DigiShift Discussions: Tech and Legal Services

Robyn Barclay

Robyn Barclay

23 June 2023 | Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

a gavel and block lie on a white marble background. They represent the law.

How can tech impact legal services in Scotland?

In a recent journal article in the Law Society of Scotland, Jen Ang explored the potential of tech to increase access to legal services for marginalised communities. However, she also warns that there are hidden barriers and risks that need to be considered.

Jen is the director of JustRight Scotland and their digital learning social enterprise, JRS Knowhow. She spoke recently at DigiShift, an initiative run by SCVO and Third Sector Lab.

DigiShift 68 was titled “Using technology to promote access to justice.” Speaking alongside Jen were Danae Shell, CEO and co-founder of Valla, and Aaliya Seyal,  Chief Executive of Legal Services Agency. Watch the event recording.

How can tech help to increase access to legal services?

There are a number of ways that tech can help to increase access to legal services. For example, digital platforms can be used to provide information about legal rights and resources, connect people with lawyers, and help people to file legal documents.

In addition, tech can be used to collect data about legal needs and disparities, which can help to inform policy decisions and allocate resources more effectively.

What are the hidden barriers and risks?

While tech has the potential to increase access to justice, there are a number of hidden barriers and risks that need to be considered. For example, digital solutions can be complex and difficult to use, and they may not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Moreover, tech can be used to discriminate against marginalised communities. For example, facial recognition software has been shown to be more likely to misidentify people of colour.


The intersection of tech, the law, and social justice is a complex one. There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed, but there is also great potential for tech to increase access to justice for all.

By carefully considering the key questions and potential barriers, we can ensure that tech is used to its full potential to promote social justice.

Make sure to go and read the full article by Jen Ang. Join us for the next DigiShift event, happening on Wednesday 28th June at 10am. 

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