Legal Innovations and Free Access to Information: New Era in Law

The legal profession, just like any other, periodically undergoes various changes and transformations. When lawyers in the past were conservative and exclusive to their clients, they now start to take innovative approaches to communicating and bring up conversations about legal issues and free access to legislation. At Lawrina, we believe the legal profession is on a journey that can change the way people consider their rights and laws. We are pleased to know that many activists around the world support this idea, including Eda Rosa through her innovative podcast.

Activist and educator Eda Rosa created “Let’s Talk Paralegal,” a podcast for anyone who’s interested in the law. Rosa is a paralegal with 18 years of experience in many different legal practice areas. On her podcast, Eda talks with real legal professionals from the various fields of law to examine the legal industry from different perspectives.

Lawrina’s beloved PR manager Inna Ptitsyna became a guest of the podcast’s second season and talked with Rosa about legal innovations. We prepared a short summary of the conversation.

Also, check other episodes of the podcast on Buzzsprout.

Creating a Bridge Between Lawyers and Client

The main goal of Eda’s podcast aligns with Lawrina’s goal to make legal information more accessible and erase the miscommunication between lawyers and their clients. Legal innovations are there to transform the way people understand the lawyer’s job and ease understanding between both parties. 

“There is a gap between lawyers and clients. Clients don’t understand how to choose a lawyer, what they need to look for. People don’t know what they need from the lawyers. There is also a problem with money. Legal help isn’t cheap, so you need to understand what you will get because you are paying for this.’’

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Finding a lawyer isn’t easy because people have to not only find one near them but also understand whether this person can service their particular need. At Lawrina, we created a lawyers’ marketplace, where you can find a person perfect for your particular case.

Legal Tech Tools as a Way for Lawyers to Do Their Real Job

Technology makes our lives easier, there is no doubt. With its help we can make our everyday tasks less burdensome, so we have an opportunity to do the job we really want and need. 

“Legal tech tools are great because they provide you as a lawyer, as a legal practitioner, as a paralegal with great opportunity to do things that matter, the real lawyer’s work. I believe that lawyers are not people that work with documents or with laws, they work with people. We need to help people understand lawyers better because they are doing a very important job.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Having to deal with a lot of paperwork is hard for any professional, for lawyers especially. After doing reports, research, contract-drafting, it is easy to forget the main goal before you: to help people.

“After we get caught in the day-to-day tasks, little things that need to be done in order to get what we need, we often forget our real job. What we really need to do is to help clients succeed in their cases and give them the best outcome possible, provide them with the best information and research.”

Eda Rosa
Activist, educator and creator of the podcast ‘Let’s Talk Paralegal

At Lawrina, we have a Legal Citation Generator tool in case you need help with finding citations for your legal documents. However, there are plenty of legal tech tools available, some of which we included in our ebook Lawyers’ Work and Productivity in the ‘New Normal.’ 

Transforming Legal Language into Everyday Language

The main problem in accessing legal information isn’t its lack of resources, it’s the language used to describe it. Understanding legal language is what lawyers and legal professionals learn during the years of schooling. For people whose rights and laws it describes, it can be far less comprehensible.

“Informing in a way that legal information is adjustable, understandable for someone who has not been working in the legal industry, has not gone to law school. We are looking into everyday people, any age, gender, from any part of the world, that can pick this information up and understand exactly what they are reading and what that information means to them. We need that not only in the legal industry but also in medicine, science. It will eliminate miscommunication between the client and the attorney, it is beneficial for both parties.”

Eda Rosa
Activist, educator and creator of the podcast ‘Let’s Talk Paralegal

If people could read through and understand the legal information written in everyday language, it will benefit everybody in a way that creates far less confusion and provides an explanation of what the attorney will do. Not to mention that any person, any human, has to know their rights.

“Free access to law is about legislation, mostly about its implementation, about case law. How to read case law, how to understand cases. How to understand that this case is important for your legal issue. This is the basics of legal education for non-legal professionals.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Understanding that Law and Politics Aren’t Synonymous

With free access to legal information, there is a possible problem of some parties abusing it and making the information more confusing for people.

“Understanding that this information needs to be available and understandable is important. This information is out there, and you can look at it, but will you understand what you are reading? You won’t understand what it means and how it affects you personally. People go on Google to find interpretations, but most of the time they are funded by somebody interested, which makes it political. In America, we have this wrongful assumption that law and politics are synonymous which they are not. Law is our legislation, our procedures. It’s what the White House and the President have to go by. Some people are the ones that are making it political and difficult.”

