to be expressed than [allowing] our government officials to punish some of them.” Erwin Chemerinsky almost has too many accolades and titles to name. Among them, he was the 2017 National Jurist magazine most influential person in legal education in the United States, is a preeminent constitutional law scholar, Dean of the Berkeley School of Law, and Founding Dean of the University of California Irvine. Erwin stepped up for free speech in higher education at his own school when Alan Dershowitz was prevented from speaking, inviting Professor Dershowitz to speak on behalf of the law school’s Jewish Association. Author of Yale University Press, Free Speech on Campus (co-author Howard Gillman), Erwin walks the walk.
As the marketing manager at a personal injury law firm, Gabriela Cubeiro couldn’t find a good case management and reporting tool for her office’s needs. This insight helped her launch CASEpeer, which aims to offer an all-inclusive practice management solution for plaintiff’s lawyers. As if being a Co-Founder and entrepreneur isn’t enough, Gabriela is concurrently building the Women of Legal Tech community. The project is an example of her passion for bringing people together and her desire to help others bring their ideas to fruition.
As the Chief Knowledge Officer at Ogletree Deakins, Patrick DiDomenico is a leading voice among KM professionals, helping legal professionals understand the value of retaining their knowledge for re-use. His book, Knowledge Management for Lawyers, and long-running blog have helped firms around the world approach information retention in a new way. As a member of Ogletree’s Technology Strategy Committee, he guides the firm’s use of technology and information resources to best serve clients. Patrick is recognized as a leading authority on knowledge management, legal technology, and innovation; he is the founder of the Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals and Legal Project Management groups on LinkedIn.
Measuring litigation risk is a notoriously difficult task, and most lawyers will say it can’t be done. But Eric Falkenberry does it all the time. Eric is an experienced litigator and partner at DLA Piper who specializes in predictive modeling and scenario testing to provide advice on how to avoid and manage litigation risk, particularly as it relates to product liability and mass torts. As the chair of DLA Piper’s Litigation Innovation Committee, and Vice Chair of DLA Piper’s Innovation Review Board, Eric has a hand in finding and applying new products that are changing how firms and clients make informed decisions throughout each case. A frequent speaker on analytics, Eric is a leader in using data to measure litigation and risk metrics.
With a diverse background as a lawyer, entrepreneur, and finance professional, Darren Fancher has a wealth of experience to help him navigate the legal tech industry. He uses his diverse knowledge base to lead CASEpeer, an all-inclusive practice management solution he and fellow Fastcase 50 classmate Gabriela Cuberio developed for meeting the needs of personal injury lawyers. Darren is especially interested in helping law firms to automate, and believes more automation in the law will improve client-lawyer relationships and the quality of legal services by allowing attorneys to spend more time on the tasks they enjoy the most.
Andrea Ferster is a public interest advocate in private practice who works to enforce federal environmental laws on behalf of local governments and citizens groups, and serves as General Counsel for the Rails to Trails Conservancy, which helps turn old railway tracks into pedestrian and bike paths. Motivated by the idea that lawyers are agents of social change, Andrea, as Past President of the D.C. Bar, developed programs to encourage members to participate in pro bono service. Now she helps lead The DC Reduced Fee Lawyer & Mediator Referral Service (DC Refers), a 501(c)(3) working to connect lawyers with modest-means clients seeking low-cost legal services. The service fills a gap for clients who don’t qualify for legal aid, but who nevertheless struggle to afford traditional legal services.
Erin Gerstenzang is a criminal defense attorney and speaker dedicated to helping other attorneys succeed via efficient case management. Her practice is an example of what she teaches. Erin runs a paperless office and uses technology to streamline her work to provide the best experience for her clients. She also serves the local legal community as the Vice President of Leadership of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and heads up the Association’s leadership academy. Focused on driving the practice of law forward, Erin recently started a project to speed up the process of improving the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.
