Seattle Legal Startup Weekend

    Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Seattle Legal Startup Weekend

Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014

Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

500 Yale Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

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Join us for the first-ever legal technology Startup Weekend event hosted in Seattle October 10-12, 2014 at WeWork

In his influential op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal Marc Andreessen said, “Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming.” We, the organizers of the Seattle Legal Startup Weekend, believe that: (1) when Andreessen said “every industry” he meant every industry, (2) the legal industry is no exception to Andreessen’s statement, and (3) frankly, we can’t hasten disruption to the legal industry fast enough.

Who has ever worked with a lawyer or the legal system? Who of you found that to be a friendly, user-responsive, consumer-focused, efficient experience? Through this event you (be you a lawyer, a developer, an entrepreneur, a business leader, or simply a world citizen) can be a part of changing that!

The Seattle Legal Startup Weekend will provide participants an opportunity to rethink the delivery of legal services, from wills, to dispute resolution, to trial tech and beyond. At this weekend-long competition participants will form teams to tackle projects to bring the practice of law, the delivery of legal services, and the administration of justice into the 21st Century.

All participants will have the opportunity to pitch project concepts, and teams form organically. Here are some examples of project areas:

  • Access to justice - making conflict resolution accessible and affordable
  • Legal tools for lawyers - streamline, automate, leverage, and scale
  • Open-source the law - transparent democracy with a hint of punk
  • Legal education - beam the legal academy out of the Middle Ages
The opportunities to make legal services, the court systems, and the law itself more transparent, available, accessible, and consumable are abundant. Further, these opportunities have exciting intersections with access to justice, social entrepreneurship, disruption of an industry ripe for it, innovation, big data challenges, and many others.

In short: Lawyers + developers + entrepreneurs + innovators = AWESOMENESS. Finally, irreverence will not only be tolerated, it’s encouraged!

See you there!

UPDATE: The prize for the top team will include a free month of marketing consulting services from ONE400. ONE400 is a law innovation agency located in Los Angeles that helps law firms and legal tech startups grow. ONE400 was founded by Allen Rodriguez and Eva Hibnick.


Friday October 10th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday October 11th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend. Meetings with coaches

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday October 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Coaches arrive. Opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
More coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Kevin O'Keefe
CEO and Publisher, LexBlog, Inc.

Founding LexBlog and serving as its CEO, I have combined my love of the law and my desire to help others. Real Lawyers Have Blogs represents my best efforts to share information, news, and commentary to help lawyers and other professionals looking to network online, whether it be via blogging or other social media. I practiced law for 17 years and used the Internet to grow my firm in the late ’90′s. I later founded an Internet company which became the lion’s share of I’ve been blogging for eleven years to learn, network with thought leaders, and to help lawyers and law firms. I don’t say this to impress you, but to let you the context upon which I share my insight and ideas. In addition to my blog, I liberally share others’ insight on Twitter. Feel free to engage me there as well on LinkedIn and Facebook. I use them to share information as well as to connect and build relationships. As way of background on LexBlog, we empower lawyers world-wide to network online via our blog and social media solutions. We believe a professional’s best work comes via relationships and word of mouth, building online visibility is imperative for business development today, and authentic online engagement accelerates relationships and word of mouth. What started out of my garage has grown to a 35 person team supporting over 8,000 lawyers on LexBlog’s LXBN network. I’m the father of five great kids (1 working with me at LexBlog, 1 working in business development with the Tacoma Rainiers, 1 working with Bing at Microsoft, and 2 in college at Gonzaga University). I am married to my best friend of 40 years. As a trial lawyer for 17 years and an entrepreneur for the last 15 years my focus has been helping others. I hope to leave the world a better place.

Event Judges

Margaret Chon
Donald & Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of Justice, Seattle University School of Law

Margaret Chon is the Donald & Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of Justice, and formerly Associate Dean for Research at Seattle University School of Law, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1996. She teaches civil procedure, intellectual property, copyright and international intellectual property. In addition, she is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and review essays on knowledge governance through intellectual property. Her current scholarship focuses on the role of institutional innovations such as public-private partnerships in the regulation of global intellectual property and human development. She has been affiliated with numerous academic institutions, including most recently New York University School of Law, where she was a 2011-12 Senior Global Emile Noël Research Fellow at the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law & Justice. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan (M.H.S.A. and J.D.) and Cornell University (A.B.). Before entering the legal academy, she practiced both in intellectual property transactions and litigation, with Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis in Philadelphia.

