The ABA Center for Innovation’s mission is to encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the accessibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of legal services in the United States. During its second quarter of operations, the Center advanced this mission in significant ways.

The Center has developed numerous collaborative relationships and obtained pledges and commitments of over $600,000.

  • Microsoft has agreed to sponsor a NextGen Fellow.
  • Three law schools—American University Washington College of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Suffolk University Law School—have agreed to sponsor NextGen Fellows.
  • North Carolina—in a collaboration between the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the North Carolina Bar Association—has agreed to sponsor an Innovation Fellow.
  • Cisco Systems pledged $25,000 to support the Center’s Hate Crimes Reporting App initiative.
  • The ABA Criminal Justice Section pledged $300,000 to the Center to support criminal justice innovation projects ($100,000 per year for three years).

The Center has undertaken numerous innovative programs and projects, including:

  • Working with organizations to develop rapid responses to the public’s legal needs, such as in the areas of immigration law and applications for FEMA assistance
  • Leading an effort to create a hate crimes reporting app
  • Collaborating on several court-annexed online dispute resolution pilot projects
  • Collaborating with the ABA Legal Services Division on a legal checkups tool
  • Developing an Innovation Clearinghouse to help the profession and public learn more about legal services innovations
  • Developing a Miranda translation app that will give law enforcement and the public easy access to Miranda warnings in other languages
  • Working with ABA Member Services to develop ABAStands4, a site that demonstrates the ABA’s commitment to improving access to legal services and the rule of law in the United States and around the globe
  • Mapping public defense resources with the Legal Services Division
  • Developing a cutting-edge online program in the area of legal services innovation
  • Developing a process for submitting project requests so that it can more easily review and assess the many requests for assistance the Center is receiving

The Center selected the inaugural class of NextGen and Innovation Fellows.

  • NextGen Fellows are recent law school graduates who—with the exception of the ABA Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen Fellow—will spend a year in residence at ABA Headquarters working on an innovative legal services project of their choice. They will each receive a salary and benefits, as well as intensive training and support from Center members and staff.
  • Innovation Fellows are experienced lawyers and other professionals, who will spend approximately nine to twelve weeks in residence at the Center, receiving intensive training and support from Center members and staff.

The Center is participating in and organizing conversations around the country in the area of legal innovation.

  • The Center has participated in dozens of conferences and programs since it was established in September 2016.
  • The Center has published several articles about its work and is regularly cited in the press for its efforts.