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Women of Legal Tech: Kelli Raker


The Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech initiative is meant to encourage variety and have a good time ladies in authorized expertise. This initiative launched in 2015 with a listing of innovators and leaders in authorized expertise and with this yr’s additions, that listing now consists of 132 gifted and influential ladies leaders. Every Monday and Wednesday, we can be that includes a lady from our class of 2021. Today now we have Kelli Raker!

 Kelli Raker is the Coordinator of the Entrepreneurial Law Program at Duke University School of Law.




What are three points that describe you?

  1. I consider that we are able to remedy exhausting issues going through our society once we spend money on folks and provides everybody possibilities and help to experiment, fail, study, and develop.
  2. I’m not a lawyer or a technologist! I’m an educator and facilitator, and that I attempt to be a group organizer. I additionally deliver my experiences working in and volunteering with nonprofits and my ardour for fairness to my work in authorized tech.
  3. I attempt to combine exhausting work, reference to others, and laughter every day.

How is telework/quarantine going for you?

I’m grateful for the security of working from residence whereas nonetheless with the ability to assist others. The Duke Law Tech Lab has been largely digital prior to now (aside from Demo Day), in order that a part of my work doesn’t really feel too totally different. In reality, distant work is simpler now that extra attorneys have gotten snug with digital conferences.

While I miss seeing my regulation college colleagues and Duke Law college students, we’ve discovered some inventive methods to attach. For instance, I host a casual weekly espresso hour for employees on Zoom and that I joined a employees growth committee to plan digital social {and professional} growth occasions. I take pleasure in attempting out new instruments, so it has been enjoyable to extend my tech expertise, assist others turn into extra tech-savvy, and collaborate just about in new methods.

How did you turn into intertwined in authorized tech?

I used to be employed at Duke Law in spring 2018 to assist run the Duke Law Tech Lab. While I wasn’t new to cohort-based management packages, I used to be new to authorized tech. I rapidly realized from my supervisor, Jeff Ward, and lots of others what “legal tech” and authorized innovation meant. Since it’s such a distinct segment area, I used to be capable of regularly observe my elevator pitch about authorized tech and our accelerator. My background is in schooling, and that I usually deliver an outsider’s perspective on the authorized career and the challenges going through authorized tech startups. Now that I’ve labored with three cohorts of authorized tech startups, I’m thrilled to have the ability to share the data I’ve gained.

What tasks have you ever been centered on not too long ago?

This previous cohort, we deliberately centered the Duke Law Tech Lab sources completely on firms with a mission to extend entry to authorized providers. I all the time have extra to study concerning the challenges going through authorized tech entrepreneurs, particularly these in justice tech, and the ecosystem retains evolving. I’ve been exploring new methods to take heed to present authorized tech entrepreneurs about their experiences and potential entrepreneurs—individuals who have an thought for a authorized tech business however haven’t but constructed a prototype or began an organization.

Another venture I’ve been centered on is incorporating human-centered design (HCD) into a number of initiatives and tasks at Duke Law and the University, which has been a enjoyable and amazing experience. I work with an incredible crew of school and employees who’ve attended totally different trainings and are bringing HCD into coursework and packages. I discover it notably rewarding to assist regulation college students and attorneys perceive issues in new methods and get inventive to find options.

Is there a authorized tech useful resource of any type that basically helped you whenever you had been beginning out within the area?

I discovered LawGeex’s In-House Counsel Legal Tech Buyer’s Guide useful after I was new to authorized tech; the charts that describe the several types of tech helped me get a way of the ecosystem. When it involves justice tech (or A2J authorized tech) i’ve appreciated the knowledge shared on The Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) listserv about what is going on on the bottom throughout the nation.

What do you see as an important rising tech, authorized or not, proper now?

Natural Language Processing is likely one of the most essential rising applied sciences and likewise one of the crucial difficult due to the way in which language is regional and fluid. I’m curious to see the way it evolves, and I’m hopeful about its potential to extend accessibility. I additionally assume that now we have a number of work to do with regards to the privateness questions raised by this expertise, and we have to wrestle with them as a society and set requirements to guard shoppers and their information.

What recommendation would you give to different ladies who need to become involved in authorized tech?

We want your concepts! We’re not going to resolve the challenges in entry to justice with out your perspective and creativity. There is a powerful set of ladies who’ve based firms and traveled this path. Get linked up to them, whether or not on Twitter, at conferences, via a mutual colleague, and so on. Learn from them and be inclined to take calculated dangers to make your concepts occur.

Give a shout-out to a different girl in authorized tech who you admire or have realized one thing from!

I love Felicity Conrad and Kristen Sonday for his or her management in working Paladin as a Public Benefit Corporation. I frequently look to them for his or her advocacy in entry to justice, particularly Felicity’s give attention to funding for justice tech and Kristen’s give attention to variety and fairness in authorized tech. Felicity serves on the Duke Law Tech Lab Advisory Board; she has been immensely useful to this system, to me, and to our founders. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out all the ladies who’ve been a part of the Duke Law Tech Lab, since I regularly study a lot from them: Erin Levine, Elizabeth McMillen, Elizabeth Stone, Sonja Ebron, Camila Lopez, Devshi Mehrotra, Simone Spence, and extra!


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