Greg Gottesman
Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group

Greg joined Madrona in 1997 and currently serves on the boards of Bocada, BuddyTV, Cheezburger, Intrepid Learning Solutions, Jobaline,, ThinkFire, and WildTangent. He is the founder and former CEO of Greg was on the board of Decide (prior to its acquisition by eBay) and ThisLife (prior to its acquisition by Shutterfly) and worked closely with Venture Partner Oren Etzioni on Wavii (prior to its acquisition by Google). He also managed the firm's investments in Dantz Development Corporation (prior to its acquisition by EMC), Rendition Networks (prior to its acquisition by Opsware), (prior to its acquisition by Thomson Consumer Electronics), (prior to its acquisition by, and AdRelevance (prior to its acquisition by Media Metrix). Before joining Madrona, he worked as an Associate of the Boston Consulting Group. Greg serves on the board of UP Global (Startup Weekend) and as the President of the Evergreen Venture Capital Association. He is on the investment committee of the W Fund, a University of Washington-based venture fund focused on early-stage technologies. Greg is the author of three books. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department where he teaches a class on entrepreneurship. Greg graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Stanford University, with honors and distinction from the Harvard Business School, and with honors from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Rob Thomas
Vice President, Market Development, Thomson Reuters

Rob Thomas is co-founder of Serengeti Law and currently serves as Vice President, Market Development, for Thomson Reuters. He was an architect of Serengeti’s Internet-based e-billing and matter management system, which is the most widely used and highest-rated system for managing legal work in the world, with thousands of users in 189 countries. Rob created the ACC/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey, and is a widely published author and frequent speaker on the use of technology by in-house counsel to efficiently manage their work with outside counsel. His articles have appeared in the ABA’s Law Practice Management, ACC’s Docket, LawNet’s Peer-to-Peer and Risk Management. Rob also serves on the advisory board for CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, researchers and entrepreneurs design technologies for a better legal system. CodeX’s broad mission is to create legal technologies that empower all parties in our legal system and not solely the legal profession. Prior to joining Serengeti, Rob received his undergraduate degree with honors from Princeton University and his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review. He has had more than 20 years of diverse experiences as a practicing attorney.

Coaches and Mentors

Joe Wallin
Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP/DLA Piper US LLP/Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich/Seattle University School of Law

Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.                   
Joe Wallin provides Legal Counsel To Startups and Emerging Growth Companies. As a corporate lawyer, he represents companies in all stages of their life cycle, from inception through Angel and Venture Financing and to the ultimate exit. His Experience includes representing Investors in Businesses, Angel and Institutional Investors, and Buyers of Businesses. He also represents Individual Founders and Executives, with respect to their Contractual and Compensatory Arrangements.
Published in the Wall St. Journal, PandoDaily, GeekWire, and quoted in various other media outlets such as Reuters,,, and appeared on HuffPost TV. Founder and Editor of Learn about his Crowdfunding Law for Startups & Growth Companies.

Jonathan Copley
Founder, CFOCare Inc.

For 35+ years Jonathan Copley has been helping entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams.

He is the CEO and Founder of CFOCare Inc., which specializes in Business Consulting and Education for entrepreneurs. He is also Founder of Grow50, a consortium of leading professional firms supporting early-stage businesses.

Jonathan’s expertise includes CEO Coaching, fundraising, strategy, and valuation for early-stage businesses. He is the Chief Energy Officer at the Center of Energizing Leadership where he oversees CFOCare’s Energy Cabinet Incubator program for pre-revenue and early stage entrepreneurs.

In the early nineties Jonathan worked with World Cup 94 Chairman, Alan Rothenberg, to develop the business and marketing plan for Major League Soccer, which now includes the Seattle Sounders.

Jonathan is the former Managing Consulting Partner of both Andersen Business Consulting and Deloitte, having spent 22 years with those Big 4 consulting firms.

Robin Haynes
Principal, Witherspoon Kelley; Governor-at-Large (New & Young Lawyers), Washington State Bar Association

Robin L. Haynes is a Principal at Witherspoon Kelley in Spokane, the largest firm in Eastern Washington and the oldest in the state, where her practice is commercial litigation. She operates a virtually paperless office in a traditional firm, and she is always looking for new ways to innovate and streamline her work. Robin maintains an active roster of clients whom she has not met in person, as she is willing to work via email, phone, Skype, and various docushare platforms. She attended Gonzaga University for undergrad, grad, school and law school and continues to be active in that community as a mentor and volunteer. She serves as Governor-at-Large for the WSBA, representing all the new and young attorneys in the state, and is a founding Board member of the Washington Free Vets Will Clinic. In 2012, she was honored as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the WSBA for her service to new and young attorneys across the state. If you follow her on social media, you'll see a lot about tech tips, efficient litigation practices, shoes, cats, and CrossFit. Robin loves her "box" community and clients and is always willing to help an affiliate handle any aspect of its business.