Put simply, Lori Gonzalez wants to help lawyers with “menial tasks” so they can focus on what they do best - practicing law. A former paralegal, Lori is intimately familiar with the business frustrations of law offices and found a solution. She started The RayNa Corporation, which works as an efficiency expert for small firms, offering to take care of billing and other administrative services so lawyers can stick to billable hours. Outside of RayNa, she spends her free time volunteering with organizations, such as the Tennessee Access For Justice Commission’s Pro Bono Committee, and she was the first paralegal in Nashville to bill the federal government for paralegal time in the representation of indigent defendants.
With a deep background in the technology industry before ever attending law school, John Grant strives to help lawyers cross off each and every item on their to-do list. Referred to as “The Agile Attorney” John has earned this name by recognizing the benefits of implementing the business practices of technology companies to streamline productivity and develop a winning strategy for his attorney clients. John has helped many law firms and solo attorneys make small improvements that deliver a big impact on their ability to best serve their clients, all by applying a different mindset to the legal industry.
In the legal innovation space Dazza Greenwood thinks big, and his influence has been far-reaching. As a consultant for Fortune 100 companies at CIVICS.com he advises clients on areas such as digital identity and data management, but as a Research Scientist at MIT he is changing the way we think about law altogether. Dazza is a pioneer of computational legal science, a field that works to apply the ideas of computational social science to the law, mining the law’s data to new ends. He’s also one of the brains behind the launch of Law.MIT.edu and a leader in the MIT.edu/Blockchain forum. We can count on Dazza to be ahead of the curve, seeing and reacting to trends years before they impact the legal market.
Ivy Grey is a legal tech entrepreneur who works as a bankruptcy attorney at Griffin Hamersky. Ivy has a unique blend of skills and an incredible ability to synthesize technical, business, and legal information into practical advice and actionable plans. As the creator of the American Legal Style for PerfectIt, a proofreading and editing software for lawyers, she is quite literally changing the way we write about the law. Ivy writes frequently about change management and implementation for Legal Technology Today and other leading publications.
Many attorneys wake up in the middle of the night panicking about potentially missing a deadline. The problem is particularly complex in the world of civil litigation, where the rules can often be complex and burdensome. In 1999 Jack Grow set out to change that. An experienced civil litigator himself, Jack created LawToolBox, a software service company dedicated to making scheduling and calendar management drastically simpler for attorneys and their clients. The tools Jack created automatically synchronize court deadlines to Outlook, Google, Time Matters, and other platforms to help attorneys and their clients stay connected throughout the life of a matter. No more nightmares.
It’s hard to find a lawyer, and it’s equally hard for lawyers to find new clients. Pieter Gunst decided to help address this conundrum by founding legal matching and identity service Legal.io, whose mission is to make legal help universally accessible. Today more than 1,000 lawyers use Legal.io to find new clients and to refer business. Legal.io also powers lawyer referral networks for non-profit legal services organizations. It’s committed to helping anyone who needs legal assistance by using legal networks to streamline legal service delivery and measure results. Pieter also serves as an Entrepreneurial Fellow at the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX), where he organizes Code = Law (a coding course for law students).
This summer, Kate Hagan completes her 11-year tenure as the Executive Director of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). During a time of great change in the law library and legal information, Kate spearheaded a major rebranding effort that lead to the expansion of AALL membership beyond law librarians to all legal information professionals. The organization has lobbied Congress and advocated for fair business practices for publishers, all on behalf of a diverse group of members. She has been an advocate for the adoption of technology within the law library, in support of modernizing both the field and profession to take advantage of new capabilities and expectations in the 21st Century.
Don’t expect to see a lot about legal tech on his Twitter, it’s mostly football. But Michigan Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh has been using his reach to help close the justice gap. He advocated through most of the last year on behalf of Legal Services Corporation (LSC), an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. His interest in access to justice stems from his friendship with a prominent Chicago attorney. Jim argues that all Americans should care about equal access to justice and he has advocated for full funding for LSC. From hosting access to justice events to working as a clerk in a Michigan Court, Coach Harbaugh is taking time to raise awareness about the crucial importance of increasing access to legal services.
