• Connecting those passionate about justice, innovation and law

    Duke Law Tech Lab

  • From the Duke Law Tech Lab Community

    A message for law students

    Jim Wagner, Duke Law '93

    Vice President of Agreement Cloud Strategy at DocuSign

    Duke Law Tech Lab Advisory Board

    On the adoption of legal tech among lawyers

    Chris Martin

    Lead Innovation Attorney at Latham & Watkins

    Duke Law Tech Lab Advisory Board

    On the openness of courts and lawyers to remote technologies due to COVID-19

    Oliver Goodenough

    SkoposLabs, 2017 Duke Law Tech Lab


    On the lessons learned from the 2020 International Legal Tech Summit

    Andrea Rojas Rozo

    Fellow with the Duke Center on Law & Tech


  • Congratulations to our 2020 Cohort!

    Our 2020 Duke Law Tech Lab program culminated in Demo Day on Friday, September 25, 2020

    where we awarded the following prizes:


    Grand Prize Winner & Audience Favorite


    (formerly Don't Get Mad Get Paid)

    Second Prize Winner

  • Our Program

    We work with:

    • Early-stage companies in the legal tech space with a mission to increase access to legal services. 
    • Founders looking for a light touch, remote accelerator. Successful teams usually have a MVP built by the time they enter the program. 
    • Newly incorporated (or soon to be) for-profits, non-profits, or social enterprises operating in the United States.
    • Teams committed to giving 1 to 2 hours per week remotely throughout the program plus participation in Demo Day at the end of the program.  The rest of the time we expect you to be doing what's most important -- working on your company!
    Our 2020 program has ended - stay tuned for future application opportunities.

  • Our Mission

    The Duke Law Tech Lab (DLTL) is a program of the Duke Center on Law & Tech at Duke University School of Law.


    Our mission is to help your startup thrive by building community among legal tech entrepreneurs and providing access to high-quality content needed by many early stage founders and teams who may be leading their first entrepreneurial venture.

  • What We Do

    We accelerate the next generation of startups that will change the way legal services are delivered


    We are building a community

    We are looking for hard-working, creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the way legal services are delivered within the justice system, law firms, and the government.


    We connect you with valuable partners and mentors

    Our program involves 1-hour weekly virtual conferences with leading legal technology entrepreneurs, innovative law firms, industry consultants, court administrators, CTOs, angel investors and VCs committed to investing in early-stage tech products. We bring in thought-leaders from the legal profession and coaching experts to hone your pitch and enrich your understanding of the legal services ecosystem.


    We are here to support your growth

    Our mission is to strategically tailor resources to help your startup thrive, from access to highly intelligent interns through Duke University and leaders in legal tech fields, to showcasing your product at the Duke Law Tech Lab Demo Day.

  • By the Numbers

    We've worked with 30 companies over 4 cohorts since the Duke Law Tech Lab started in fall 2016.

    After the Duke Law Tech Lab, ten companies have been accepted into the

    LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator.

    $25k given away in prize money

    We've distributed over $35,000 total in prize money to the top companies since 2017. We don't take equity in any of the companies in our program.

    $10k+ given away in grant money

    We've given away $11,500 in grant money to the companies with a mission to increase access to legal services in our 2019 & 2020 cohorts.

    75+ judges reviewed applications over 4 cohorts

    Our extensive network of Duke Law faculty, alumni, current law students, staff and other legal tech leaders review applications to the Duke Law Tech Lab.

    We are grateful to the many legal tech leaders, entrepreneurs, practicing attorneys, marketing experts, pitch coaches, angel investors, and other experts who provide content for our program. In 2019 & 2020, over 50 individuals provided unique content to the companies in the cohort.

  • Why work with us?

    We continue to evolve the Duke Law Tech Lab to help address the most pressing challenges facing early stage legal tech companies:


    • The vast majority of our Founders are lawyers or experienced as self-represented litigants - not serial entrepreneurs or MBAs - who have seen a gap or need in the legal profession and are developing a solution.

    • The market for legal tech products, both BTB and BTC, is unique and continually evolving as more individuals, governments, and companies embrace the use of technology in the legal and civic sectors.

    • While many startup founders in all industries feel it is a lonely road, legal tech entrepreneurs are in particular need of support from other legal tech leaders.

