Introduction and Relaunch

Hello. My name is Eddie Glenn. I am new to Reinventing Justice so I thought I should take a minute to introduce myself.

For the most part, I am a software engineer. I graduated from law school back in 2012 with the intention of practicing law. While I was studying for the bar I took a job as a consultant, assuming it would be a short detour before I became a defense attorney. Around this time I felt a passing curiosity about what it means to write code, so I tried it. After playing with some free online resources on engineering I quickly realized, despite never having much interest in technology for the first 27 years of my life, that programming is fun! So I made a switch.

Like many law school graduates who never practice, I still have a passion for the law. I love the legal and policy debates that get wrapped up in different perspectives of how to improve the world and I feel a sense of duty to leverage all of my skills to make the legal system better.

Throughout my software development career, I drank plenty of “let’s disrupt the industry!” Kool-Aid. As a general rule, I think it’s delicious. So I am happy to see legal technology stir things up and put pressure on every aspect of the legal system to improve. But I am especially interested in public service, access to justice, racial equity, and all the progressive causes that attracted me to the law in the first place. Do we have frameworks for measuring or talking about how technology is advancing progressive causes? Do we have case studies? Who can offer clear narratives of what we’ve learned? Is learning being shared across the legal industry? Are these perspectives or assumptions shared outside of our industry? These are the questions I’d like to explore.

Among my attorney friends and acquaintances, I know some who don’t see much need for more technology in their work, and on the other end of the spectrum I know aspiring legal tech pioneers hoping to upend the system as we know it. This landscape suggests to me that the time is ripe to think critically about where legal innovation will go.

There are many lawyers and activists out there with great ideas on how to engage innovation in a thoughtful, inclusive, and analytical manner. I want to learn from those folks. I want to better understand what changes have already occurred; why and what for. I selfishly want to join Reinventing Justice to advance my own understanding along those lines. Naturally, I hope it provokes discussion for others, so we can all be more informed and engaged citizens and guide technology to give rise to more justice in our communities.

It is a bit broad and idealistic now, I know. Idealism is my jam. Maybe that’s why I became a lawyer? Or maybe that’s why I never practiced law? Either way, I think broad idealism is appropriate right now because we are early in a process of legal tech maturation. Most lawyers don’t agree on most things, but the definition of “legal tech” is especially uncertain. I hope that Reinventing Justice can help clarify things for us all.

Published on January 14th, 2022, by Eddie Glenn.