It is questionable how much the Canadian legal profession, as a general matter, has taken up the Chief Justice’s call to “accept the idea of change”, including the reality that some tasks that have been traditionally carried out by lawyers can now be more effectively performed through technological means.
It’s clear that there are some exciting things happening in Canada relating to apps and A2J. And, to some extent, the powers that be are starting to take notice. It was recently announced, for example, that the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University will partner to launch the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge (A2J) which will “foster the growth and success of startups that are developing products, technologies, processes, and solutions that have a direct positive impact on access to justice in Ontario.”
Developments are happening in this promising area—mobile phone and web-based apps that aim to enhance access to justice (“A2J”)—are largely being driven unmet legal needs and thinking outside the box for new ways to harness technology to meet these needs.