Each week of March, ILTA will highlight a 2021 Influential Women in Legal Tech List Honoree in celebration of the U.S. National Women’s History Month. Each Honoree has answered five questions and shared advice to get to know more about their accomplishments and initiatives. Make sure to follow ILTA on Instagram and/or Twitter to hear their advice.
Shannon Salter is an international leader and pioneer in public justice system legal technology and reform. She is the founding Chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), the world’s first online tribunal, using online dispute resolution (ODR) in the public justice system to increase access to justice for everyday people. In presentations for audiences around the world, Shannon emphasizes the need for legal technology to be developed using human-centered design, with a focus on the needs of the most vulnerable participants in our justice system. Let’s get to know more about her...
ILTA: Describe your role as if you are speaking with a child.
Shannon: I help people resolve their disputes as easily, quickly, and fairly as possible, helping them reach an agreement if possible, and making a final decision if they can’t agree.
What accomplishment in the legal space are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of the work the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) team has done to bring legal technology, human-centered design, and user testing to the public justice space, so that people feel that the justice system belongs to them, was built for them, and will help them resolve everyday legal problems inclusively and respectfully.
How do you make sure there are seats at the table for women in the industry?
The CRT team is over 80% women, and that comes from having a non-hierarchical, flexible, supportive work culture that prioritizes diversity and inclusiveness in hiring and retention policies. Outside the CRT, it’s important to amplify the work of other women, online, by referencing their work in presentations, and by suggesting them for opportunities. It’s also key to make time for mentoring younger women, and I always have room in my schedule to meet with women looking to get into the field. In turn, I’ve benefitted so much from the mentorship of incredible women who did so much pioneering work in this field.
What is one challenge within legal technology you hope to help solve?
I want to normalize the idea that human-centered design, innovation, resilience, and agility can be core features of a thriving public justice system. We often associate these ideas with private sector legal technology companies, but the public justice system has a responsibility to evolve so that it serves a diverse, modern population and increases access to justice.
If you could spend one hour with someone who you feel has had a significant impact on your success (directly or indirectly), who would you spend it with, and what’s the one question you’d ask them?
My husband is equally engaged in household/childcare responsibilities and his support has enabled me to take on exciting opportunities and challenges over the past few years. His response is always, “Go for it, we’ll figure it out!” and this push has been key to any success I’ve enjoyed. So, with that in mind, the one question I’d ask is him is,” What’s for dinner?” (I’m a terrible cook.).
Connect with Shannon on LinkedIn here.
Read the Influential Women in Legal Tech press release which includes Shannon’s full bio here.
Meet the other Honorees here: Rosemary Koech-Kimwatu // Andrea Markstrom // Farrah Pepper // Kristen Sonday