How can we make the legal system more accessible, user-friendly & just?



Access to Justice Design Briefs


In our design research, we’ve pinned down some central questions about how we can increase legal empowerment. For each of these briefs, we’ve gathered together ideas, analogies, background, and current projects that can inspire new solutions.


 


 






Process Guides

How can we help people navigate the steps-by-steps of legal processes?

Can we boil down all of the most essential things to know for a legal issue onto a business card? We can list out What Not To Do, What to Say, What to Do, What to Expect. We could perhaps even diagram the procedure to expect. The goal would be to give ...
At Self Help Centers, we observed that people got a lot of paper, but didn't know exactly what to do with all of them. The idea of a Resource Guide is that there would be a streamlined collection of resources, with forms, to-do lists, timelines, and maps. It would be akin ...
Our proposal is for courts to make huge posters to display on the walls, that lay out the steps of a legal process. They can be replicated on handouts and brochures. These giant maps would show an illustrated way that a person would get through the individual tasks. They could also ...
  What is it? Have a standardized paper map of the steps in a legal process laid out, with tasks, hand-offs, and roles. This map can then be marked-up and customized by the user and by lawyers and court staff, to help them understand the process in terms of their own situation. Ideally, it ...
What if courts documented real-life stories of people who went through various processes, and how they did so. This could be through pictures and words, or through interactive media or videos. It would give the user a sense of how others have used the process, what background they came from, ...
Mobile legal help apps are becoming increasingly common. In these apps, often developed as standalone applications for Android or iOS systems, the user gets a wide range of legal help information specifically geared for self-represented litigants all on their phone. The advantage of these apps is that once they're downloaded you ...
Rechtwijzer is a Dutch platform to help laypeople through the start of a legal process -- from problem to legal process. Probleem of conflict? Vul stap voor stap Rechtwijzer in. U krijgt advies over wat u in uw situatie kunt doen en wie u daarbij kunnen helpen. It takes an 'expert ...
I have been sketching out some possible templates for what a good one-pager worksheet would be, to guide a lay person through a legal process. Obviously the one-pager has enormous limits, so instead of thinking about it as a total 'process guide', I'm thinking of it more as an 'orientation ...
I've been prototyping various means to deliver & build legal knowledge -- with a specific consideration of bolstering Access to Justice. One pathway, of course, is Visualized Law. I've been playing with it with cartoons and illustrations, and in other forms (hyperlinked, layered checklists -- visual expert systems). One promising prototype is ...
An idea to help lay people go through legal processes by giving them interactive and customized guides to going through them step by step. It is a website that gives a serialized set of prompts and information. We have made a first version of this as Navocado.
One of the projects on my front-burner is getting a great legal navigator built, that takes a person step-by-detailed-step through a legal process. Here are some of the sketches from my notebooks on how I hope to actually lay these out on a webpage and/or printed page. Composition has ...
Could we have a tech-based companion for people going through a court process? It could have timing advice, location directions, and other support to make sure the person is prepared for their day in court. The value of this design would be to coordinate all the resources into a single place ...
The National Expungement Project. is a Maryland-based effort to guide people with a criminal record through an eligibility check (can I expunge my record) and then direct them to how they can follow through on this procedure (where can I find good -- and maybe even free -- legal help?). ...
Could we build an interactive & responsive map, that would show a person the steps and path of a legal process -- and then document where they are on it? This would be a personal, living map for the person to follow. It could be formatted like a roadmap, a flowchart, ...
Two years ago, there started some talk about US courts using SMS and other phone-based communication to issue reminders for court hearings to people. It seems several other countries have already launched such pilots. The Qatari government's Supreme Judiciary Council has one such program live, at Court Hearing SMS Reminder - ...
  I've just posted a project summary up for my team's work at the FWD.us DREAMer Hackathon at the Program for Legal Tech & Design's site. Come over & read about what we built, see our demo, and read about our future plans. And I uploaded my entire photo ...
I've been searching around for good information & graphic design, to communicate laws to average people. I stumbled across some amazing booklets & posters from the Center for Urban Pedagogy, or CUP. One of their missions is to make law & policy comprehensible to normal New Yorkers. This is one of ...
Here is another current initiative for Access to Justice through design/tech: Pocket DACA. Pocket DACA is an app, released this summer for free for Android & IOS, to help people who came to the US as a child, who might be eligible for DACA.  It was produced by Pro Bono Net ...
Citizenshipworks is building online and mobile apps aimed at non-citizens in the US -- trying to give them resources and tutorials to navigate their way through citizenship. They have checklists, expert system interviews, and tutorials to help the users along. Damian Thompson of the Knight Foundation, writes of the new app. I’m also ...

