Professor Ron Staudt heads
the Center for Access to Justice & Technology (CAJT) and the center's Access to Justice (A2J) Author software project, which helps self-represented litigants access the legal forms they need through a step-by-step online interview process. Student Daniel Raymer, who has a background in software development, had a summer fellowship at the center and continues his involvement as a student through Professor Staudt's Justice and Technology Practicum course.
Prof. Staudt: Our A2J Clinic Project with the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction is spreading the word to other law schools. Six other law schools cooperate with us, sharing curriculum and building collaboration sites. Hopefully, we'll do it again next year and add more schools.
Daniel: My counselor asked me about my interests, and I told her I have a strong background in software and it's very important to me to find a job, long-term, that I'll feel good about doing. Professor Staudt's program came to her mind immediately. So, I applied for and received a fellowship with the CAJT, where I've helped Professor Staudt develop several projects, and worked at the Self-Help Web Center at the Daley Center. People representing themselves show up at this help desk with something they can't make sense of, we take them through the A2J guided interview process, and then they've got the form they need.
Prof. Staudt: We want students to build these software-guided interviews in ways that are accessible to the people who need to use them. We have students help people through the interviews at the help desk as a way to understand the customer. It's invaluable. The kind of person we look for—and Dan is a good example—is someone who has a passion for making it easier for the public to achieve their justice goals.
Daniel: Professor Staudt is as sharp a professor as you could hope for. He's the leader in the field. He knows what's going on with technology and how it can solve everyday problems. He's out there trying to resolve a real problem: access to justice for lower-income people.