Pro Bono Net mourns the passing of our dear friend and founding Board member, Michael Mills, a legal technology pioneer and access to justice champion. Michael’s trailblazing work using technology and innovation to transform the delivery of legal services, along with his enduring support for Pro Bono Net’s mission, played a pivotal role in our impact over more than two decades. He will also be remembered for his unflagging kindness, generosity, and personal encouragement that inspired us and countless others he mentored.
“Michael was instrumental in building Pro Bono Net. He was one of the early board members,” said Michael Hertz, the co-founder of Pro Bono Net. “When we started PBN, he helped arrange for Davis Polk to second [co-founder] Mark to PBN for a number of years to get us through the start-up phase. He also dug in and helped us through so many challenging times over the years. He knew the sector, the tech, and had such a balanced approach to every situation. It was invaluable to have someone like Michael on our side.”
Michael was a founder’s dream advisor: endlessly generous with his time, professional connections and good ideas. As Pro Bono Net grew, he helped us envision and pursue new access to justice innovations, including through his participation in the Legal Services Corporation’s 2011 and 2013 Summits on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice, where he championed the application of business process analysis to the legal aid sector, and as a founder of Neota Logic, a pioneering legal expert system software, which he made available for use by law schools and nonprofits tackling justice system challenges. He was deeply committed to making the world a better place and an unfailingly loyal friend. I and my colleagues at Pro Bono Net have benefitted from those attributes on countless occasions over the past 25 years.
Michael will be greatly missed by the Pro Bono Net family and the broader legal technology community. We extend our condolences to his life partner Karen MacNeil, his family, and his many friends throughout the community.
During his last months, Michael gave his blessing to friends in the legal tech and knowledge management community to create a memorial fundraising campaign with Pro Bono Net as the beneficiary. A memorial website, featuring an obituary by Jeff Rovner and a call to action by Oz Benamram, has been published at: https://everloved.com/life-of/michael-mills-tribute/. Jeff’s moving tribute to Michael’s remarkable life and legacy is also available on LinkedIn.
We are honored to share Jeff’s piece within the Pro Bono Net community and grateful to have the opportunity to help commemorate Michael in such a meaningful way.
Pro Bono Net