 




Triage and Diagnosis

How can we help a person figure out the right path and resources for their case?

Legal Server has a project Houston.AI, a new set of tools that allows for smarter intake of people, finding of their issues, and referring them to the right support. What? Houston.AI is a web-based platform designed to help non-profit legal aid agencies more effectively serve those who cannot afford attorneys. Comprised of ...
The Robot Lawyeris a chatbot made to let people get legal options and screening -- and even fill in documents by chatting through a messenger interface on a website. It has been applied to traffic tickets, refugee asylum applications, and homeless benefits.
AirHelp scouts your flight details to see if you can make a claim for compensation. You can enter your flight details with airports and dates if your flight has been cancelled or overbooked. Then you can check your eligibility to see if you can apply for compensation. Flight delayed? Canceled? Missed ...
Paribus is a tool that finds you ways to get reimbursed in part from companies you've bought products from. You give them access to your emails where you get receipts, and then it looks for opportunities for you to get money back from that company when prices drop or there ...
Can we use technology to seek out problems that have legal dimensions, that people aren't aware of? Heat Seek is a technology-based legal tool to help people see if heating code violations have occurred. It uses sensor technology to watch whether and how homes are being heated in NYC, and identifying when ...
The web-app Due Processr takes the user through an interactive questionnaire that helps the person to determine if they are eligible for the qualification of 'Indigency' in Massachusetts. The app breaks apart the eligibility factors into distinct questions, and in one page of responses the user will get their answer about ...
Mobile apps aimed at non-legal service providers help them screen for legal problems for their clients. For example there is an app specifically designed for use in medical-legal partnerships, in which users have come to a medical facility to deal with a medical problem. The app can be used by a service ...
An increasingly popular concept for access innovations is the Legal Health Checkup, that would serve as an initial outreach to laypeople. It would help them understand what issues they are currently dealing with that might have legal recourse -- and then would give them resources to follow up on this. For ...
There is a lot of interest in developing new, and new modes of, legal health checkups. There are some such checkups currently in action -- like this one from Ontario, which is delivered through a web survey. This one, created by Halton Community Legal Services, is specifically for low-income individuals in ...
Online intake is an always-on service, that lets anyone with an internet connection enter their information and find what services they might qualify for. The advantage of an online intake system is that it prevents the need for a person from having to figure out how to connect to an ...
Source: New Mexico - Diagnostic Tool to Assess Potential for Self-Representation The New Mexico Access to Justice Commission used an ATJ Innovation Grant to develop a diagnostic tool to assess factors that might help or hinder a particular individual in self-representation, as a first step in developing a comprehensive on-line intake ...
A small sketchnote of different ways we could get people's legal issues sussed out: decision trees, telephone q-n-a, etc.
A few weeks ago, when I logged into my browser, I got a notice from Google that they wanted to walk me through a Privacy Checkup of my Google Account. I agreed, more to observe how they treated me as a user & how they guided me through the experience ...
An idea for gathering intake information & triage-ing users to the right legal resource by giving them video scenarios/stories to watch and then figure out which best corresponds to their situation.
Could we use the same methods of those television lawyers who bombard daytime-tv-watchers with 'Are you injured? Can you sue? Call now to find your rights!' -- to increase lay people's awareness of their rights, of civil remedies, of free or low-cost legal services?
I'm working on a project right now to bring court reminder messaging systems into some California courts.  I've been reaching out to different open-source platforms that offer text-messaging systems to be customized in local installations. I'll be publishing a full-blown write-up of the project soon enough -- but first a ...
[youtube ] A group out of Chicago, the Mikva Juvenile Justice Council, is making an app to help young people understand & go through an Expungement legal process. The Knight Foundation is funding the project through its Prototype fund. The project aims "To create a prototype version of Expunge.io, a mobile ...
For the problem of getting people's information gathered as efficiently as possible, to get them to the correct service-provider, there are several online 'triage' projects that are developing apps and websites. Here is a recent slide presentation of online intake models from a few different projects around the country. Webinar Next ...
For a paper I've been working on, here is a preliminary mind-map I've been sketching out. It's a quick brainstorm of how DIY legal tools may be provided to non-experts. It considers what models might be breakthroughs, how technology might interact with the person, and what challenges might block their success. The ...
I am writing a paper on ways to bring good design to create new models of access to justice.  I have been scouting out some such threads, to see what might be worth developing further. In my browsing, I came across this pdf pamphlet from the State Bar of California.  It ...
For the excellent Legal Tech class I'm taking at Stanford Law School on the future of legal technology, I am proposing to build a WebMD for law. My central question is ‘how might we build tech that could help a lay person diagnose their own legal problems’? I am asking it ...