    The DLTL provides a platform for our teams to engage with legal tech leaders, law firms, justice system stakeholders, student interns, angel investors, venture capitalists, innovators, influencers, and others from Duke University's extensive network.


  • Who We Are

    We're an entrepreneurial team with experience in startups, law firms, investing, and academia


    DLTL is coordinated by faculty, staff, and students at Duke Law under the Duke Center on Law and Technology,

    led by Director Jeff Ward. We are supported by an advisory board (below) of legal tech leaders who help us strategize and provide feedback.




    We recruit our application judges from Duke Law's network of legal tech leaders invested in supporting innovation in legal service delivery.



    Presenters & Mentors

    We connect our teams with experts, law firms, justice system stakeholders, student interns, angel investors, venture capitalists, innovators, pitch coaches, marketing experts, influencers, and others from Duke University's extensive network.




    Duke Law Tech Lab was launched in 2017
    by Duke Law students, alumni, and faculty, and led by the efforts of Duke Law alum Bill Warren, who now serves on our advisory board.



  • Advisory Board

    Andrew Arruda

    ROSS Intelligence

    Bill Warren

    Peeps Democracy

    Co-Founder of the Duke Law Tech Lab

    Camille Stell

    Lawyer's Mutual Consulting

    Chris Martin

    Latham & Watkins

    Ed Walters


    Elizabeth McMillan

    Smart Lien, LLC

    2018 Duke Law Tech Lab

    Elizabeth Stone Gerding

    Skopos Labs

    2017 Duke Law Tech Lab

    Felicity Conrad


    Jeff Pfeifer


    Jim Wagner


    Pete Sanborn


  • Thanks for attending our 2020 Demo Day!

    At Demo Day, Duke Law Tech Lab's startups shared their business with the audience and judges. The audience voted for their favorite, and judges asked questions and awarded prize money to the first and second place.


    Thank you for celebrating with us! We hope you enjoyed learning about the next generation of legal technologies.


    Don't Get Mad Get Paid changed their name to Athena in October 2020 after the Duke Law Tech Lab program ended.

  • Meet the 2020 Founders

    Built by a mom, for moms

    Simone Spence mastered the art of collecting unpaid child support nearly two decades ago when she had a child support collection problem of her own and was able to navigate the complex legal system to do right by her daughter.


    Many women try to represent themselves but are blocked from an inaccessible legal system that claims that we have a right to represent ourselves but then makes it difficult for us to do so. In an effort to fix this problem and expand her assistance to more mothers, Simone created Don’t Get Mad Get Paid’s product, Athena. Don't Get Mad Get Paid changed their name to Athena in October 2020 after the Duke Law Tech Lab program ended.


    Helping public defenders manage video evidence

    Public defenders have always faced significant time constraints due to their high volume of cases.


    With body camera footage and increasing use of technology, there is an even greater amount of evidence for public defenders to evaluate when making life-altering decisions for their clients.


    Concerned about the disparate impact on low-income communities and communities of color, Devshi Mehrotra and Leslie Jones-Dove consulted with the Cook County Public Defender’s Office to see how they could use their computer science degrees to help remedy the problem. They created JusticeText to help public defenders be more efficient when working with video evidence.


    small claims court

    After attending numerous small claims hearings that went awry, Camila Lopez and Gustavo Lozano dug deeper into the problem: there are over 25 million households in the United States that have a small claims dispute each year.


    They realized that less than 8% of those households file a small claims lawsuit likely because they did not receive adequate or affordable assistance.


    They started People Clerk to guide individuals through the small claims court process.

    As an immigration attorney, Jared saw first-hand the difficulty many immigrants face when seeking access to justice.


    Jared created YoTengo.bot, a conversational AI platform, or chatbot, that helps individuals find information about their cases.


    The chatbot helps immigrants by giving them access to a free legal conversation that is available at any time of the day.

    Moreover, the anonymity of a chatbot allows many immigrants fearful of deportation to ask difficult questions that they would not feel comfortable asking in person.

    A bilingual chatbot for immigration law, and beyond

  • 2020

    Don't Get Mad Get Paid


    People Clerk
    YoTengo Bot



  • 2019




    Easy Expunctions
    Patent Bots
    Princeton Gavel
    Text A Lawyer
  • 2018

    Hello Divorce
    HUGO Analytics, LLC




  • 2017

  • When should I apply to an accelerator?

