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Shout Out to Suffolk

From time to time, we feature others working in free law whom we admire.  This time, we want to shine the spotlight on the wonderful work being done by our friends Quinten Steenhuis, David Colarusso, and their team at the Legal Innovation & Technology Lab at Suffolk Law School.  (You might remember that we recently wrote about a conference they hosted.)

In addition to being a unique way to teach law students from all academic backgrounds to embrace (and improve) the technology they’ll encounter in law practice, the “LIT Lab” creates impactful legal tech in its own right, such as this software for assembling court forms in Massachusetts and this software, which is an experiment in extracting legal issues from a plain-language description of a problem. 

Quinten and David are well-known to the LII team.  In fact, we’ve known Quinten, the Lab’s Practitioner in Residence, since he was a student at Cornell Law School in the Aughts.  Since then, he’s accumulated many accolades for his work at the intersection of public interest law and legal technology, including being named a finalist in the “A2J [access to justice]: Individual” Category for the 2023 American Legal Technology Awards and earning a place on the 2023 Fastcase 50.  He blogs at

We haven’t known David Colarusso, who directs the LIT Lab, quite as long as we’ve known Quentin, but his contributions to the future or legal tech are no less impressive.  A long time “legal hacker” in the best sense, David’s name appears on pretty much every list of important legal tech movers and shakers, including the Fastcase 50 (2016), and the ABA Journal’s “Legal Rebels” and “Best Law Tweeters.”  David was also a finalist for this year’s 2023 American Legal Technology Awards, earning a nomination in the “Education” category.  His website,, features his work not only as an educator and a coder, but also as an attorney, an scientist, a writer, and even a maker of furniture!  

We’re proud to know Quinten, David, and the entire LIT Lab team.  We hope you’ll join us in admiring their work and cheering them on as they produce not only their own software but, perhaps more importantly, the next generation of lawyers who are educated and empowered to leverage technology to improve access to justice.

Conference gleanings: experimenting with emerging technologies

As technologies evolve ever more rapidly, conferences have accordingly become an ever more important way for us to interact with other groups who are working on the same kinds of problems.  We’re a small group trying to make the law more understandable for the public, and comparing experiences lets us gain tremendous leverage on the efforts of our small team. This summer, LII software engineer and former research attorney Matt Carey represented LII at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. Among the presentations, one,  presented by Daphne Odekerken of Utrecht University (coauthored with Floris Bex and Henry Prakken) intrigued him enough to take the software for a test drive. With the usual caveats about this being experimental, he’s shared his experience in a post entitled “A Python Package for Legal Case Based Reasoning” at his blog Python for Law

Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori

Time flies.

Since 2020, 81 Cornell Law students have contributed to the creation and revision of nearly 5,000 entries for Wex, our free legal dictionary and encyclopedia. While you can find the full list of contributors on our Wex Definitions Team page, we would like to spotlight a few who have made significant contributions to our collections over these last few years. 

Wex Student portraits
Korica Simon ‘21 Blaine Fix ‘22 Riley Morrow ‘23

Korica Simon is a 2021 Cornell Law School J.D. graduate. While in law school, she was an acquisitions editor for the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. She was also a Pro Bono Scholar and completed her externship at The Legal Aid Society, Digital Forensics Unit. During the summer of 2021, Korica worked for the Legal Information Institute, where she defined legal terms and provided summaries for landmark court cases. She updated nearly 100 entries, including conservatorship, and wrote new entries for freedom of speech, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., and People v. William Freeman (1847), among many others. Korica also worked hard to create a list of existing laws, notable cases, terms, and concepts that would eventually become the mortuary law collection, which is just beginning to roll out on our website now. Korica is currently working as a Court Attorney for the New York State Unified Court System.

Blaine Fix ‘22

During his time at Cornell, Blaine Fix served as the President of the Business Law Society and externed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Blaine started working on Wex in the fall of 2021. He created over 100 new entries, primarily in finance and for our securities collection including; debt, initial public offering (IPO), Section 5, and gun jumping before graduating in the spring of 2022. Blaine currently works as a corporate finance attorney at Foley & Lardner, LLP representing borrowers in private equity deals, refinancing and renewable energy financings.

Riley Morrow ‘23

Riley received his undergraduate degree at Samford University studying political science and international relations, and he received his J.D. with a specialization in International Affairs from Cornell Law School in 2023. Riley has worked on the Wex definitions team since May 2021. He has written and updated hundreds of Wex entries, helped bolster our trusts, inheritances and estates collection, and started our brand-new mortuary law collection. Riley will be starting as a corporate associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP later this Fall.

The LII would like to thank Korica, Blaine, Riley, and the entire Wex Definitions Team for all of their hard work updating and creating collections. 

Remember death. 

That’s right, we are in the process of publishing a collection that we were missing – mortuary law. No matter how fortunate we all may be, there is one event that is guaranteed to happen to every single one of us, and that’s death (Happy Halloween). Funerals and death may not be a topic everyone is comfortable talking about, but the mortuary collection will be here for you to peruse as needed, or for the morbidly curious (As Taylor Swift would say: “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me”). Some of the foundation of our new Wex entries come from 16 CFR Part 453 – Funeral Industry Practices and case law. While this collection is in its infancy, some notable entries are the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule, right of disposition, and quasi property rights of a human body

Another Year, Another Birthday Party

Last year, we had the not-quite-extraordinary idea to throw ourselves a birthday party at Cornell Law School.  We had so much fun, and handed out so many treats to students, staff, and faculty, that we decided to do it again.

So, earlier this month we once again put out the clarion call of “free cake and cupcakes!” and once again the Cornell community showed up in droves.  This year, we doubled our cupcake order and still had no leftovers.  All-in-all, we distributed 144 cupcakes and as many roughly-cupcake-sized pieces we could manage from a full sheet of gluten-free birthday cake–all in under 45 minutes!

We hope you’ll enjoy these photos and won’t be confused if we add a new motto to the website:  “Free legal information every day, and free birthday treats once a year!”