Integrating Services into the Community

How do we get people to have coordinated, wrap-around services to solve their problems holistically and across systems?

East Bay Stand Down is a project offered in California in which at-risk and homeless military veterans can access all kinds of service help over four days. It includes medical and dental care, housing, driver's licenses, court services, hygiene, and more.
Project Homeless Connect, run by the Colorado Lawyers Committee brings together coordinated services on a single day for homeless individuals. Legal volunteers help people connect to legal assistance, as well as public benefits, medical care, housing, employment, and other needed services. There is also a "Homeless Court" to allow people to resolve ...
The Colorado Lawyers Committee has assembled a list of community clinics that are around the state, to get legal resources to people. There are "Legal Nights" in Denver and Greeley. At these nights, lawyers come to resource centers and churches in the community, with volunteer interpreters. They provide legal info and referrals ...
University of Georgia has a Street Law program. It holds sessions to train people, especially young people, on legal topics. Much of their work is focused on how young people can understand the criminal justice system and the social services system, to be smart when navigating them. Street Law UGA conducts ...
The Providence Public Library hosts lawyers who will answer questions for free. It's called "Lawyers in the Library." No appointments are needed, and the series is free. It's run with a Presentation from a lawyer, and then an opportunity with people to speak to that lawyer about the presented topic. For example, they've had ...
The Chicago Law & Education Foundation  has a high school law clinic that works on providing services, particularly around immigration law, to students in need. The Chicago Law and Education Foundation was started in 2010 by teacher/attorney Dennis Kass. CLEF launched a pilot clinic at Little Village Lawndale High School during ...
King County provides a  Neighborhood Legal Clinics program to give free, limited legal help to people in Washington State. There are specialty clinics, like around family, debt, elder law, civil rights, etc. They don't offer help on criminal issues. The purpose of the Neighborhood Legal Clinics program (NLC) is to offer free, ...
In Iowa, there are two programs that sponsor Free Legal Aid for low-income residents at libraries. The Iowa State Bar Public Service Project and the Iowa Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project offer statewide services through the library. People can come to the library on certain dates to consult with lawyers without ...
The San Mateo County Law Library has a Lawyer in the Library Program. Once a month, the Redwood City-based library has a live lawyer present for 20 minute free consultations. You must sign up before hand. The San Mateo County Law Library participates in the San Mateo County Public Library System's 'Lawyer in ...
What if there were physical locations in communities, in which people with life problems could drop in and get help? There would be lawyers there, but there could also be medical, mental health, social service, immigration, and all kinds of other specialists. It would be a center for holistic care, that you ...
As the client goes to a 2 hour consultation, the lawyer takes notes straight into the client’s portable data point. It means that the client can then take this with them to all other care team members — and very easily & quickly show them what’s going on, with the ...
What if we provided coordinated legal-medical-mental health-housing-family-education support all in one big pop-up zone? Like a Food Truck park, with lots of different options to browse around and engage with. Could we have a traveling courthouse, that offers limited legal services to you in more convenient, and people-friendly places? Like in ...
