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#keeplawopen update no. 1 (or, I hope we don't blow it)

by Cat Moon

Following is the email I sent today (30 March 2020) to the list of generous #makelawbetter innovators.

Hello, #makelawbetter #keeplawopen friends!

You’re receiving this email because you're one of 200+ helpers who filled out the I’m a legal innovator and I want to help 👊 form via #makelawbetter dot org. For some of you, this is your second email from me. For those joining us over the past week, you can read the first email here (if you’re curious).

This message is to encourage and facilitate your efforts to help #keeplawopen and to share what we’re doing at #makelawbetter dot org and other places. I include some specific action opportunities for those so moved. Apologies for the length and TIA for reading.

  • We’ve added an I need help to #keeplawopen ✋ intake form to the website, for orgs, institutions, and people to share requests for help. I’ll share submitted requests with this group as an action opportunity: you’ll have the chance (first dibs) to connect with the requestor and explore if you can help. Questions about how this works? Just ask! And please share the intake form with your network so we can amplify. TIA!
  • We’ve added a #makelawbetter news blog to share information and opportunities about collaboration, projects — anything that supports our effort. We also welcome longer form pieces for those with thoughts/ideas to share with this community and beyond — we already have many subscribers. Action opportunity: have a project/collaboration opportunity or just great #keeplawopen story to share? Ping me! And, the news blog already includes action opportunities to check out. You can subscribe for email updates (at bottom of any post) or add to your RSS feed reader.
  • Founder of Rachel Amos has created both a #makelawbetter Senate and COVID-19 Senate and we invite any and all in this community to jump in and participate. We’ll be sharing more about the Senate on the blog today 3/30. In a nutshell: the Senate is a user-centric platform for expert crowdsourcing of answers to questions around specific issues. Action opportunity: to participate, ping Rachel at with subject line “I want in the Senate!”.
  • We have 200+ legal innovators on the list. We need help translating the spreadsheet into a more useful database organized for ease in identifying helpers for specific types of projects. Ideally using the platform Notion, where we'll house openly-accessible outputs from our #makelawbetter efforts. Action opportunity: if you want to help accomplish this, please ping me directly. TIA!

BIG action opportunity: Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90: channeling Jordan Furlong once again, we legal innovators must proactively seek to be the “architects and project leaders for the new legal world.” To lead requires action now. And here is one way to act: join in this collaborative effort conceived by our fellow innovator Zack DeMeola to organize our members into three groups to design recommendations for what (1) courts, (2) lawyers, and (3) law schools can do in the next 30 days, the next 60 days, and the next 90 days to continue functioning as optimally as possible, and possibly even thriving, in this new environment. These can be fashioned as catalogues of available technology with instruction as to why/how it can be used, recommendations for new policy, recommendations for reform, or any other ideas our collective efforts and collaboration can create.

Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 is described in this document and will kick off today, Monday, March 30. You can sign up for the project directly here. We’ll self-organize around the three groups to be served and act quickly. Zack and I will serve as initial facilitators and to this end have created a #makelawbetter Slack team for anyone to use for purposes of this project, or any other collaborative #makelawbetter / #keeplawopen project. To join the Slack team, ping me directly.

The immediate crisis requires immediate action and we hope that some of you will join Project #keeplawopen 30-60-90 and be proactive in pushing out invaluable guidance and leadership to those in law who need it.

Finally, I exist to facilitate and provoke until all who need help to #keeplawopen have it. Let me know how I can help you help others. In this crisis, we have real opportunity to #makelawbetter. As I shared here and here, I hope we don’t blow it.

Stay safe and sane, my friends. 👊
Cat 😺
Caitlin (Cat) Moon, MA JD | she, her, hers
Director of Innovation Design | Director of thePoLI Institute | Lecturer in Law
Program on Law & Innovation (PoLI) | Vanderbilt Law School
Director,Design the Law:Lab
Instructor in Radiology | Vanderbilt University Medical School
615-600-8672 cell | 615-322-6591 office
Enjoy curated innovation inspiration: Nota Bene