The Raveler
May 17, 2017

UnRavel Making a Murderer

There are two types of people in the world: people who are obsessed with Netflix’s Making a Murderer, and people who haven’t seen it. Admittedly the latter are few and far between as Netflix has successfully grabbed the attention of virtually every young lawyer in the country. Making a Murderer has created media frenzy regarding Steven Avery’s guilt (or otherwise). Regardless of which side you come out, the documentary puts a valid spotlight on the inequities of the American legal system.

The cases against Avery and Dassey are merely a microcosm of a much larger problem that plagues the legal system - access to information and understanding of that information (click to read the Avery and Dassey court decisions on Ravel). Information asymmetry and limited access to resources hurts the American public and our profession at large.

How can our industry do a better job of providing access to information? If we solve that problem, doesn’t it create another problem of understanding the law? How do we make sure that with an overflow of information we can digest it easily? Enter Ravel.

Here at Ravel, we’re making huge strides towards making the law freely and easily available with the Harvard-Ravel digitization project (check out the original conviction appeal from Making a Murderer: State v. Avery here on Ravel!).

On top of making Harvard’s rich and robust collection of case law available, we’re building analytical tools to help lawyers actually understand the law.  Our search visualization tool jumpstarts the legal research process - we hear from lawyers all the time how Ravel helps them get up to speed on a case more quickly than WestLaw or Lexis. Our favorite story is a young associate at a major law firm who just let us know they got to go home over the weekend and avoided sleeping in the office because they used Ravel to quickly find exactly what they needed!

The legal industry is long overdue for a technological overhaul. It’s time that lawyers have the power of technology on their side tobe more effective arbiters of justice, spending less time digging through case law and more time crafting arguments. Ravel is built by young lawyers that take to the core the mission to make access to case law widely available to all and believe deeply that freeing the content is only the first step: next you have to actually understand it. We’re building advanced technological tools to make sure that any and all participants in the legal system fully understand the law.

To learn more about Ravel and read the cases from Making a Murderer in Ravel, click here.

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