Gideon: A New Approach to Personalized Legal Help

Gideon is on a mission to bring personalized legal help to everyone.

How? Deliver the right help to the right clients at the right time.

Through an integrated legal service delivery platform, we employ messaging and predictive analytics to enable law firms and non-profit legal aid organizations to determine who should get what help, when, and how, in order to maximize client outcomes per dollar spent.

The Legal Crisis in America

Access to justice should be understood as a human right. Yet, we live in a country where this is not the case. Increasingly, more people are going into courts self-represented, and far too many of them are losing their homes, their jobs, custody of their children, and are being victimized by discrimination and consumer rights violations due to a lack of legal representation. 

The World Justice Project’s 2016 Rule of Law Index ranks the U.S. tied for 94th out of 113 countries in “accessibility and affordability of civil justice”. The fact is, 86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans received inadequate or no legal help. And, an estimated 40%-60% of middle-income Americans are in the same boat. 

For millions of Americans who are just above the poverty line all the way through middle income, quality legal assistance is cost prohibitive and inaccessible. Across the nation, trial courts are seeing increased numbers of unrepresented litigants, raising the concern for equal access to justice even further.

At Gideon, we are inspired by the Civil Gideon movement; a national movement advocating for the right to counsel for civil legal issues. We believe that with today’s technology, it is absolutely possible and necessary to rework legal service delivery to allow the existing lawyers and legal professionals to significantly increase their reach and leverage.   

The Story Behind Gideon

Growing up, I would visit my father, a trial court judge, at his courthouse. There, I saw firsthand how many litigants went to trial without legal representation. I saw the consequences this had on the outcomes in court. In Massachusetts, where I grew up and where my father presides, more than 93% of tenants in housing court do not have lawyers, and the low rates of representation are mirrored in rates of judgment. Tenants only win possession in about 2% of cases. This sparked my passion and interest to investigate issues regarding access to justice.

But it was an experience during my high school years that compelled me to devote my life to these issues. Analogous to the experience of people who cannot access legal help in life changing matters, feeling powerless and helpless is something I know about on a personal level. At age 15, the trajectory of my life took a radical turn when I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease. Life began to spin out of my control as my symptoms became increasingly more severe and my doctors exhausted all medicinal options. However, a pivotal difference existed between myself and the population I have described above. I had people to turn to for help -- a team of expert doctors and surgeons. The expectation that I would be able heal myself or perform a complex surgical procedure on my own would have been absolutely absurd. Yet, that is the expectation for what is required from the millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer and are forced to represent themselves in court.

Combining technology with human legal expertise

Solving for Accessibility:

Today nearly everyone is connected via the internet. We believe it is possible to do with law what med-tech companies are doing with health; deliver most of the legal help people need on the devices they already have. We can deliver most of the diagnoses, information, legal assessments, attorney services, and advice people need virtually.

Solving for Affordability:

We build AI that allows attorneys to practice at the top of their law licenses. We harness legal data to spot issues, make case predictions, establish case types and parse cases into segments. The ability to parse cases into segments facilitates the unbundling of legal services, including for fee-shifting applications and for the establishment of value-based pricing, both of which reduce costs and bring more transparency to legal consumers.

We start today

Today, I am excited to announce the launch of Gideon and the release of our product which will enable us to take our first steps in becoming a driving force behind this vision. Gideon is about offering a new way for law firms to connect and communicate with clients while providing them with actionable insights to make the right decisions about which cases to take, or refer, and how best to allocate firm resources to specific cases in order to deliver the greatest value to their clients.