Eda Rosa
Activist, educator and creator of the podcast ‘Let’s Talk Paralegal

Law isn’t politics because legal rights and laws govern us all, no matter what position we hold in society. When it becomes clear that we all adhere to the same laws, we will be more free and confident with the way we live.

“The Constitution is a very bold statement, but it is very clear. Even though everything needs interpretation, it was very clear that it was for the people. How it was misconceived in any way and how society morphed into what it is now.”

Eda Rosa
Activist, educator and creator of the podcast ‘Let’s Talk Paralegal

Legal Design Isn’t about Contracts. It’s About Communication

Another innovative subject in law is legal design. Although it is a new area of the legal world, it centers around the important and old issue of lack of communication between all parties, including lawyers who are competitors in their field.

“Legal design is not only about drafting your contract so it will look nice. It is more about experience. It is about lawyers understanding how they communicate with clients and with each other, also with their competitors. Only one in about 50 lawyers said that they communicate well with their competitors. As a lawyer, you need to get contracts from other lawyers, understand their positions. You need to work with other law firms.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Lawyers Are Humans, Not Heroes

Issues of mental health in law have risen lately and communications about it are making us all hope  they are truly solvable. Lawyers feel their lives revolve around other people, solving their cases and problems, researching the ways to make their lives better, that they have, as Inna says, “hero mentality,” the urge to help everybody, forgetting about their emotions and mental health.

“Mental health is another issue for lawyers, law students, because it all starts from your studies. Firstly, a very competitive environment. Secondly, tough deadlines, a lot of tasks and information to learn. You need to be competitive, you need to do your best every day, which is so stressful. The statistics are crazy. The level of depression, alcohol and other addictions [are overwhelming]. It is important to understand that you need to be a real human, not a hero that needs to help everybody.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Being a hero is important, when you are also a hero for yourself. Being your own hero looks simple, but it only works if we truly try to do it. We shouldn’t forget that we are people who also feel bad and can be tired or stressed. And these people also require care. 

“Lawyers like to look like heroes in their everyday life and on the internet. It is more about the hero’s mission: to help their clients with their legal problems, to save them. To be a hero, you need to be honest. As for me, a real hero is not somebody who is good with enduring their emotions, it is somebody who understands themselves, who is honest.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

Overcoming and transforming a hero mentality is important not only for you and your mental state, but also for the people around you. And even for your business.

“We also see that from communications between lawyers and paralegals. It can also affect your staff. If you are not being heroic, honest, and brave with your team, that’s reflecting out to the rest of the firm and the fact the clients either come back or refer to your business. Being honest with yourself first before you are being honest with others is important.”

Eda Rosa
Activist, educator and creator of the podcast ‘Let’s Talk Paralegal

At Lawrina, we recently had a webinar about lawyers’ mental health that is worth checking out on YouTube. Also, there is an article on mental health for lawyers and the way they can improve it in case of need.

Legal Innovation Isn’t Only about Legal Tech

As much as technology is associated with innovations, it is not only about that. Every time we are doing something in a different, better way, we are taking innovative approaches. It can be the way we communicate with people, the road we take to spend our time more efficiently and productively, the care we take for our mental and physical health; each little thing matters.

“Legal innovation is not only about legal tech. It is not only about tools that make you more productive or effective. It is about new approaches, new vision, different ways from the ones you did your legal work before.

It could be about your communication with clients. Don’t speak legal language, speak plain language.

Be aware that your clients don’t know about all the laws you have mentioned. They are not lawyers, they need to get a better explanation. Maybe even some visuals or short videos.

– Be more user-centered; think about your clients.”

Inna Ptitsyna
PR Manager at Lawrina

You can hear the full conversation between Inna and Eda on Buzzsprout and learn more about legal innovations, women-run businesses, mental health in law. Everything that wasn’t included in the article, but certainly not less important. 

Let’s bring more innovations in our life starting with ourselves.

Article by Mariia Synytska

Mariia Synytska is Content Lead at Lawrina, a legal portal that projects innovation in law. Mariia manages the content on the website, takes interviews with lawyers and law experts, and looks for the interesting topics for Lawrina's audience. If you would like to be a blogger for Lawrina, you can contact Mariia for all the details via email m.synytska@lawrina.com.

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