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Stanford Law Is A Hotbed For Tech Startups And Legal Entrepreneurs

Publication Date: 
May 23, 2013
Source: 
ABA Journal
Author: 
Rachel M. Zahorsky

Roland Vogl, executive director of Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics spoke with the ABA Journal's Rachel M. Zahorsky about encouraging interdisciplinary training at Stanford Law School and how he acts upon his motto "legal empowerment with legal technology."

Taking a cue from the academic origins of many Silicon Valley inventors, Stanford Law School has become an incubator for legal technologists.

Not typically credited as innovators, at least five startups have been created by current students and grads at the school since 2009, Law Technology News reports. Lex Machina, a company that maps electronically available patent litigation events and outcomes to build a litigation database, is credited as the first. "I think Lex Machina broke the ice, showing the commercial potential of collaboration between the law, business, and engineering schools," says Clint Korver, a partner at Ulu Ventures, which has invested in three legal tech startups.

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"Our motto is legal empowerment with legal technology," Roland Vogl, executive director of Stanford's Center for Legal Informatics—a joint venture between the law school and computer science department, as well as Stanford's program in law, science, and technology—told Law Technology News. Vogl also emphasized the center's commitment to the broader public interest, noting the disparity between the growing number of unemployed law grads and U.S. citizens in need of accessible legal services.