As the Global Co-Leader for the IBM Cognitive Legal Practice, Shawnna Hoffman is pioneering the future of artificial intelligence and its capacity to deliver legal services. The IBM Watson Legal project Shawnna leads is transforming the way firms mine through data in the discovery context and beyond, identifying patterns that have the potential to save firms massive amounts of money and serve clients more effectively. Shawnna has designed methods for detecting clusters and relationships in large data sets, co-authored a book on eDiscovery, and co-founded the Women in eDiscovery non-profit, which now has thousands of members and local chapters in 29 cities.
As a pioneer of LawHelp Interactive, Claudia Johnson has helped millions of people access legal assistance online. LawHelp Interactive is designed to make legal documents in every state easily and readily available. Claudia is also an advocate for legal and social equality. She sees technology as a doorway to justice, as it simplifies legal processes for those who cannot afford, or don’t have the time, to hire an attorney when in need.
It’s probably not shocking to anyone that the Fastcase team loves a show about the philosophical questions surrounding emergent robots, scored with ragtime covers of grunge classics. Harvard Law School alumna Lisa Joy is one of the Co-Creators of HBO’s Westworld, and we like to think that her legal training has something to do with its brilliance. Not many have the drive to write scripts while simultaneously studying for the bar exam. About her obsessive dedication to her craft Lisa once told Esquire, "I've tried to always be incredibly over prepared in everything that I've done. I think part of it comes from being a woman: It's hard to get that first chance, and if you mess up, you just don't get a second chance, right? So you always want to exceed expectations out of the gate.”
A giant of appellate lawyering, Neal Katyal is no stranger to the Supreme Court, having argued 35 cases there in the last 9 years alone. After serving as Acting Solicitor General, Neal now works as a partner at Hogan Lovells and a professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University Law Center. An expert in a diverse array of practice areas (patent, constitutional, technology, and securities law, to name only a few) Neal has argued some of the most notable cases in recent memory, including a successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Northwest Austin v. Holder. It may not be his greatest achievement, but perhaps his most public cameo was playing himself on a 2015 episode of the wicked D.C. drama House of Cards.
As the Co-Leader of IBM Watson Legal, Brian Kuhn is focused on developing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for law firms, in-house counsel, and government agencies alike. He traverses the globe speaking about how to leverage AI in the legal industry. Brian invented the IBM Outside Counsel Insights solution, which manages outside counsel spend, and he created the Watson Legal Workshop methodology, which helps identify and prioritize use cases. In his work at IBM, Brian is exploring the frontiers of AI’s ability to think and reason like a lawyer. He is at the bleeding edge of the intersection of law, technology, and artificial intelligence and is bringing light to a new era of law.
For the last 15 years Patricia Lee has driven the diversity efforts of the State Bar of California. Her career is a perfect example of what it means to serve others through law – she started as a VISTA attorney, was the founding Director of Santa Clara County’s Office of Women’s Advocacy, managed the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, and was the Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer for the Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, among many other public interest positions. Pat supported the inclusion of Fastcase in California law academies and community college pathways that teach legal research skills for students interested in pursuing a legal career. She also chairs the Advisory Council on Diversity that includes all American Bar Association (ABA) entities that have a diversity committee, as well as all the national ethnic bars, LGBT, and women’s bars. Retired from the State Bar of California as of March, she continues to consult with the bar.
At a time when large national firms are becoming more global, the challenge of knowledge management and information resources is more challenging than ever. Saskia Mehlhorn has developed the KM and library resources of global powerhouse Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP as it has grown from a large Texas firm to a global superpower. Since 2011, Saskia has increased her firm’s efficiency with forward-thinking strategies and helping to develop global management knowledge tools including an AI chatbot for knowledge management.
When two leading law professors (J.B. Ruhl and previous Fastcase 50 honoree Oliver Goodenough) reach out to you about an up and coming “real deal” AI innovator, you take the call. And if you are Wolters Kluwer, you welcome John Nay, Co-Founder of Skopos Labs, into your portfolio and immediately start collaborating on reinventing, one product at a time. Skopos and Wolters Kluwer teamed up to create legislative forecasting tools, using algorithms to predict the likelihood of Congress passing bills. Skopos Labs has attracted the attention of investors, including the Thomson Reuters Emerging Technology funds portfolio. It’s a great time to be creating artificial intelligence tools for law, and John is right in the center of the action.
