Statement of Purpose

I created Reinventing Justice partly because I wanted to write down and share what I have learned and continue to learn about innovation around law and justice. But I also have an agenda. In other words, I am not exactly neutral, although I will always strive to be fair and accurate.

My agenda is not meant to be a hidden agenda, so in order to be transparent I want to explain it here.

First, I believe our systems of justice too often operate as systems of injustice that prop up the wealthy and privileged at the expense of the poor and unprivileged. I have personal experience of this because I am a middle-class white man in America. If privilege were rated on a 10-point scale I would be 9.something. I have most definitely been propped up, but I feel like I have a duty to try to level the scales.

In order to achieve anything like real justice and equity, I believe our systems of justice need to be reinvented or disrupted or whatever verb signifying deep systemic change you prefer. Although I have been at this long enough to know that we can aim for disruption but we will probably get evolution.

I believe innovation and advocacy will drive this evolution. Not just technological innovation, but innovation in the broader sense of trying new things, like regulatory reform or new approaches to alternative dispute resolution. And not innovation alone. An unused innovation changes nothing. Legal systems and legal customers tend to be especially skeptical of change, so it takes determined, well-organized advocacy to persuade.

It is hard to innovate in a vacuum, and it is hard to advocate for change when you can’t build a persuasive argument for it.

People want to know why they should adopt a particular innovation. They want to know who else has tried doing similar things and what results they have gotten. They are, in a word, skeptical. And the higher the stakes (persuading a court to adopt a new filing system is a fundamentally different exercise than persuading a small law firm to buy new software), the more skeptical they tend to be. I believe skepticism is good, but it is hard to overcome skepticism without evidence. And it is hard to assemble evidence when the information you need is so fragmented. There are thousands of innovators working on amazing things, but chances are you’ve only heard of a handful of them.

I hope Reinventing Justice will help innovators find each other so they don’t have to innovate in a vacuum. I hope it will tell the story of legal innovation to anyone who needs it—for evidence or just for knowledge. If I do a good job of that, I think Reinventing Justice will be an instrument of systemic change—a resource for people who are changing the world.

If you have thoughts, please share them with me on Twitter, where I am @samglover.

Published on February 8th, 2021. Last updated on May 18th, 2021, by Sam Glover.