During my Spring 2015 class at Stanford d.school/Law School on Intro to Legal Design, we were lucky enough to have Sacha Steinberger visit us and present on her Project Legal Link. I drew up some notes during her presentation, about what she's working to do -- bringing social service providers ...
Could we build a single portal to all kinds of legal support, help, counsel? If it's a simple, memorable number that's the same across the country -- that would be terrific from a branding approach. The LSC-TIG Summit last year listed centralized state-by-state legal portals as one of their central agenda ...
During the Legal Design Bootcamp that I was running last week, one of the participating groups came up with a very interesting concept that I wanted to share. We spent one day going through a design cycle, and they began by choosing a very particular user -- a young Guatemalan girl, ...
Could we put law on the street? Have public space installations that give basic outreach, checklists, resources, if not even full-blown clinics for people to encounter in their daily life? This idea is in part from conversations with my Mexican colleagues, with ideas for subway station legal clinics.
What would it look like if there was one major site online, that anyone searching out help for a life problem could use? They would enter their problem, legal issues would be identified, and then the person would be directed to the legal org who can help them. They will get a ...
More calls for streamlined legal help services, this time from Jim Sandman of the Legal Services Corporation.
We need to think from immigrants' points  of view -- where they are now, what tech they use, who they trust.
I'm excited to see the development of Project Legal Link, a new type of resource that links social & legal services together in the Bay Area. I was introduced to it last year by the woman who is making it happen -- Sacha Steinberger. Sacha is a lawyer, & and ...
Could we create a collaboration platform & network that would provide a holistic service for a person with a legal problem -- so they have all the different kinds of support they need?
Last week I was at a symposium at the Univ. of South Carolina Law School, all about access to justice and doing more empirical, data-driven research about how to create better & more impactful access initiatives. Karen Lash, the Deputy Director of the DOJ's Access to Justice Initiative, presented on ...
The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership has a New issue brief on medical-legal partnership and health centers. Marsha Regenstein, PhD, Joel Teitelbaum, JD, LLM, Jessica Sharac, MSc, MPH, and Ei Phyu authored the piece "Medical-Legal Partnership and Health Centers: Addressing Patients’ Health-Harming Civil Legal Needs as Part of Primary Care." ...
In response to the surge of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children coming into the US over the past year, a group has come together in Maryland to produce a social service-finding portal for these kids. Buscando offers a very clean, usable platform for a child or her advocate to find the right ...
[caption id="attachment_2878" align="alignnone" width="700"] from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership's Toolkit[/caption] Among the many camps of ideas for how to increase access to justice, one of the strongest I keep returning to is Devolved Legal Services.  What I mean by this: How can we devolve legal services out of offices -- ...
Project Nanny Van is an excellent new example of creative legal service design.  Dan Jackson from Northeastern Law's NuLawLab clued me in about it. The NuLawLab & its law students have been working with Rev Tank & Marisa Jahn in creating this mobile van that comes to locations where nannies ...



