LCBH Staff Attorney explores the intersection of law and technology through the 1871 Innovation Lab

Jun 14, 2023

LCBH Staff Attorney and Rentervention Director, Conor Malloy, was recently invited to participate the 1871 Innovation Lab, where he’ll work with Chicago-based entrepreneurs to explore new connections and capabilities for Rentervention, our free online resource for renters. Read on to hear more about our resident tech and AI wizard, Conor, the intersections of technology and law, and the future of Rentervention. 

What is the 1871 Innovation Lab? How does it relate to your work at the Law Center for Better Housing (LCBH)?

The 1871 Innovation Lab is a hub for technology and entrepreneurship in Chicago, fostering an environment ripe for innovative development. Andrew Harrison, one of LCBH’s board members, encouraged me to apply and I was accepted earlier this year. At LCBH, we are using this space to drive our tech initiatives forward, developing cutting-edge, AI-driven solutions to enhance our service to clients. This collaborative setting bridges the gap between law and technology and allows us to enrich legal accessibility in new and exciting ways.

 How do you think your involvement in this program will benefit Rentervention and Renny?

Involvement with 1871 provides a unique opportunity for Rentervention and Renny to be immersed in a space teeming with entrepreneurs who also leverage AI to disrupt their respective sectors. This exposure broadens our understanding of AI’s potential, and the connections made here – with potential channel partners and allies – can bolster our mission to better serve renters. It’s about growing Renny’s capabilities and extending Rentervention’s reach through strategic partnerships.

How did you get involved in AI and tech as an attorney? What do you hope to gain professionally through your involvement?

The intersection of law and technology drew me in, with the understanding that technological advancements can remove barriers to legal access, especially for those underserved. The emergence of legal tech presented a chance to channel my passion for law and technology toward meaningful change. My professional aspiration is to deepen my understanding of law and technology’s intersection and be an early adopter of legal tech innovations.

Since you began working on Rentervention, the accessibility and capacity of AI, like ChatGPT, have significantly changed. How are you using AI to increase renters’ access to justice through Rentervention?

AI plays a central role in transforming Rentervention into an accessible, user-friendly platform for renters. We leverage conversational AI technologies like ChatGPT to make Rentervention a 24/7 virtual legal navigator, providing instant, personalized legal guidance. Beyond this, we’re working towards creating an omnichannel experience – an integrated approach that provides a seamless user experience across multiple platforms or touchpoints. By integrating AI, we aim to democratize access to legal resources, ensuring renters are well-equipped to protect their rights, no matter the platform they choose to engage with us.

Where do you see Rentervention in five years?

In five years, I envision Rentervention as an essential tool readily available in the back pocket of every renter, anywhere and at all times. We plan to deploy more advanced AI, capable of handling a broader spectrum of legal issues, and we’re piloting technologies designed to supercharge our staff at LCBH, allowing us to provide even better service. Rentervention will not just be a tool, but a powerful ally in promoting housing justice for all.

What would you say to someone hesitant to use Rentervention?

It’s important to highlight that we remain committed to addressing ethical and privacy considerations as we eagerly integrate more technology into our services. Our clients’ data security and high ethical standards are paramount as Rentervention continues evolving. The future of legal aid is digital, but it must also be responsible and trustworthy.