Kimball Parker, '13: Creates Website Aiming to Connect Underserved Communities to Legal Resources
Kimball Parker, '13, has created CO/COUNSEL, a new Wikipedia-like web site designed to help the general public more easily find legal information. He created a crowd-sourced platform, which weaves research into one coherent visual map of the law, giving its users access to different pieces of logic related to an area of the law. For example, users can choose a legal topic such as “patent law” or “information privacy law,” and with the click of a button they can easily find cases and other legal information that may help them research their own legal information.
“People don’t have the time or the training to piece together the logic of the law themselves. Those who can afford an attorney, pay hundreds of dollars and hour to understand their legal rights. Those less fortunate have few options,” said Parker. “It’s a serious social justice issue.”
Parker, who relocated to Utah after his experience as a trial attorney in the Bay Area for law firm Quinn Emanuel (he’s now a lawyer at Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City), hopes to grow his project even more in the future. He moved back to Utah, where he graduated from the U with an English degree in 2009, to focus on building the site and so he could work on systematically mapping the entirety of Utah law over the next few years.
“Our goal is to make Utah's laws the most transparent in the nation. We've already started and and results have been promising. We want Utah citizens to be able to visit our site and understand their legal rights,” said Parker, adding that the site has received over 10,000 contributions so far from legal scholars on five different countries. In the coming academic year, the tool will be used in law classrooms in England, Canada, and South Africa.