The ProtoType Bar Association is a project dedicated to the proposition that we really, really can heal the Justice Gap but it’s going to more modern tools, both organizational and technological. Its lead evangelist is of Randy Winn, computer programmer, lawyer and man-about-town.
Why “Bar Association”?
Randy screwed up with the name “ProtoType Bar Association” because he’s a lawyer; please don’t hold it against him!
PTBA serves every affinity group in the access-to-justice space, including but not limited to paralegals, legal secretarys, LPOs, law students, lawyers, CommunityVolunteers, association staff, funders: all of you. You know who you are. To heal the Justice Gap, the question is not “What license do you have?” but “What solution have you got?”
Prototyping is a traditional and useful engineering practice. How often does anything work right the first time?
With any new technology, it’s hard enough even to conceptualize what it’s about, much less how to implement it into a functioning business environment. So you put together a prototype – something that works enough to give you the feel of what the real thing might look like, but cheap enough that you don’t lose much by tearing it down and starting over.
The ProtoType Bar Association is such a thing. It’ll never be a Real Bar Association, but it can instantiate ideas that others can use.
What Products and Project Does PTBA Have For Me?
Please see home page.
How does yet another Website help heal the Justice Gap?
See Projects and Products, above.
Randy was trained in sociology before hopping over to programming for a few decades, and then leaping into the world of lawyering. As a result, he tends to see Justice Gap problem as an analyst studying a strange tribe of well-intentioned by overburdened individuals and groups, rather than just a matter of funding shortages. What systemic problems have kept healing the Justice Gap from being achieved? Surely if it were merely a matter of money, it would have been addressed somewhere, sometime, during the years of prosperity; yet we know this is not the case. Perhaps there are structural elements to our approach to bridging the gap that could use better tools.
With an iconoclastic attitude like that, it’s no surprise Randy has stepped on a few toes, and he’s truly sorry for the flattened feet – but not for the attitude. It has been necessary for getting things done, such as WSBA’s first successful listserves, WSBA’s first successful web store and the largest’s largest catalog of free CLE (now at 4freeCLE). Naturally the more powerful projects have had him as just one member of a team, such as AACF (launched from nothing to success in only 3 months).
The advent of social media makes this project practical, since it lets the entire community of interested persons add to and take away the free tools PTBA develops.