Most people who have read and reviewed a contract have experienced frustration, but not everyone would turn that into a business. Cian O’Sullivan created Beagle, a machine learning tool that uses AI to read contracts and provide a visual summary of information that helps users have more legal review accuracy with less confusion, less human error, and less time spent reviewing agreements. In a time when many companies over-hype the promise of artificial intelligence, Beagle is creating new AI tools to do practical legal work.
Identifying a need for a user-friendly, scalable platform to research regulations and laws in the cannabis industry, Amanda Ostrowitz created Regs Technology as a platform to aid attorneys, business people, and governments with localized tracking of regulatory issues. Although Regs Technology has its origins in covering the dynamics of cannabis regulation, Amanda has created an innovative framework that can be applied more broadly to emerging, localized regulatory issues. Thanks to Amanda, lawyers working in the most innovative fields now have an equally innovative platform to support their research.
Patrick Palace is running his workers' compensation firm with the tech skills and vision of a much larger operation. For instance, he invented PatBot, a do-it-yourself case evaluator that greets visitors to his firm’s web site by walking them through questions that identify the legal issues in each case. Patrick is also a figure in the bar leadership community, as past president of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) and a member of the National Council for Bar Presidents (NCBP) Executive Council, where he produces webinars on the “21st Century Lawyer” for bar leaders. When Patrick’s not working to modernize the practice of law across the country he can be found crafting wines that pair with the seafood bounties of the Pacific Northwest.
How does one drive product innovation in a large organization? With the vision, patience, and conviction of Jeff Pfeifer. At LexisNexis, Jeff has accomplished the near impossible – reinventing Shepard’s, championing innovation, and continually improving one of the flagship brands of legal research. Collaborating with homegrown stars and infused innovators at Lex Machina and Ravel, Jeff has assembled an amazing team of product leaders. But it all starts with Jeff and his passion for product excellence, which places him right alongside the top tier of legal industry entrepreneurs.
Every year there are Fastcase 50 nominees who we are sure have already been honored. Amy Porter is one of those nominees this year. Surely by now, the Fastcsae 50 has included one of the most established legal tech entrepreneurs? We right this wrong today by honoring Amy Porter, the CEO and founder of LawPay, the leading solution helping lawyers to get paid for their work quickly and simply, with security that exceeds PCI standards. More than 50,000 lawyers use LawPay to get paid by credit card, and the service is recommended by 48 state bar associations. LawPay is one of our favorite legal tech success stories, and Amy Porter is a major reason why - she created the category and has led the credit card processing and fulfillment market for lawyers ever since.
Jonathan Pyle is turning mobile phones and tablets into handy points of access to justice with DocAssemble. A computer programmer and lawyer serving Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Jonathan built the open source document assembly tool to help both clients and legal service providers. DocAssemble makes legal services accessible for low-income clients and makes it easy to sign documents without needing a printer -- the software even incorporates read-aloud directions when literacy is an obstacle. Legal service providers, particularly legal aid clinics, benefit from Jonathan’s free resource because he created the platform to allow individuals with little to no computer programming skills to build tools that guide clients through documents quickly and clearly.
While practicing law by day and creating a legal technology company by night, Daniel Reilly set out to improve how attorneys work. He designed Legably to help practicing lawyers connect with small or medium size law firms in need of their services. Providing a headache-free platform for lawyers seeking freelance work was the vision Daniel sought out for himself and other attorneys. The process of legal staffing can now be executed with less risk and inefficiencies as a result of Daniel building the platform to make his dream come true.
Inspired to empower immigrant teens, Katelyn started Impowerus as a 2L at Notre Dame in 2016. Katelyn was motivated to attend law school after seeing young immigrants living in the U.S. without their parents who had escaped dangerous situations in their birth countries and wanting to connect them with legal services. She started law school with the idea of Impowerus and gathered a team of fellow law students to collectively build a business by providing an online portal that allows attorneys to provide pro bono legal aid through a secure video chat platform. The Impowerus team created a sustainable business model that serves a public need. From her previous experiences teaching immigrants, Katelyn knew that teenagers live online, and with the assistance of some of her classmates they have created an easy to use online platform to connect pro bono attorneys with anyone in need of legal services.
