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LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, who is internationally known for his writing and speaking on legal technology and innovation. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice.

Apr 27, 2020

As chair of the Specialty Treatment Courts in Jefferson Parish, La., Judge Scott U. Schlegel manages what may be one of the most advanced courts in the country for delivering justice online, and he does it almost entirely with off-the-shelf software he cobbled together himself. 

Even before the coronavirus crisis caused courts to shut down, Judge Schlegel was conducting hearings via Zoom, scheduling sessions via Calendly, and communicating with staff and counsel via Slack. 

But when courthouses in Jefferson Parish closed last month, it presented an even-greater challenge for the programs Judge Schlegel oversees, which focus on treatment and rehabilitation of drug and alcohol offenders. 

With help from legal technology companies, he rallied to further innovate, working with LawDroid to create a text-based chatbot to check in on probationers and with Documate to develop an online system for defendants to enter guilty pleas from prison. 

In this episode of LawNext, Judge Schlegel joins host Bob Ambrogi to describe the systems he has built and how they are being used to keep the wheels of justice turning even with courthouses shut down.   


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