Return to site

a #makelawbetter story!

We love to share #makelawbetter 👊 stories from our community. This is a great one, told via Twitter thread by Gabe Teninbaum (@GTeninbaum).

Legal tech friends-if you want a pick-me-up, get ready: 3 weeks ago, a judge I’m friendly with, Hon. Scott Schlegel @judgeschlegel (Jefferson Parish, Louisiana), dropped me a note about an idea he had to use a text based chatbot to check in on high risk probationers. /1

Judge Schlegel is very tech savvy & has done all sorts of good things to make the system work better. He saw an opportunity to use text checking bc many probationers would only be able to see POs by video conference and he wanted to be able to reach out to help between visits. /2

So the idea was just to ask if they were doing ok. If yes, they’d just hold off for their scheduled visit by video; if no (eg feared a drug relapse), they could ask for support. I told the judge I liked the idea and thought it could be done right and quickly. /3

I tweeted out a two sentence summary asking if anyone wanted to take it on. Within minutes, I had several messages, including from @lawdroid’s Tom Martin. By the next day, Tom was on the phone w the judge & other court staff discussing the project. Tom said he could do it. /4

I’m ecstatic to share that, this week, the project launched. Lots of hard, quick work by Judge S, his staff & Tom and crew at @lawdroid has resulted in the delivery of 100s of SMS messages to hundreds of probationers to help them through this time. /5

What else to say other than “this is what it’s all about.” These folks stepped up. @lawdroid

isn’t getting paid for this - they’re doing it because they can and it’s the right thing to do. Judge Schlegel & staff didn’t have to do this either. /6

No matter how this ends, I hope we’ll all remember that people like Tom & Judge Schlegel stepped up. They’re not the only ones doing it either (shouts out to @DocumateLaw@LawyerCommunity, my colleagues at @SuffolkLITLab@QSteenhuis@Colarusso & so many others). Thank you, all.