As the Dean at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Dan Rodriguez was a vocal advocate for updating the curriculum of the legal academy. He helped to raise almost $220 million for the school, which eased the financial burden on students, and he virtually led the entire legal academy as President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2014. But he also had, and continues to have, a monumental interest in technology. From advising ROSS Intelligence and hosting the Planet Lex podcast, to starting a Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree at Northwestern for STEM professionals, Dan is always looking for new ways to push the field into the future. Just this summer he was appointed Chair of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation’s governing council.
“I’d like to see the world’s best entrepreneurs, technologists and designers focus on problems that affect ordinary people facing real day-to-day challenges,” Laura Safdie said in a recent profile. While working as a clerk in the Southern District of New York, Laura saw firsthand how access to better research tools is directly correlated to just outcomes. Laura believes access to knowledge is the crux of effective representation, which is why she helped to champion CARA, Casetext’s collaborative AI research assistant tool, and made it free to civil rights attorneys engaged in pro bono litigation through 2017. Now, with Laura’s guidance, CARA is expanding to every aspect of Casetext, and works beyond the brief. It’s encouraging to know Laura and the Casetext team are not only focused on innovation, but lifting up everyone that pursues justice through law.
The Global Legal Hackathon, which took place earlier this year, engaged law schools, law firms, programmers, thinkers, doers, governments, and others to create innovative new systems to advance access to justice. Aileen Schultz, Co-Organizer of the worldwide event, brought the legal industry together with innovation and tech, and to collaborate for fast innovation. Good ideas were introduced, products were developed, and networks were expanded. We’re already looking forward to #GLH2019.
After struggling to complete the citizenship process with his wife from South Korea, Sam Stoddard decided to make the process easier for others. Soon he was building SimpleCitizen, a TurboTax like solution for applying for a green card. Paying a lawyer to submit a green card application could cost thousands of dollars and can be confusing for the applicant, so Sam took a difficult and expensive process and made it affordable and easy, all while earning his masters degree at Brigham Young University. Sam’s SimpleCitizen solution is helping individuals and businesses achieve their American dream by streamlining the path to citizenship with digital immigration and visa solutions.
As the first former public defender to be elected as President of The Florida Bar, Michelle Suskauer is bringing a focus on criminal justice reform, inclusiveness, destigmatizing mental health and wellness, and providing practical resources for small and solo firms. She is spearheading the first statewide Criminal Justice Summit with lawyers and elected officials to address the state’s high incarceration rate and help bring meaningful reform. Michelle, an advocate of equal employment and retention in law for women, is working with the Bar’s Gender Bias Special Committee to eliminate bias in the legal profession. For the state's solo and small firm lawyers, which make up 75% of attorneys in the state, she’s rolling out LegalFuel, an initiative providing free resources to help solo and small firms increase efficiency and profitability.
Joe Tiano experienced firsthand the difficulties of the legal profession when the firm he was partner of collapsed in 2008 with the great recession. Fortunately for Joe, he parlayed his finance practice into another AmLaw 100 firm where he practiced for a few years and then started a private practice. Joe used his experience in law firms to create a tool to help corporate counsel identity inefficiencies in law firm billing. Legal Decoder helps corporate clients better understand law firm invoices. It takes the tasks performed by legal professionals and identifies how long they should take and which level of attorney should be performing the task. The goal is to more accurately price legal services. Thus Legal Decoder is valuable for both clients who want value, and attorneys who are not always sure how to price their services.
Want to take a traditional information archive set and turn it on its head? Ask Mark Torchiana how. Along with Co-Founder Everett Harry, Courtroom Insight CEO Mark and his team are among the first to develop tools that naturally combine public and private data, allowing law firms to build their own database and leverage their own data to provide a treasure trove about expert witnesses, arbitrators, judges, and attorneys. An early partner of the Fastcase AI Sandbox, Mark continues to prove to clients and peers alike, he is an innovator, a partner, and team player.
