The Future is  ̶B̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶  Complicated: AI, Apps & Access to Justice

29 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020

See all articles by Emily Taylor Poppe

Emily Taylor Poppe

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: July 8, 2020


As advances in legal technology reshape boundaries between lawyers and clients, some scholars foresee increased access to civil justice. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) estate planning through the use of online forms is frequently offered as evidence of this phenomenon. In this article, I take seriously this prediction, assessing the extent to which technology is likely to increase access to estate planning. In doing so, I identify several themes that complicate predictions for legal technology’s potential to increase access to justice. First, I highlight the potential of legal technology to reproduce, rather than ameliorate, existing social inequalities. Second, I note the challenges raised by complete automation. Finally, I discuss the role of regulatory and doctrinal reforms in determining the trajectory of legal technology. The analysis serves as a useful illustration of the need to ground our expectations for legal technology in empirical realities.

Suggested Citation

Taylor Poppe, Emily, The Future is  ̶B̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶  Complicated: AI, Apps & Access to Justice (July 8, 2020). Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2019, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-50, Available at SSRN:

Emily Taylor Poppe (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697
United States
9498242986 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics