Awarded by vLex. This award honors the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, lawyers, and leaders.
About the Fastcase 50
Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.
“When we look back at the pandemic era, we will see it as a great reset in our attitudes and assumptions about legal services,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “Even if they have had to spend more time on Zoom this year than they had planned, the 2022 class of honorees is making profound changes for the next generation of law. We celebrate these impactful advocates and inspiring innovators who are shaping the future under incredibly challenging circumstances.”
2023 vLex Fastcase 50 honorees
Senior Manager & Legal Operations Services Leader, LatAm North, Ernst & Young
Daniel Acevedo helps lawyers understand legal technology and learn how to train their AI. In his role as Senior Manager of Legal Operations Services for Ernst & Young Law (EY) in the Latin America North region, Daniel guides legal teams in optimizing their operational efficiency through strategic alignment, process optimization, legal innovation, data analytics, service design, and technology implementation. Before starting his current position, Daniel played a key role in transforming the business models of top-tier law firms in Mexico and Colombia through technology and process optimization. Daniel is not only a dedicated professional, but also a passionate educator and speaker. He regularly lectures as a guest professor at Latin American universities and shares his knowledge as a keynote speaker at conferences focusing on the future of the legal profession.
Professor & Osler Chair in Business Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Founder & CEO, Blue J Legal
Ben Alarie, aka the A.I. Taxman, is a Canadian jurist, law professor, and the CEO of Blue J Legal, a legal tech company specializing in artificial intelligence, legal prediction, and intelligent diagramming. Ben is charting new paths for legal professionals handling complex tax and employment law issues with his development of cutting-edge artificial intelligence platforms that enable lawyers to predict legal outcomes. His monthly column in Tax Notes, Blue J Predicts, analyzes recently decided and pending U.S. tax cases using machine learning. Ben’s academic contributions have also been widely recognized, with his research focusing on tax law, administrative law, and empirical legal studies. By leveraging technology and data-driven approaches, he continues to make significant advancements in the practice of law, transforming the way legal professionals navigate complex legal landscapes.
João Alberto de Oliveira Lima
Legislative Information Systems Analyst, Senado Federal (Brazil)
João Alberto de Oliveira Lima is the key instigator who helped Brazil provide open and immediate access to the abundance of sources of Brazilian legislative and juridical information - he’s significantly shortened the time it takes to find law for Brazil’s 27 states and more than 5,000 municipalities. His instrumental role in creating the Brazilian Legal and Legislative Information Portal laid the groundwork for developing LexML, a comprehensive legal and legislative information network provided by Brazil’s Federal Senate and its evolution: the Normas.leg.br portal, a new interactive system that presents the Brazilian legislation in a structured way. Recognizing the technical capabilities of the Senate's civil servants, including João, the United Nations recently invited the Federal Senate to join its advisory council. Since its inception in 2009, LexML has become a beacon of transparency and accessibility, offering free access to over 8 million documents and attracting approximately 5 million annual visits. Saúde to João for his passion, persistence and commitment to democratizing access to legislative information.
President, Bloomberg Law
As President of Bloomberg Law, Joe Breda plays a critical role in driving the growth and success of the company’s legal products. Joe has been a part of the Bloomberg team since its inception in 2009, working in both engineering and product management leadership roles. His deep understanding of the technological, legal, and pricing models of the legal research industry has been invaluable in shaping the company’s innovative roadmap. Before joining Bloomberg L.P. and building out its legal research division, Joe built a successful career as an equity partner at a boutique law firm in Syracuse, New York. He practiced law for nearly 14 years, gaining valuable experience in various areas of practice that he later leveraged for his work in the legal services industry. He’s persevered through the ups, downs, fads, and transformations in legal research and is leading Bloomberg Law with the benefit of that perspective.
Officer-in-Charge, Faculty of Law Library, The University of the West Indies
Junior Browne has been a protector and defender of Carribean law for nearly three decades. Under his guardianship as Officer-in-Charge at the Faculty of Law Library at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, Junior has been instrumental in ensuring the quality and accuracy of the CariLaw collection. Junior has played a pivotal role in promoting Caribbean jurisprudence on a global scale. He spearheaded the digital transformation of significant Caribbean legal information sources, transitioning them from traditional hard copy formats to accessible digital platforms. Junior powered the collection of Commonwealth Caribbean law, originally known as CariLaw, through its partnership with Justis (now vLex Justis), combining CariLaw’s content with Justis’s technology to allow researchers around the globe to access Caribbean law.
Senior Advisor, PWC
Ana Buitrago is a distinguished Board Director and Senior Advisor, lending her expertise to several business and non-profit organizations in Madrid. She currently holds key positions, including Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors at Fundación Cortina, where she plays a crucial role in supporting the educational needs of over 75,000 members of the Madrid Bar. Additionally, Ana serves as a Board Director of the Madrid Bar Association, leading the in-house lawyers commission and the ESG department. Ana previously served as Legal Director of EU Pricing and EU Marketing at Amazon's General Counsel for an impressive 11 years. Her wealth of experience and strategic insights make her a valuable asset to the organizations she supports.
Wendy Butler Curtis
Chief Innovation Officer, Chair eDiscovery & Information Governance Group, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
As Orrick’s Chief Innovation Officer, Wendy leads a talented team of lawyers, technologists, smart folks and co-creators in transforming the practice of law. Wendy embraces technology, creativity, innovation and she is the wind in the sails for many of Orrick’s notable services and solutions. She oversees Orrick Labs, is transforming the analytics platform by leveraging AI and statisticians, and she’s comfortable with taking on the usually uncomfortable risks of trying and incorporating the new and nontraditional solutions. Wendy’s background in mass tort litigation and eDiscovery drive her passion for finding more efficient methods to leverage data and manage the litigation process. She’s an innovator, problem-solver, is revolutionizing law thru technology, and along the way she is inspiring other leaders in the legal world too.
Director, Justicia Lab
Some of the most important developments in legal technology are designed to serve those in need, who have otherwise historically been underserved by the legal community. In his role as director of Justicia Lab, a part of Pro Bono Net, Rodrigo Camarena has created legal tech solutions that serve the needs of immigrant justice. Among Rodrigo’s accomplishments include Citizenshipworks, an online naturalization platform that helps migrants through every step of the citizenship process, and ¡Reclamo!, a program to combat wage theft. He’s also worked directly with the New York state government to better bridge the digital divide for immigration services. Through these tools and more, Rodrigo and Justicia Lab are making practical changes in the legal services available to immigrants.
Senior Director, Professional Learning, Law School Admission Council
Kevin Colangelo is helping the next generation of lawyers with his advancement of the legal eLearning space. As the Senior Director of Professional Learning at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), Kevin is filling the gaps in traditional legal education by upskilling students with the necessary lawyer-operator skills they need to succeed in practice. His legal career over the past 15 years has been filled with innovative roles and initiatives, including leading a pioneering Alternative Legal Service Provider, serving as one of the first BigLaw Client Relations officers, and providing counsel to several legal startups.
Vice President & General Manager of Legal Markets, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US
Ken Crutchfield is an innovator and problem solver who approaches issues with multi-dimensional analysis, but completely without ego. Such problem solving capabilities were put on full display in 2022 when Ken patented the Data Analysis Engine he co-created. Ken's exceptional contributions have not gone unnoticed. He has received multiple accolades for his contributions to both the tech and business worlds; in the past year alone he received recognition in “Achievement in Management — Legal” from the American Business Awards and “Product Development Executive of the Year” from the Golden Bridge Awards. For most of the last year, Ken has enlightened the legal world with beyond-the-headlines analysis of what generative AI means for law firms, a beacon for many trying to navigate this frontier.
Co-Chair of IP, Tech & Data Practice Group; Enterprise Data Risk Management Partner, Reed Smith LLP
Legal innovations are only as effective as their adopters, and few lawyers have been as forward-thinking and influential in their adoption of emerging technology as Anthony Diana. As one of the first Reed Smith attorneys to closely collaborate with the firm’s tech, data, and operations-focused subsidiary, Gravity Stack, Anthony has influenced other attorneys to think differently about the possibilities created by the marriage of technology and law. Through his role as partner in Reed Smith’s Tech & Data Group, Anthony is poised to continue championing new technological methods for the improvement of client outcomes.
Senior Vice President; Chief Information and Innovation Officer, American Arbitration Association
Diana Didia is a highly accomplished legal professional with over 25 years of demonstrated experience defining and executing information systems strategy for industry-leading organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Cpa2biz, Inc., Caminus Corporation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As the Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Innovation Officer at AAA-ICDR, Diana oversees information security and IT strategy for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), a renowned not-for-profit organization specializing in alternative dispute resolution. With offices across the United States, AAA has a long-standing history of providing individuals and organizations with effective conflict resolution services outside of the traditional court system. Diana is at the forefront of driving innovation within the organization, working in collaboration with CEO Bridget McCormack, a 2020 Fastcase 50 winner, to chart a path focused on data analytics and innovation. With her extensive expertise and dedication, Diana plays a pivotal role in advancing AAA's mission to "make the practice of arbitration smarter.”
Firmwide Director, Library Services, Sidley Austin LLP
John DiGilio is an accomplished information and intelligence professional, esteemed educator, and award-winning author in the legal research field. Aside from his work as Firmwide Director of Library Services in top law firms (including Sidey Austin and Reed Smith), John holds leadership positions in the Special Libraries Association. He was recently elected by his peers as the SLA’s President-Elect, and he’s received several awards over the years from the SLA, including the H.W. Wilson Company Award and two Presidential Citation Awards. He was even named Fellow of SLA in 2021. In his spare time, John is a blogger at informed.jd as well as a teacher, leading undergraduate and graduate courses in business law, e-commerce, ethics, fair employment practices, and applied research methodologies. John’s dedication has been recognized through accolades including the esteemed title of "Adjunct Teacher of the Year" at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA.
CEO and Founder, Alexi Inc.
The number of hours wasted across the legal industry by asking identical legal research questions repeatedly is staggering. Mark Doble observed this during his time working in a law firm and he decided to design something to tackle the countless hours wasted in the industry. Mark trained an AI tool to have an understanding of the law so that it could answer research questions more efficiently and accurately—thus founding Alexi. This legal research platform is trained on an extensive dataset of more than 30 million pairs of legal questions and answers. Alexi swiftly delivers answers in a clear, concise memo format. By harnessing the power of technology and his profound understanding of the legal domain, Mark has transformed the efficiency and precision of legal research and has significantly reduced the redundancy experienced by legal professionals.
Founder and CEO, TypeLaw
Chris Dralla is the Founder and CEO of TypeLaw. The company’s software takes the text of a brief and turns it into a PDF ready for e-filing in minutes, even having a real lawyer review the output. TypeLaw is a great example of what makes legal innovation so important. By saving lawyers and paralegals (in aggregate) thousands of hours of work on rudimentary formatting issues, Dralla and his team are enabling law firms to serve more clients faster.The company has supported more than 1,000 attorneys and processed nearly 10,000 briefs, including cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. TypeLaw secured Bloomberg Beta's first investment, further validating the company as a promising new technology.
Director of Practice Intelligence and Data Analytics, Ogletree Deakins
Tim Fox’s success in legal data, analytics, and AI can be traced back to his unique professional background. In fact, Tim accrued five years of experience in the tech industry before submitting his first law school application. Following eight years of legal practice, he returned to his tech roots as Co-Founder of LegalMation, a pioneer in generative AI litigation workflow automation. Since then, Tim has joined Ogletree Deakins, where he leads an industry-leading Practice Intelligence and Data Analytics team. There, he channels his lawyer/technologist background into innovative practice solutions spanning research, benchmarking, billing, and more. Utilizing the latest AI advancements, Tim has captured previously inaccessible data and generated incredible insights for the firm’s attorneys and clients. Tim is a key instructor in panels and sessions in leading legal tech conferences and articles on the future AI and data advancements.
Editor, Courthouse News Service
In an era where misinformation and partial reporting run rampant, it is vital to be able to trust in a source that prioritizes accuracy and a comprehensive approach to legal news. As Editor at Courthouse News, Bill Girdner ensures that this outlet remains a trusted nationwide news service. At Courthouse News, Bill oversees the production of various news publications. The website, courthousenews.com, is updated daily with original news reports and commentary on civil litigation and judicial matters. These reports are meticulously crafted by Courthouse News's in-house team and often feature links to the underlying court documents, offering readers a reliable overview of trending cases and important legal news. The website attracts nearly one million unique visitors each month. In addition to overseeing the publication process, Bill also writes articles on critical legal issues, further solidifying his standing within the legal community.
Founder, Glover Law Firm
If you are a tech-focused attorney in Florida you probably know Gordon Glover, an accident and injury lawyer who has dedicated much of his time to working on vital initiatives with The Florida Bar. A member of the bar’s Board of Governors and a past-president of its Young Lawyers Division, for the last year Gordon served as chairman of The Florida Bar Board Technology Committee, where he coordinated with The Florida Bar Journal Editorial Board to release a special edition of The Florida Bar Journal feature on cybersecurity, the first of its kind for The Florida Bar. He also chaired the effort to produce a 3-webinar cybersecurity series for Florida Bar members, which culminated in a President’s Showcase Seminar on cybersecurity and privacy law at the June Annual Florida Bar Convention.
Mónica González Contró
Director, Institute of Legal Research, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Mónica González Contró, the first woman to lead the Institute of Legal Research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), is a respected educator shaping the next generation of legal professionals through her teaching and scholarship, specifically through her work on Rights, Migrations, and Mobilities. Before becoming director of the Institute of Legal Research at UNAM, Mónica served as the head of the Office of General Counsel of UNAM from 2015 to 2020. During her tenure, UNAM joined the “HeForShe” initiative, a platform advocating for gender equality where she implemented mechanisms to punish and prevent gender-based violence.
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Legal Technology and Data Science at Bucerius Law School
Dirk Hartung is both a global thought leader and leading academic expert. As the Director of the Bucerius Center for Legal Technology and Data Science, Dirk has developed and helped teach the technology curriculum at Bucerius Law School, while also serving as Co-Academic Director of the Bucerius Summer Program in Legal Technology and Operations. His academic work focuses on digital lawyering under unauthorized practice of law regimes, as well as computational and quantitative legal studies with a focus on data science and natural language processing. He is an accomplished author of several scientific and legal publications related to legal technology and legal complexity. During the height of the pandemic, Dirk helped lead “Bucerius Legal Tech Essentials," the largest ever Legal Technology and Innovation Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
Head of Data Science & Analytics, Mishcon de Reya LLP
As the Head of Data Science & Analytics in the strategy team at Mishcon de Reya, a Silver Circle law firm, Dan Hoadley plays a pivotal role in leveraging data and machine learning techniques to enhance the firm's work. Dan developed the Blackstone natural language processing system, a pioneering free and open source model specifically trained for use on long-form texts containing common law entities and concepts. He is experienced in research and development in the legal space, with a particular focus on case law and data generated during litigation. In addition to working closely with MDR Lab and Practice Transformation teams, Dan supports the firm’s use of data for public advocacy and purpose-driven insights. He recently co-authored “Free Access to Case Law and the National Archives”, which proposes that access to the law be both guaranteed and publicly funded. (You had us at hello.)
Counsel, Democracy Program at Brennan Center for Justice
Lawyers everywhere are taking advantage of the accessibility of state court data, including public policy organizations such as the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Douglas Keith is Counsel in the Judiciary Program at the Brennan Center, which works to realize a fair and inclusive judicial system that protects fundamental rights and democratic values. He is one of the leaders of the Brennan Center’s ambitious work around state constitutional development, including its State Court Report project, a new resource that provides a platform for news and commentary about state constitutional development in state courts, which will soon include a public-facing database of significant state constitutional decisions coming out of supreme courts across the country.
Senior Manager of Product, NetDocuments; Co-Founder, Afterpattern
During his beginnings with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, Scott Kelly realized the potential of leveraging technology to reduce redundancies in workflow and help legal professionals to automate and scale. In the years since, Scott has proved to be equal parts entrepreneur and problem solver with a passion for creating scalable, positive change in the legal system. As Co-Founder of Afterpattern, Scott developed marketplace technology for the administration of hundreds of thousands of legal referrals. He then launched a "no-code" platform to help legal professionals scale their impact with workflow and document automation. Following its successful reception, Scott's team joined forces with NetDocuments, relaunching the technology as PatternBuilder within their document management system. In addition to his contribution to the legal tech community, Scott has a long record of volunteering at legal aid nonprofits and contributing to A2J initiatives, including volunteering at the Legal Aid Society of NYC, serving for a year as a member of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation, the primary funder of civil legal aid in the United States, and serving as a board member of the nonprofit Upsolve, which provides free financial and legal education to two million individuals per year.
Director of Legal Publications, Oregon State Bar
Linda Kruschke, who has served as Legal Publications Manager at the Oregon State Bar since 2004, made an outstanding contribution to the legal industry in 2022. Her innovative solution for a new and cost-efficient publishing SaaS solution for the “BarBooks” on the Bar’s portal benefited both members and subscribers. Because of Linda, publications coordinators now have a much easier and faster publishing experience, instead of the formerly tedious legacy HTML manual drafting process. This revolutionary platform has not only transformed the way that lawyers access and learn from legal materials, but it has also improved the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their legal research. Through it all, Linda keeps learning and sharing. She is a poet, author, and blogs from the heart at anotherfearlessyear.net.
Founding Executive Director, Access Pro Bono Society of BC
Jamie Maclaren KC is a role model to many, seeing both the forest and the trees of the access to justice problem. Over the past several years, Jamie has demonstrated his dedication to the advancement of Canadian access to justice through several legal service innovations. As the founding Executive Director of the Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia and the creator and Co-Founder of Access Pro Bono’s innovative Everyone Legal Clinic, Jamie’s contributions increased access to justice throughout 16 different communities in British Columbia. While kindling these efforts on a macro level, Jamie has continued to personally serve the legal needs of low-income British Columbians as a practicing civil litigator. He volunteers as a law instructor for people overcoming homelessness and addiction and regularly provides pro bono legal services in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside. Rounding out Jamie’s achievements, he is also a Life Bencher (former governor) of the Law Society of BC and was designated as King’s Counsel in 2017.
Supervising Attorney & Rentervention Director, Law Center for Better Housing
Tenants’ rights and housing disputes are some of the most common legal issues faced by Americans, yet adequate resources to assist low- and moderate-income renters are often few and far between. Enter Conor Malloy, who is on a mission to improve access to legal services via smart tools like Rentervention - a software solution stack for renters. The program helps users handle problems such as adequate living conditions, evictions, security deposits, and more. One of Conor’s nominators declared Reintervention is “is the most sophisticated, user-friendly, comprehensive, and capable chatbot working in the legal aid/access-to-justice space today.” In addition to his work on Reintervention, Conor spends his time at the Law Center for Better Housing (LCBH) seeking to improve triage and intake turnaround time by developing process automation, and collaborating with legal aid agencies, community navigators, and housing advocates to improve tenant rights across the board.
Executive in Residence - Justice Tech, Village Capital
Maya Markovich’s multifaceted background in behavioral science, change management, and law practice explains how she approaches challenges from a multidisciplinary, holistic perspective. As the founding director of the Justice Technology Association (JTA), Maya has spearheaded the mission to democratize the consumer legal experience through technology. Under her leadership, JTA has grown rapidly, becoming a go-to hub for the justice tech ecosystem, boasting more than 30 members, numerous strategic partnerships, and policy advocacy engagements, including a justice tech accelerator in partnership with LexLab and Gener8tor. She serves as justice tech executive in residence at Village Capital, where she helps to mobilize informed capital into justice tech, and she previously served as Chief Growth Officer at Denton’s Nextlaw Labs.
Member Support Manager, NELLCO Law Library Consortium
As part of the NELLCO Law Library Consortium, Theresa McCue plays a crucial role in facilitating collaboration, communication, innovation, and education among its international network of more than 125 law libraries. She is involved with redeveloping NELLCO’s ALLStAR data collection and benchmarking tool and revitalizing PALMPrint resources. With a history spanning more than 30 years, NELLCO has demonstrated its value to members in multiple realms. Through collaboration, member libraries optimize their resources, while effective communication ensures the seamless flow of information using cutting-edge technologies.
Joaquim Matinero Tor
Banking-Finance & Blockchain Associate, Roca Junyent
Joaquim Matinero Tor is a Banking-Finance & Blockchain Associate at Roca Junyent, a prestigious law firm based in Barcelona, Spain. With extensive experience in banking and financial law, Joaquim possesses a deep understanding of venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt issues, and general commercial law, encompassing both corporate and contractual aspects. In addition to his expertise in traditional financial sectors, Joaquim is also closely connected to emerging technological industries. He has developed a strong presence in Fintech, Blockchain, and eSports, keeping abreast of the latest advancements and legal implications in these fields. With a sharp legal acumen and a keen eye for innovation, Joaquim is well-equipped to navigate the complex legal landscape of these cutting-edge industries.
Senior Manager in Legal Management Consulting, Deloitte Legal
Sara Molina is a highly accomplished Senior Manager in Legal Management Consulting at Deloitte Legal in Madrid. Renowned for her innovative approach, Sara serves as a Transformation Designer of Legal Departments, revolutionizing the way legal teams operate. With her expertise in design thinking, she brings a fresh perspective to the industry, coaching lawyers to embrace creativity and solve complex challenges. Leveraging her extensive experience, Sara utilizes national and international insights, incorporating various companies' expertise in business processes and technological solutions such as AI and RPA. By adopting a systemic management approach, Sara combines her understanding of people and design thinking to drive comprehensive and impactful transformations within legal departments.
Founder & CEO, Practice Aligned Resources
Joy Murao, Founder and CEO of Practice Aligned Resources (PAR), is a dedicated leader in the litigation support industry. Drawing on her experience heading global practice support groups at Latham & Watkins and Paul Hastings, and her deep understanding of technology and commitment to client service, Joy focuses on aligning people, processes, and technology to solve problems as a specialist for law firms. Under Joy's leadership, PAR has achieved significant milestones. She has transformed a small U.S. team of five into a team of more than 50 people worldwide. PAR’s events are designed to encourage and support women to achieve their personal and professional goals. After conducting Empowering Women Workshops remotely during the pandemic, Joy and the PAR Center are excited to restart the sessions in person again. She teaches legal technology and legal project management at UCLA.
Francesc Muñoz has served as CIO of Cuatrecasas, one of Europe’s most prominent law firms, for the past 25 years. During his tenure as CIO, the firm has tripled in size, but Francesc has managed the growth and met the challenge with an expert hand. For example, he has been indispensable in leading the open innovation initiative “Cuatrecasas Acelera”, the first legal tech startup accelerator program. This year, Francesc also became a Member of the Board of Advisors of Lexpo– the Legal Innovation Event, a two day event that is meticulously designed to offer an in-depth overview of the latest trends in the legal industry. At this year’s event held in Amsterdam, Francesc was honored as the main speaker.
While he had a stint working with us at Fastcase, Aaron O’Brien was not always embedded in the legal world. In fact, Aaron led technology groups at Facebook, Uber, and Flexport before joining Parrot, an all-in-one platform for remote depositions. As Parrot’s CEO, Aaron has worked to reshape the technological possibilities of depositions. Through Parrot’s utilization of Artificial Intelligence, Aaron has continued to streamline the deposition process, enabling attorneys and insurance carriers to make faster, more informed decisions, while also minimizing costs and simplifying case management. Outside of Aaron’s work with Parrot, he works as an angel investor and advocates for the development of software for traditionally underserved industries. We’re proud to say ‘we knew him when’....and to honor him among this class of Fastcase 50 now.
Mark C. Palmer
Chief Counsel, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism; Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois College of Law
As Chief Counsel at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, Mark Palmer continues a lifelong commitment to improving the lives of those in the legal profession and the effectiveness of the legal services they deliver. In this role and many others, Mark emphasizes the value of civility, inclusion, and mentorship among legal and judicial professionals. His dedication to this mission has led him to create practical education programming nationwide that teaches attorneys how to conduct their business more ethically, how to leverage technology to drive innovation and efficiency, and how to do so with accessibility in mind. Under his leadership, the Commission’s Lawyer Mentoring Program has seen more than 600 lawyers from 81 Illinois cities and eight states participate. In 2022, Mark was the force behind the Commission’s annual The Future is Now: Legal Services Conference. In a time of great division in the country, and in a profession that suffers from low morale and high stress, Mark has been a beacon of civility and a vision of hope for the legal industry.
Partner, Carey; Chair, American Bar Association International Law Section
Marcos Ríos is a global guiding light and leader in the legal field. As a partner at Carey, Chile's largest law firm, Marcos has helped the firm to be recognized as the Best Law Firm of the Year by Chambers Latin America. In addition to his accomplishments at Carey, Marcos is also the President of the International Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), representing more than 11,000 legal professionals from 100+ countries. Marcos' expertise lies in mergers and acquisitions, contractual and corporate matters, public procurement, hospitality, and gambling law. With his leadership and dedication, Marcos is set to guide the International Section of the ABA through a successful year around the world, organizing major events like the Fall Conference in Madrid and the Asian conference in New Delhi. We congratulate Marcos on his exceptional achievements and eagerly anticipate the impact he will make in the years to come.
Erick Rincón Cárdenas
Erick Rincón Cárdenas has a rare combination of ingenuity and proficiency in law, technology, and finance. As the president of Colombia Fintech, he implemented impactful public policies that fueled the growth of the financial technology sector, resulting in a substantial increase in industry revenue from $1.2 billion to $3.7 billion. He also spearheaded the Ibero-American Fintech Alliance, uniting over 1,900 fintech companies and promoting regulatory alignment, innovation, and financial inclusion. With an impressive educational background and a Ph.D. in Law, Erick leads the TicTank Group at the University of Rosario, leveraging his interdisciplinary knowledge and digital tools to provide innovative solutions for public and private institutions. Erick's groundbreaking contributions to the fintech sector, commitment to technological advancement, and problem-solving acumen demonstrate his exceptional ability to inspire innovation in law and finance.
CEO and Co-Founder, HelloPrenup
While many couples may see the value in entering into a prenuptial agreement, the process can be daunting for those who are already burdened with wedding planning stress and facing financial pressure. That’s why Julia Rodgers invented HelloPrenup, a step-by-step cloud application that allows users to work through the necessary questions and negotiations needed to automatically generate a prenup, without hiring attorneys, from the comfort of their own computers. And when representation becomes necessary? Julia also has that covered, she’s building a database of family law attorneys on HelloPrenup’s attorney network – connecting her peers to clients using contributing articles, podcasts, social posts, and legal tips (driving new business to law firms along the way).
Digital Director, The National Archives, UK
Archive work has long been associated with tedium due to the nature of organizing physical documents. However, thanks to people like John Sheridan, the Digital Director at The National Archives (TNA) United Kingdom, the field is being rapidly streamlined. As Digital Director, John plays a crucial role in transforming the archival landscape into a digital frontier. John’s academic background in mathematics and information technology, as well as his active involvement in open data, have made him an invaluable force in the transformation of TNA’s digital offerings. John’s passion for web and data standards also led him to co-chair the prestigious W3C e-Government Interest Group and serve on the UK Government's Open Standards Board, where he works to set data standards across the government. As a historical pioneer, current leader, and trailblazer for digitization in standards - John is an inspiration to government officials around the world.
Senior Rule of Law Advisor, United States Agency for International Development
What does it mean for the United States government to promote the rule of law globally? In his role at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Solomon is at the forefront of answering that question, discovering how legal technology can be best leveraged to ensure success in that mission. Andrew, as Senior Rule of Law Advisor, brings a critical data-driven perspective to this important work. In recent years, he has orchestrated a thorough reevaluation of the Rule of Law program at USAID, mapping gaps in the rule of law geographically and taking stock of the program’s accomplishments in recent years. And who better? With experiences that include work for the United Nations, the American Bar Association, the American Society of International Law, and the Brookings Institution, among many others, Andrew has truly seen it all when it comes to global rule of law projects.
Practitioner in Residence and Adjunct Professor, Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, Suffolk University Law School; Founder, Lemma Legal
Quinton Steenhuis spent years cutting his teeth on the front lines of housing-related legal aid at Greater Boston Legal Services, where his proximity to complex access to justice problems helped him develop an array of self-service tools for Massachusetts citizens. Among them is MADE (the Massachusetts Defense for Eviction tool), a free guided interview that assists tenants in defending themselves against an eviction case, and the MassAccess project, which walks users through locating the right court forms for urgent legal needs. In 2021 Quinten laid the groundwork for UpToCode, a free website that helps tenants solve landlord problems related to bad housing conditions. This past year, Quinten’s document automation team at Lemma Legal launched a new version at getuptocode.org, helping even more tenants assert their rights and secure the housing they deserve.
Chief Data Officer, Legal Services Corporation
Holly Stevens is no stranger to innovation, having spearheaded groundbreaking research at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and most recently optimizing resource allocation for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Across projects ranging from the novel assessment of medical-legal partnership services to strategic analysis of eviction data, Holly has managed to bridge the gap between technology, analytics, and legal services. Holly's innovative thinking, collaborative approach, and dedication have consistently empowered legal aid organizations to reimagine their work and improve their clients’ outcomes. Holly personifies a Fastcase 50 hero for speaking up for unheard voices.
Director of Product Management, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory US
Nicole Stone drives digital transformation and innovation at global legal publisher Wolters Kluwer. She recently led the team through the overhaul and rebranding of legal research platform Cheetah to VitalLaw, its new platform that includes a public-facing legal news component. Nicole is a standout leader with a proven track record in content and product strategy, talent management, and legal content. She is a prominent voice of WK to the legal tech world. Nicole casts and validates content vision, translating it into actionable requirements and plans. As a change agent within the organization, she identifies best practices, new content types, and technologies. Nicole's transformative leadership style empowers teams and thus leads to successful products. In her new role as Director of Product Management, we know Nicole will make a significant mark on the legal industry as we witness the growing transformative impact of technology on content.
Head of Community Development, Ironclad
If your TikTok algorithm has a penchant for legal content, you probably know Alex Su, or @legaltechbro as he is better known there. Alex’s wry wit and keen insight on TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn has introduced an entirely new audience to the inner world of BigLaw and legal tech. (Even the BigLaw partners he skewers love his work.) Alex has published a book to help aspiring law school applicants – The Unauthorized Guide to Getting into Law School with Bad Grades and runs the popular online newsletter Off the Record. As a clerk for a federal judge and former associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, Alex definitely has the right chops to roast the legal industry, but when he’s not making videos as a self-professed memelord, Alex spends much of his time evangelizing and building community at Ironclad, a contract lifecycle management company based in the Bay area.
Founder and CEO, eDiscovery Assistant
Kelly Twigger is the creator of eDiscovery Assistant, a legal research tool to stay up to date on the latest e-discovery cases and statutes. The program guides users through all aspects of utilizing electronic information in order to win their cases faster. Based in Colorado, Kelly is a Principal at ESI Attorneys. For the past year and a half, Kelly has been posting informative weekly webinars that summarize any new case or law issues regarding eDiscovery. She also hosts a Case of the Week podcast discussing discovery issues on current cases. Successes like these are nothing new to Kelly, as she’s worked in the eDiscovery market since 2011.
CEO, System.Legal; Co-Founder, CodeX; Author, On Legal AI
It may be cliche to say, but Joshua Walker’s contributions to the legal technology field are literally too numerous to fit into a single Fastcase 50 bio. His work has run the gamut: from securing prosecutions for those behind the Rwandan genocide to spending years in Silicon Valley M&A practice. He’s the Co-Founder of Stanford Law’s foundational CodeX lab, the law school center focusing on legal informatics, as well as a Co-Founder of Lex Machina, which continues to supercharge the still-burgeoning field of legal analytics. And of course he literally wrote the book on applications of artificial intelligence in law - he’s the author of On Legal AI, from Full Court Press. Joshua’s work is becoming increasingly more important and we have a feeling that Joshua is just getting started.
Collection Development Librarian for US and Materials Budget, Harvard Law School Library
Having served as the Collection Development Librarian for U.S. and Materials Budget at Harvard Law School for the past decade, Caroline Walters plays a crucial role in shaping and managing the library's extensive collection of legal resources. Her endeavor to provide access to legal resources and her strong leadership qualities ensure that students, faculty, and researchers have access to comprehensive and up-to-date collections to support their academic and personal endeavors. Her tireless efforts and dedication to her work have helped establish Harvard Law School's library as one of the most extensive and valuable legal resource repositories in the world.
Chief Strategy Officer, Mishcon De Reya LLP
With a career built at the intersection of law and technology, Nick West is a prominent figure in the UK legal technology sector. Nick is a Partner and the Chief Strategy Officer at Mishcon de Reya, a prestigious London law firm, leading technological transformation efforts across the firm and the wider Mishcon group. During his time at Mishcon, Nick established one of the industry's first in-house data science and machine learning teams. He also co-founded Mishcon's tech-consultancy arm, MDRxTECH, and played a crucial role in launching the legal tech accelerator, MDR LAB. These initiatives highlight his commitment to innovation and leveraging technology to enhance legal services.
Director of Firm Intelligence, Troutman Pepper
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Keli Whitnell is a data technology professional with over ten years of experience in legal data management. Keli has been working with Troutman Pepper since 2021, but was promoted to Director of Firm Intelligence in October of 2022. In the last 9 months she has clearly demonstrated she belongs in a director’s position, helping to design strategies involving leveraging technology and lifecycle data management. Her strategic ability is just one of her many impressive qualities, with her experience in implementing data collection processes proving to be invaluable for Troutman Pepper.
Litigation Knowledge Lawyer, Simpson Thacher
Laurent Wiesel is an experienced attorney and an intellectual entrepreneur. In 2015, he left his BigLaw litigation partnership and began his journey in legal innovation. In that same year he would launch Justly, an early entrant in the docket analytics field. Laurent has a passion for legal technology, with innovative ideas regarding leveraging technology in legal research. In 2020, he started in a new position as a Litigation Knowledge Lawyer at Simpson Thacher. Today, he continues to find success by combining his domain expertise, data science knowledge, and product development skills in one of the most pioneering legal departments in America.
Editor-in-Chief, Legaltech News
In her role as Editor-in-Chief at Legaltech News, Stephanie Wilkins navigates the evolving landscape of technology in the legal sector, particularly the complex realm of artificial intelligence. Early in her role as Editor, and before most had even used the technology, Stephanie identified generative AI as an important new frontier in legal technology. She created a special coverage team and created some of the earliest and best reporting on legal AI. In addition to producing insightful writing herself, Stephanie oversees a reporting team of three people and collaborates with numerous outside columnists. Under her leadership, Legaltech News has experienced exceptional growth with 80% year-over-year readership growth in her first 6 months on the job. Stephanie's commitment to providing valuable insights in the legal technology domain has extended Legaltech News as a trusted and influential source in the industry.