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Late nights, style guides, and Harvard: Aaron's story

Aaron Wenner

News release

Aaron Wenner has written a lot of research papers. As a graduate student at Harvard University, the CiteRight founder and CEO read books and articles, excerpted them, highlighted them, digested them, and used their ideas to build his own arguments. Whenever he used someone else's words or ideas, he referenced where they came from in footnotes and bibliographies. But one thing he never did was write the actual footnotes or assemble the bibliography.

"I had software for that," says Aaron. "It meant that I never had to stay up late the night before a paper was due, frantically copying and pasting and thumbing through citations guides."

Unfortunately, that kind of late-night rush work was exactly what he found himself doing as an articling student. There was no comparable software that could let him save the cases he needed and insert them easily into his working documents. There was nothing that could automatically generate the complex footnoting style of legal citations, or generate books of authority — the legal equivalent of bibliographies that accompany each submission to court. Each of these jobs took enormous stretches of time.

The nightmare he had avoided at Harvard found him high up in a tower in downtown Toronto. And that was the genesis of CiteRight for Aaron.

"I thought, there should be software for this," recalls Aaron. "So I made some."

Aaron will share his story during Office Hours, a webinar for Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs (HAE), this Friday, March 6. He'll focus on how CiteRight, a knowledge management platform for litigators, is helping to modernize an entrenched industry.

Aaron is an HAE Entrepreneur in Residence, one of 20 experts who volunteer their time to mentor fellow entrepreneurs. HAE is a meeting place for entrepreneurial alumni, students, faculty, and staff from all of Harvard's schools. Founded in 2000, it is dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship, promoting innovation, and the ideals of leadership and learning.

About Aaron Wenner

Aaron is a lawyer and self-taught coder. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, a Master of Arts from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Civil Law and Common Law from McGill University. He was a Senior Editor of the McGill Law Journal and an Associate Editor of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citations. Aaron is a frequent speaker on technology in the justice system.

About CiteRight

CiteRight is an integrated knowledge automation platform that makes delivering legal research work products faster, more efficient, and more profitable. CiteRight’s Microsoft Word plugin and standalone web and mobile applications aggregate an entire law firm’s institutional knowledge, turning old documents into a network of living, intelligent, reusable work products. CiteRight is part of Ryerson University's Legal Innovation Zone in Toronto.

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