Access to Justice (A2J) Ventures is a consulting firm that empowers entrepreneurs building scalable access to justice solutions. We work with lawyers, technologists, interdisciplinary professionals, and others who are developing new ways of delivering legal services. We also support entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of regulatory innovation opportunities. Note: we are not structured as a venture capital fund at this time, and we are not making angel investments at this time. 

Our Services

Business Modeling & Partnership Strategy

The traditional law firm model and the traditional 1:1 legal services delivery model still dominate today in the PeopleLaw Sector. But new models are emerging, many centered on partnerships between lawyers and other professionals. Unlike in other industries, however, there are considerable barriers preventing these kinds of partnerships from forming with ease. We help clients understand this landscape and the mechanisms that legal services companies use to build these partnerships within the bounds of existing regulations.

Understanding Opportunities & Limitations on Legal Services / Products

Partnerships between those who are licensed to practice law and those who are not raise a whole host of issues. And what does it mean to practice law anyway? Steering clear of the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) is critical. We help clients understand the UPL landscape and the key considerations for developing legal services and products that don’t run afoul of regulations.

Leveraging Regulatory Innovations

An increasing number of states are allowing entrepreneurs (lawyers and other professionals) to develop business models that diverge from traditional legal services delivery. In the Arizona Alternative Business Structure program, professionals in law and other disciplines can co-own a company that delivers legal services. In the Utah legal services regulatory sandbox, entrepreneurs can do the same in addition to engaging professionals not licensed to practice law and software. Finally, in states across the country there are an expending cadre of non-lawyer professionals that can provide legal advice in certain situations and case types. We help clients understand and leverage these opportunities.

Why We Do What We Do

We believe the future of access to justice exists at the intersection of technology and regulatory innovation.

Our Insidious Access to Justice Problem

In theory, the U.S. justice system is available to everyone. In practice, the exact opposite is true. Millions upon millions of people in the United States are caught in an ever-widening justice gap: the growing discrepancy between those who can meaningfully achieve justice and those who cannot.

Some people take a narrow view of what increasing access to justice means, calling for more lawyers or more affordable legal services. These are critical solutions. But they are not the only ones. Legal problems are embedded in broader human problems. And solving any problem effectively requires holistic, interdisciplinary approaches. At Access to Justice Ventures, we work with entrepreneurs from all professional backgrounds who can add value to the legal consumer’s experience.

Some people view the access to justice crisis as a low-income issue. It is most certainly that. But it is also so much more. Subsidized legal services programs are an essential part of the access to justice framework. Yet these organizations do not even begin to meet the needs of low-income Americans. Furthermore, there is an expansive Middle Class in the United States, many of whom have to—and some of whom chose to—forgo expensive help. We believe that Middle Class consumers who cannot afford traditional services are entitled to affordable alternatives. We also believe that Middle Class consumers who do not want traditional services and providers are entitled to the alternatives of their choice.

Solutions & Regulatory Constraints

Rapidly advancing technologies hold great promise for expanding access to justice. Legal technology solutions can introduce new products and services at scale. While the traditional model of legal services delivery (1:1 bespoke legal advice) will always play a very important role in the justice system, 1:many models can have a much wider reach. Scalable services can also help expand the work of traditional legal services providers.

Yet building bespoke technology solutions that can provide new value to legal consumers can be expensive. Most lawyers do not have the capital to invest in these solutions, nor do they have the time and expertise to build them. As a result, law practice looks much the same as it did hundreds of years ago—to the detriment of consumers. On the other hand, entrepreneurs who can take venture capital and have the expertise to build legal tech solutions are extremely limited in the types of help they can offer consumers. If only lawyers can provide certain services, but lawyers cannot (or will not) invest in new ways of providing those services, we find ourselves trapped in a Catch-22. And this is unfair to legal consumers.

Regulatory innovation is badly needed in the legal industry. At Access to Justice Ventures, we are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs leverage these developments where they are occurring. And where they have not yet occurred, we are committed to helping entrepreneurs have the maximum impact within the bounds of what is currently possible.

Work With Us

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