As much as we complain about the PACER federal dockets, it pales in comparison to most of the state court docket systems when it comes to tracking and searching cases at the state and local levels. Josh Blandi, the co-founder, and CEO of Unicourt is leveraging APIs and normalizing court data across multiple state and local courts to help clean up the data and make searching and tracking better. Josh joins us to discuss how they are gathering the information, the roadblocks that state courts and the private companies they contract with throw up to restrict data, and some new advancements in Unicourt’s APIs that link multiple pieces of data to allow for better analytics. We also discuss the collaboration between companies like Justia, Fastcase, and others to pool their resources and reduce the overall costs of accessing the very expensive data that courts produce. One other side project Josh is doing with Public.Resources’ Carl Malamud is the Code Improvement Commission GitHub where they are posting the state statutes for Georgia, Tennessee, and other states for anyone to download and use without any copyright or licensing restrictions.
Rocket Lawyer just announced that they will be testing the sandbox of non-lawyer ownership in Arizona. Rocket Lawyer already established such an operation in the UK and in Utah, and they and eight other companies have applied to the Arizona Supreme Court for their approval to start operations there with the goal of providing legal services for less than the price of hiring an attorney. Eyes are moving over to California now to see if they are the next state to create a sandbox for companies to provide alternative legal services.
The legal job market is hot! Leopard Solutions released a report showing that there are almost 8,300 open and available attorney jobs in the 1,000+ law firms they are tracking. Recruiters are overloaded with opportunities, so if you have a decent practice, expect some calls. We speculate that the same is going on for many of the law firm support positions. There’s going to be a lot of movement over the next year.