I recently had the opportunity to talk with some of the creators of the new Law Genius platform- a platform aimed at changing the way law students and the general public engage with legal texts. As part of utilizing their platform, I uploaded this post to their website and [am in the process of attempting to] embed the post on my own website for annotation instead of hyper-linking. Here is the post:
Is this the way that the Socratic cold-calling method of law school makes you feel? Sure, you did the reading: twice. You read every footnote and even checked Wikipedia for an explanation for the case. But something just isn't clicking in your understanding of the case...
That's where Law Genius comes in. The creation of Law Genius is a goal that has been discussed almost since the creation of Rap Genius. Created by a former associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf, Mahbod Mogham, one the creators and someone who worked at Dewey & Leboeuf, has always kept his eye on the legal market. Law Genius aims to be the intersection of legal texts, Wikipedia, and Urban Dictionary. This intersection is something that may help bridge the gap in understanding for many law students, but also for the general public.
But first, you might be asking yourself: What is Law Genius?
Is Law Genius the Web 2.0 of LexisNexis and Westlaw that it aspires to be? Possibly. For current and future law students, the platform is something that millennials should be much more comfortable using. Instead of having to learn the new language of Westlaw and LexisNexis, law students could potentially be able to view class case lists organized by their school or professor. Having a platform that allows "free interactive casebooks" sounds like something that law schools should already be invested in. Students could link to other multimedia that helps with the understand of a case. These are just some of the examples that are completely possible with the current platform.
Interested in reading and understanding the terms and service of itunes? Law Genius has that. Want to have a single, annotated location for all state statutes instead of viewing them on state websites? Law Genius is in the process of putting that together.
While this may sound like a great study tool, what about its applications for practitioners? The Genius team already has several plans, including the possibility of importing all documents and multimedia from a given case and connecting it all through annotations between the legal documents and to outside texts.
With a crowd-sourced platform that is creating its own annotated list of all written works (the Genius platform now covers music, literature, news, history, sports, and technology), the possibilities are endless. Concerned about the quality of posts? "Verified accounts allow people with particular areas of expertise to create authoritative annotations." Soon to be implemented is a system that allows multiple users to annotate a single line of text to engage in a conversation about that line of text.
But perhaps the most exciting aspect of Law Genius is its ability to get the general public interested in cases. Instead of waiting for a news report interpreting a new Supreme Court case, someone without a legal background could feel better equipped to jump on Law Genius and dissect the meaning of a case.
At the writing of this post, the platform is still relatively new and could benefit from the input and feedback of users such as yourself, no matter what your background is. Interested in learning more about a new case? Want to study over old material or see how well you remember older cases? Head over to Law Genius and give it a try.
If you have any questions or want to talk to someone who is really excited about building this platform, Christine@genius.com is more than willing to answer your questions.