About four years ago, Jeremy Peskin was a practicing lawyer when he started the process to gain U.S. citizenship after getting married.
“I had hired a lawyer for my case, but I realized there was a lot that could be streamlined about the process,” he told Technical.ly, especially related to all the paper forms and documents.
So he and cofounder James Pittman launched Borderwise, an app that offers an online immigration application platform (and went through Philly Startup Leaders’ accelerator in 2016). In 2017, the startup rolled out a pay-what-you-can policy for DACA holders who were eligible for a family-based green card, and earned second place on our RealLIST Startups in 2018.
Since, the pair have also launched Docketwise, an attorney-facing app with software that manages immigration cases. The team, made up of five — Pittman, Peskin, two engineers and an immigration analyst — is a mix of remote and Philly-based workers, with an office near 15th and Walnut streets (when they’re not WFH because of the pandemic, of course).
And late last week, the company, which runs both apps under the name Borderwise, Inc., announced it would be opening up its API so it could more easily build upon or work with other applications.
“API provides a RESTful interface with JSON-formatted responses to access the most essential Docketwise resources,” the company says of its development.
Peskin wrote about the decision on LinkedIn, saying the team will continue to build out the public API in the coming months. This decision will likely lead to attorneys using the app to be able to more seamlessly connect Docketwise with their calendars, other virtual document forms or case management systems.
“Much of the same data, like clients’ names, address histories, translatable documents and matters are used across apps,” Perkin wrote. “Yet a frictionless flow from intake bot to case management system to translated documents and back is not possible without some connection between them.”
And that’s where a public API comes in.
Especially now, when everyone is doing their jobs remotely and lawyers must practice while remaining socially distant, it’s important that there’s technology in place to help them do their jobs, Peskin said.
Currently, a few thousand attorneys across about a thousand law firms in the U.S. are using Docketwise for case management, according to the cofounder. For developers interested in learning more about the open API and working with Docketwise, the company had laid out how to request access on its site.
“Immigration tech has always been a pretty sleepy area,” Peskin said. “And we want to help modernize it, and give firms the types of toolsets other sectors are using.”