ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE - LOYOLA PRESS RELEASE - AUGUST 15, 2017
For the next year, Microsoft-NextGen Fellow Amanda Brown will work with the Legal Services Corporation to develop web portals to help low-income Americans find appropriate legal aid resources.
The newly launched American Bar Association Center for Innovation has named Amanda Huff Brown, a 2015-2016 student practitioner in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, a Microsoft Next-Gen Fellow. Brown will spend the next year in residence at Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle, Washington leading the development of legal technology projects that aim to increase access to justice and improve the practice of law as a whole. Brown is one of only eight young lawyers from across the nation to be named an inaugural Fellow to the ABA Center for Innovation.
As a student practitioner in the Technology and Legal Innovation Clinic in Loyola University New Orleans’ Law Clinic, Brown with fellow students, designed and implemented technology projects aimed at assisting legal practitioners and increasing access to justice. Students learned to write software code and work with data then put these skills into practice to solve real-world legal problems.
“Amanda was the top performer in her class in our Technology and Legal Innovation Clinic. She led an effort to improve technology resources at our local Legal Services Corporation office and did some first-rate software development while she was at it. She is the best example of the exciting things we are doing in the field of law and technology here at Loyola,” said Judson Mitchell, clinic professor and pro bono coordinator.
In fall 2016, Brown was selected to participate in the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center’s new program, Graduates for Justice, an 8-week, postgraduate internship program designed to place recent Loyola law graduates with local legal aid offices. During her internship at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Brown assisted with disaster relief efforts at FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Centers following the historic floods of August 2016.
“During my fellowship, I look forward to implementing and expanding upon the technology and problem-solving skills I developed in the Law Clinic at Loyola University New Orleans and as a Graduate for Justice at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. The purpose of this fellowship is really to address an information and resource gap that continues to grow for many low-income families, and my time in the technology clinic and serving others at SLLS taught me that if we think critically, creatively, and compassionately, we can leverage technology and begin bridging that gap,” said Brown, who plans to move to Washington in late August to begin her fellowship.
The ABA Center for Innovation was established in September 2016 at the recommendation of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services to encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the accessibility, affordability and effectiveness of legal services and to transform how the public accesses the law and legal information. Eight inaugural Fellows, who were selected by the ABA Center for Innovation Fellows Committee, were announced Aug. 1 by the ABA and begin work this summer. Each will spend between three months and one year at the Center, and the group includes five NextGen Fellows, who will spend a year on projects, and three Innovation Fellows, whose fellowships run up to four months.
“We’re thrilled to welcome these Fellows to the Center for Innovation,” ABA President Linda A. Klein said in an August 1 release. “They’re not only helping lawyers and their clients in creative new ways, they’re also giving us a glimpse into what legal services could look like in the decades to come.”
Click here for an ABA news release about Center and its Fellowship program.