Nischal Pathania
Product Manager, Avvo

As part of the Avvo product management team, my job is to define an effective product strategy which aligns with our business goal. Some of the products that I manage include Avvo attorney directory, ratings, customer reviews & attorney profiles. Prior to Avvo, my background has been in the travel+tech industry. I worked at Expedia in various roles before founding a travel startup.

Jason Barnwell
Attorney, Microsoft

I provide legal support to the Developer Division of Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise Business, focused on tools for the cloud and that run in the cloud. Prior to my Microsoft tenure I was an attorney focused on counseling startups and venture capital backed companies. Before starting my legal career I was a software engineer focused on enterprise applications. I still write code for fun.

Cristin Carey
Director, Content Strategy, Avvo

I’ve been with Avvo since 2007 and currently head up Content Strategy. In my time with Avvo I have communicated with thousands (yes, thousands) of attorneys and people with legal issues through support emails, usability studies, surveys, focus groups, and phone conversations. Using the information I collect, I work with our designers and developers to build new products and improve current features. I received a BA in Psychology from University of Arizona, an MBA from Seattle University, and a User-Centered Design Certificate from University of Washington. I love to participate in triathlons and will never turn down an invitation to visit a hot spring or go sailing.

Tim Ahlers
Director, Product Management, Avvo

I'm a consumer product technology person. Since the mid-90s I've worked on software for desktops, mobile, and web, and firmware running on consumer hardware. Among other things, I've helped create productivity applications and services, game consoles, entertainment websites, DVRs, consumer networking software and hardware, and the web's largest legal marketplace for consumers and attorneys. I've been a founder at a 3-person startup, and worked at medium-sized startups and giant multinational software companies.

Xiaohan Zhang
Product/SEO Specialist, Avvo

Xiaohan was born in China but grew up in England, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. While “settled” seems like a strong word for a millennial, the Pacific Northwest is currently where he calls home. Similar to his upbringing, neither his B.A. in Economics and International Studies from the University of Washington nor his work experience in product management and SEO tell a simple, cohesive story. He hasn’t received any major industry recognition (yet), but someone like him understands that no fulfilling journey comes so effortlessly. Until then, he’ll revel in being his parents’ favorite son (he’s an only child). Despite his incongruous background, his entrepreneurial spirit lives throughout his work. He’ll be able to help attendees with product design, content marketing, and technical SEO during the weekend.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Seattle Legal Startup Weekend team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Seattle is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Dan
  • Adam
  • Forrest
  • Aaron
  • Greg
  • Bernadette
    Bulacan Starin
  • Kevin


John Sechrest
Founder, Seattle Angel Conference, Global Facilitator Startup Weekends

John Sechrest is Founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, Co-Organizer of the Lean Startup Seattle & Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend.

As an entrepreneurial collaborator, he focuses on entrepreneurial and innovation efforts as a way to develop new projects and companies. His efforts are focused building the tools , skills and processes that enable people to make a positive impact on the world.

All of the changes we are seeing in the world will find lasting and sustainable solutions by entrepreneurs and innovators creating new pathways to solving complex issues. By connecting resources, people and projects together and building feedback mechanisms into the conversation, he makes significant impacts on the groups that he works with.

He is currently working on the Seattle Angel Conference - and the Lean Startup Seattle - and of course regularly volunteers to facilitate Startup weekends such as Kirkland Maker's Edition 2014.

Jonathan Gagliardoni
Cofounder of SHOP

Jonathan is a Cofounder of SHOP, a retail blockchain protocol supporting the value exchanges between Shoppers and Brands.

Jonathan is a proven retail and eCommerce tech innovator and educator who has been Head of Product Management and Product Development for software and physical goods throughout his career in early stage and enterprise retail companies. Jonathan facilitates strategy around the execution of the value exchanges between Brands, Shoppers, and Developers through building the SHOP community and engaging with the broader retail and blockchain communities.

Jonathan has deep roots with the University of Washington, holding a degree in Business Entrepreneurship and works with students in the UW MBA and Electrical Engineering Programs. Jonathan is also an instructor at the University of Washington for Software Product Management and leading efforts to develop a Blockchain course for the University.

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