On her LinkedIn profile, Natalie Knowlton describes her work as “succession planning for an outdated legal industry.” It is an apt description for someone who has spent her career studying reform of the U.S. legal system — and particularly now, as she launches Access to Justice Ventures, a think tank devoted to reinventing the legal system to provide justice for all by eliminating systemic barriers. 

For the past 14 years, Knowlton has been at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, most recently as director of special projects, leading the organization’s work in family justice and regulatory reform, and where she remains an advisor on regulatory innovation. 

But she is now devoting the majority of her time to her new think tank, which she is launching together with Zack DeMeola, who was previously director of legal education and the legal profession at IAALS (and who was on an episode of this podcast last year discussing reregulation of legal services), where their immediate focus will be on reforming the rules that regulate legal services delivery to allow broader classes of providers. 

Having spent her career studying the empirical evidence for what works and what doesn’t in the justice system, Knowlton joins me to dive into some of the most pressing issues faced by the legal profession, including regulatory reform, broader licensing of paraprofessionals, court reform, and the justice gap, and we hear about her vision for what the future of legal might look like. 

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.