Patent litigators and IP attorneys wake up every morning to summaries of the latest key holdings in the Docket Report, a litigation data and analytics summary created by former patent litigator Darryl Towell. His software reads every patent infringement docket sheet in the district courts and the ITC and sends summaries and analytics to subscribers of every significant IP event, in every relevant case, every day. Darryl developed a Software as a Solution platform to provide exactly what he wished he had when he was practicing - alerts, research, reports, and analytics for U.S. patent, trademark, copyright and, antitrust litigation.
When Wilson Tsu, an engineer at IBM, went back to school to earn his JD-MBA, he expected note-taking would have evolved beyond a handful of colorful highlighters and typing case notes on a laptop. He was wrong. He developed an online platform for law students to categorize case information and organize briefs and outlines with the click of a button. Wilson graduated and joined Kirkland & Ellis, then launched LearnLeo to transform the way law students and law firms consume and deliver information. LearnLeo automates the busywork and gives students more time to digest material. He now has plans to introduce LearnLeo to the general population to help people organize the internet and save information in a more seamless way.
As the Founder and Executive Director of the insights firm Six Parsecs, Jae is helping law firms and their client understand legal services through analytical thinking, collected data, and beautiful visualizations. She’s an alum of an AmLaw 100 firm who has also worked with several Fortune 100 clients and is a frequent contributor at the Legal Evolution blog (with Fastcase 50 honoree Bill Henderson), Bloomberg Law, ALM Media, and other leading industry publications. Jae’s work is visual, funny, and, most of all, human. She is, in her own words, “on a mission to make things make sense and also sparkle. My current tour of duty is data + design to inform strategy in legal markets.” Six Parsecs is just getting started, but Jae’s work is already a must-read for anyone trying to understand the market for legal services.
Named one of the 10 Women to Watch in Legal Tech by the ABA Journal in 2014, Amy Wan, the mind behind Bootstrap Legal’s project Sagewise, is working to democratize access to legal counsel and capital. Through Sagewise, Amy is building a dispute resolution infrastructure for smart contracts, and she is helping real estate investors and others create smart contracts that can facilitate, execute, and enforce contracts using blockchain technology. Sagewise is leveling the playing field by reducing time and costs of contract writing for solopreneurs and smaller businesses. Amy is a leader in crowdfunding law and cryptocurrency as a means of reducing the cost of legal transactions and compliance.
As the Director of the Duke’s Center on Law & Technology, Jeff helps law students explore new technologies, and understand how this new tech will affect the law. He heads up the Duke Law Tech Lab and the Access Tech Tools initiative, which helps students employ human-focused design thinking to enhance access to legal services. Jeff teaches Frontier Robotics & AI: Law & Ethics, which analyzes tech from yesterday’s sci-fi thrillers, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, to understand the social policy implications of today’s changing world.
You probably know him by his online moniker @Popehat, but Ken White is more than a blogger and legal Twittersphere influencer. Ken is a Partner at Brown White & Osborne, where he practices with other former federal prosecutors as an expert in white collar criminal defense and First Amendment issues. To that end, he also created Make No Law: The First Amendment Podcast, available on Legal Talk Network. Ken is a major force in legal culture as the leading commentator and curator at the Popehat blog, a self-described “Group Complaint About Law, Liberty, And Leisure.” Established in 2004, it’s a mainstay of entertaining and informative content about criminal and constitutional issues, or whatever else the authors feel moved to discuss that day. We shudder to imagine a work day without it.
Each year, Fastcase honors the most inspiring, courageous, and noteworthy innovators in law with the Fastcase 50 award. Tell us your story, or nominate a deserving hero, friend or colleague, to be part of the annual Fastcase 50.
Lawyer or nonlawyer, techie or nontechie, anyone is eligible.
The deadline to submit a nomination for 2022 is April 29th. Nominate someone today!
Winner of the prestigious American Association of Law Libraries (New Product) Award, Fastcase for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone is used by more attorneys than any other legal app according to the ABA. Anyone may use the app for free to access Fastcase's comprehensive legal research database on the go.