Tobias Franklin selected as a NextGen Fellow for ABA Center for Innovation

Toby Franklin '17Tobias Franklin ’17 was recently selected to be a NextGen Fellow with the American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Innovation. He will be part of an inaugural cohort of four fellows, which will also include graduates from American University Washington College of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and Suffolk University Law School.

The Center for Innovation’s mission is to encourage and accelerate innovations that improve the affordability, effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of legal services. As a NextGen Fellow, Tobias will spend one year in-residence at the ABA headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. He plans to use his fellowship to develop CHESTER, the Chicago Expert System for Tenant Eviction Rights, a Web-based application that will be designed to educate tenants in the Chicago metropolitan area about their legal rights and responsibilities when facing eviction actions.

Tobias worked in technology consulting for over 10 years prior to attending Maine Law. In this position, he managed web development projects for corporations such as Citigroup, Penton Media, and Uniqlo. At Maine Law, Tobias served as an articles editor on the Maine Law Review, as a member of the Moot Court Board, and as the chair of the Business Law Association. He also worked as a summer intern at the Office of the Maine Attorney General and as a legal extern at Foreside Financial.

Tobias served as a research fellow and senior developer with Sage Friedman ’17 on the Apps for Justice Project under the supervision of Professor Lois Lupica. The project was funded through a grant from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund. As part of the Apps for Justice Project, Tobias designed the Maine Family Law Intake application to help Maine attorneys automate client intake and create more efficient legal practices, while reducing costs for their clients. He also designed the Rights of Tenants in Maine app to help provide assisted self-help to renters with legal problems.

“I am thrilled to have the unique opportunity to learn about cutting-edge methods of using technology to bridge the access to justice gap,” said Tobias. “This fellowship is an ideal opportunity for me to pair my technical background with the legal knowledge I have gained from law school, including my experience designing software with the Apps for Justice project.”