Solid as a platform for the legal industry?


#1

I’d like to get some feedback on the technical merits of an idea I’ve had percolating for a while. Please roast me on the practicality of this proposal. I believe in the concept, but am not a builder.

Disclaimer: I recently applied to the Mozilla MVP Lab with this idea, (switch Solid for Firefox), but wasn’t accepted, I didn’t even crack the top 10% of the 500+ applications. Also, I’m not a software engineer / dev / architect. What I’ve posted here is less than 10% of the application, for brevity. TBH, I had actually forgotten about Solid, until I was rejected by Mozilla and started looking for other solutions, Brave included.

Short backstory: I was a legal service provider in immigration, I switched to legaltech for immigration, then to immigration on blockchain, then I took the best parts and came up with the idea for the legaltech platform based on Firefox and IPFS, (now Solid?)

XXXXXX is an open-source, privacy-based, distributed web platform for the online delivery of legal services to the public.

The proposal is to fork Solid and introduce an open-source, decentralized, privacy-based, distributed web platform that is a search engine & browser, and profile & file directory for consumers, a site hosting and content management system for lawyers, and a legaltech app store. Make a separate source of truth, away from the fake news and scammers, and a platform for authorized practitioners and vetted legaltech companies to serve more people, with permissioned, universal login IDs & profiles.

What this means is the consumer will see a web interface much like Google, (after download), and will be able to search for legal services, both lawyers and apps, and then create their universal profile on an as-needed basis to be able to give permission to the applicable legal service of their choice. The search results will be limited to authorized legal service providers, and the app store view will be only vetted, privacy-based legaltech apps. The consumer will be able to upload files relevant to their legal matter and have a folder system, much like Google Drive to work with. In this way, the consumer can discreetly get proper legal information, and interact with legal service providers without the fear of being tracked, or having their information shared or sold, (like the existing ad-based and data mining services that exist now).

My original Solid post where I started thinking about this idea is here:

Thanks so much, Blake


My thoughts on the future of Solid
#2

What you describe can be build on Solid. No need to “fork” Solid, since it is basically a set of open standards.

Solid already gives you a file system, profiles, permissions etc. so the main aspect your solutions would have to tackle is search with special attention to “authorized legal service providers” and “vetted, privacy-based legaltech”. In the open Web anyone can say and claim anything. Your service would have to verify and curate and allow people to find the relevant and trusted entities.


#3

Thanks for the reply Angelo!

Knowing who the authorized legal service providers are is relatively easy because of government appointed regulators. For the legaltech providers, it would be a matter of their data collection and handling policies. They would have to abide by the a chosen set of principles that have already been established, like GDPR or other, I suppose. No selling of data is an obvious requirement.


#4

I already had a team lined up for the Mozilla competition, I’m going to see if they’re interested in Solid. I think it will be an easy sell if it’s JavaScript based. I would definitely like to brush-up my proposal, the full version, and get it in front of the Solid team. If anyone is interested, and savvy on the technical aspects such as you, Angelo, I would really like to discuss this further.


#5

Legal applications will be a huge area for Linked Data and for Solid, and it is just at the very beginning. A CMS for legal information would be great. You might want to look at the Say Editor and its use in the Flemish Government: https://say-editor.com/cases. The environment for that kind of thing is different in North America, but something similar still might be possible.


#6

Thanks so much for the link!

It seems this is over in the AI area, that I’m not really touching at this time. I want to build a base first and then more advanced things, like pattern recognition and predictions, can come in later.

The newer generation of legal services providers are content-native let’s say… meaning they know how to get captive audiences with YouTube, podcasts, Medium, etc, but they compete with fake legal service providers on these open platforms. Having a specific legal channel can separate them and then a different business model can be introduced.

Those Belgians and Dutch seem so progressive in the legal field. I really need to get over there. Both my GF (Brazilian) and I (Canadian) have Dutch heritage and family there - the tragedy being our grandparents didn’t teach us any Dutch language.