    Managing Director of the Duke Law Tech Lab, Kelli Raker + 2019 Duke Law Tech Lab Grand Prize Winner & CEO of Courtroom5, Sonja Ebron + Chief Product Officer at LexisNexis, Jeff Pfeifer share their wisdom in the latest Medium post.

    All in for A2J

    Read about our 2020 program and Jeff Ward's take on our focus on A2J on Medium

    AWS Activate

    Participating companies will receive access to Amazon Web Services Activate credits

  • News & Updates

    The latest news about the Duke Law Tech Lab

    Duke Law Tech Lab Demo Day grand prize goes to public defense video transcription service

    Duke Law

    September 29, 2020

    JusticeText was awarded both the $5,000 grand prize and another $1,000 as audience favorite at Duke Law Tech Lab’s annual Demo Day pitch competition. Read more.

    Duke Law Tech Lab nurtures four early-stage companies, each with a mission of improving access to justice

    Duke Law

    August 13, 2020

    As the nation reckons with inequities in its social and justice systems, the Duke Center on Law & Technology is nurturing four young companies working to expand access to legal services. All are participants in the Duke Law Tech Lab, the center’s summer pre-accelerator program for early-stage legal tech companies. Read more.

    4 startups selected for Duke Law Tech Lab’s pre accelerator program

    WRAL Techwire

    July 9, 2020

    Four early-stage legal technology companies with a core mission of expanding access to legal services have been selected to participate in Duke Law Tech Lab‘s summer 2020 pre-accelerator program. Read more.

    Legal Innovators: Duke Law Tech Lab

    Attorney at Law Magazine

    October 1, 2019

    Durham-based start-up Courtroom5 won the $ 5,000 grand prize at Duke Law Tech Lab’s third annual Demo Day on Sept. 20. It was the culmination of a three-month pre-accelerator program for promising early-stage legal technology companies. Read more.

    Online platform for pro se litigants wins grand prize at Duke Law Tech Lab Demo Day

    Duke Law

    September 23, 2019

    A Durham-based start-up offering tools and resources for pro se litigants took the grand prize at Duke Law Tech Lab’s third annual Demo Day, the culmination of a pre-accelerator program for promising early-stage legal technology companies. Read more.

    5 startups to pitch their legal platforms at Duke Law Tech Lab demo day

    WRAL Tech Wire

    September 19, 2019

    Duke University’s Law Tech Lab is graduating its latest class of startups this Friday at a demo day event. Read more.

    LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator picks 2 Triangle firms

    WRAL Tech Wire

    September 11, 2019

    Two emerging startups from the Triangle are among the nine firms selected for the fourth cohort of the LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator. Read more.

    Duke Center on Law & Technology selects 12 early-stage companies for pre-accelerator program

    Duke Law

    June 25, 2019

    Twelve early-stage legal technology companies, including five with a core mission of expanding access to legal services, are participating this summer in the Duke Center on Law & Technology’s online pre-accelerator program, Duke Law Tech Lab. Read more.

    Duke Law Wants to Help Early-Stage Startups Weather Legal Tech Challenges

    Legal Tech News powered by Law.com

    June 21, 2019

    The third-year pre-accelerator program not only helps budding companies through general startup challenges, but also through roadblocks specific to a legal industry sometimes resistant to change. Read more.

    Duke Law ‘Pre-Accelerator’ Picks 12 Startups, Links to LexisNexis Accelerator

    Artificial Lawyer

    June 18, 2019

    The Duke Law Tech Lab, run by Duke Law school, has launched its latest legal tech incubator with 12 companies. This is the third year the programme has run, which they describe as a ‘pre-accelerator’. The project will potentially then feed some of the top cohort members into the LexisNexis legal tech accelerator, also in the US. Read more.

    Future Law School. What does it look like?


    February 12, 2019

    Crises in the justice systems across the world leave a huge imprint on the legal education system, which already has enough internal and external problems. Even reputable universities in the world are now actively seeking innovative solutions and people who are able to provide them with a qualitative push in the direction of improving the efficiency of educational services. Read more.


    Startup Competition Guide: Accelerators targeting legal tech companies


    December 20, 2018

    Accelerators targeting legal tech companies include Tech Lawyer Accelerator, Duke Law Tech Lab and LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator. Read more.

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