Learn, Make, Write

January 1, 2020

I (Joseph) write internal memos to our team. This is the first of many that will be shared publicly to encourage collaboration and open sharing in the access to justice community.

I’m starting the new year by writing a short piece so that everyone on our team is on the same page as far as what we do. In the process of growing from one to four employees rather quickly, I’ve done a poor job succinctly articulating what our company does.

We are in the business of making things. Websites, automated documents, project plans, strategic plans, newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, processes, systems, and much more. Everything we do should be focused on making things and sharing the learnings and insights from what we’re making.

Most everything we do should have a digital output. When you’re learning a new tool, consider sharing what you’re learning on social media and something you find especially interesting about the tool or what you’ve learned. Think about how you can use what you’ve learned to help others working in access to justice, perhaps through a blog post or social media posts.

For a new employee or intern, you’ll be doing more learning than making at the beginning. Your routine will be: learn, make, learn, make, learn, make, write...repeat. The “write” part is writing a blog post or social media post about what you’re learning and how we (and the A2J community) can use that to improve access to justice.

As you get more experienced, your routine will be: make, make, make, write, learn, make, make, make, write, learn...repeat. Even as an experienced maker, you’ll always be learning new tools and techniques. And you’ll always be writing so that others in the access to justice community are aware of our work and can leverage the tools and learnings on other projects.

Everyone (including interns) is expected to learn, make, and write. We provide support and training for you in all of these areas, no matter where you’re starting from. I acknowledge that writing can be a bit more challenging than learning and making for some people. If you need assistance with writing, reach out to Laciey and we’ll provide you with writing training. Additionally, Heather can assist you with developing an outline and editing your drafts.

An alternative title for this post was “Always Be Making,” a play on the phrase “Always Be Closing” from the classic film “Glengarry Glen Ross.” This is not to be taken literally, but to encourage everyone to think about how everything you’re doing can be utilized to make things.

In the early days of A2J Tech, I would wake up and think “What am I going to make today?” Nowadays, it is more like “What do I have to make today?” I still count it as a blessing that every day I get to make cool things that help people with their legal needs.

Cheers to making things for access to justice in 2020!


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