Getting to Better Advocates

How do we get people to lawyers, and other types of advocates, in ways that people will actually want to engage with them?

Namati has a program called Grassroots Legal Advocates. It has paralegals trained in the basics of local law, as well as complementary skills like community organizing, training, advocacy, and strategic mediation. The paralegals and advocates can help empower local communities with legal knowledge and procedures. Namati intends them as a frontline ...
BillFixers is a service that lets you have someone else deal with your bills, to figure out how to negotiate them down. Our expert negotiators are ready to lower your bills up to 35%! Get started by signing up with BillFixers today! You pay them half of what you can save, after ...
Online intake is an always-on service, that lets anyone with an internet connection enter their information and find what services they might qualify for. The advantage of an online intake system is that it prevents the need for a person from having to figure out how to connect to an ...
The winner of the New Mexico Tech for Justice hackathon was THE BUOY PROJECT . Here is the description of the project -- an emergency services line for a community -- from the site. Buoy is a private, enhanced 9-1-1 for your website and community. It is a community-driven emergency dispatch system because ...
A mobile-first solution, that would let any lay person connect to basic legal knowledge and education through virtually free SMS back-and-forths. It could be lessons taught in small bite-size chunks and stories, through a series of texts. It could be daily reminders with key lessons to remember. Or it could ...
What if there were physical locations in communities, in which people with life problems could drop in and get help? There would be lawyers there, but there could also be medical, mental health, social service, immigration, and all kinds of other specialists. It would be a center for holistic care, that you ...
If one of laypeople's main concerns about using the legal system is the lack of transparency around hiring a lawyer (how much do they cost? are they any good? will they be the right fit for me?) -- then how can we give a person more insight into their possible ...
NYC Housing Court - Resolution Assistance Program (RAP) offers the Court Navigator Program: The Court Navigator Program was launched in February 2014 to support and assist unrepresented litigants - people who do not have an attorney - during their court appearances in landlord-tenant and consumer debt cases. Specially trained and supervised ...
The Alabama Access to Justice Commission used an ABA Expansion Grant to implement the web-based pro bono program Online Tennessee Justice, which allows pro bono attorneys to answer questions submitted by clients through a website.  In Alabama the website has been launched as Alabama Legal Answers. Project Summary & Assessment See more: Alabama - Online SRL ...
This project received an Innovation Grant through the ABA. Read more: Colorado - Serving Modest-means Clients The Colorado Access to Justice Commission and Colorado Bar Association used an ATJ Innovation Grant to develop a two-part project aimed at providing legal assistance to moderate-income individuals.  The first is providing assistance to low- and ...
What if we provided coordinated legal-medical-mental health-housing-family-education support all in one big pop-up zone? Like a Food Truck park, with lots of different options to browse around and engage with. Could we have a traveling courthouse, that offers limited legal services to you in more convenient, and people-friendly places? Like in ...
Could we welcome people in to have free coffee, free ice cream, even candy, and then get them directed to legal services from there?
What if we had more legal services that provided people in crisis with empathy? It might be in the form of someone to listen to their story and engage them in conversation. It might be a computer algorithm that gives a sense of conversation and attention. It might be with ...
What if every person had a lawyer that was closely related to them, that was responsible for advising them and keeping them legally healthy, and dealing with any problem that arises for them.
Could we build stronger legal public relations, outreach, and onramping to the world of legal services? One stream of ideas for improving access to justice: can we brand legal services & lawyers, to make them more known, more trustworthy, more purchase-able & engaging for non-lawyers?
Could we create a collaboration platform & network that would provide a holistic service for a person with a legal problem -- so they have all the different kinds of support they need?
As more talk grows about Internet & mobile-based technology opening up a new era of Consumer Law, it’s useful to look back a few decades when there was a similar tide of activity around expanding access to civil legal procedures to the middle classes of Americans. After the Supreme Court ruling ...
Pangea Legal Services is a San Francisco collective of lawyers who are working to support immigrants with legal support -- through a low-bono and pro-bono model that provides services on a sliding scale of fees.   It works on asylum cases, deportations, DACA and U-visa applications, among other services. It also does ...
Immigrant Justice Corps is a fellowship program (or legal incubator) to train people to serve as legal assistants for immigrants in the US. Its application is currently open for a new round of fellows -- with applications due in just over a week.  Both JDs and non-JDs can apply to ...
Fixed - The easiest way to fix a parking ticket. Fixed is an app that lets you hand off your parking ticket to the company, for them to fight it for you on your behalf. You pay them nothing if you lose the contest and have to pay the fine. You ...
via NYC Housing Court - Resolution Assistance Program (RAP). New York just began a pilot program of Court Navigators for Housing Courts in some jurisdictions.  Non-lawyers would help self-represented litigants navigate the court system. The Court Navigator Program was launched in February 2014 to support and assist unrepresented litigants - people who ...
I've been thinking a lot about Consumer Law Design -- meaning, how do we build new products & experiences for lay people who want to get their legal tasks accomplished well. These are the subdomains of Consumer Law that I've drawn out -- step by step in a linear ...
Another offline idea for Access to Justice (thanks to Briane for the mention!) -- this time being piloted by attorney Donald Howard in New Britain, Connecticut. The Connecticut Tribune reports on how he has opened a barbershop inside of his legal office, as a hybrid-business to serve more people's legal ...
The SikhCoalition has put together an ingenious app out to crowdsource reports of discrimination at airports and on airlines. If the government and companies won't release information about how many complaints they have received, then why not ask people to report their complaints themselves? The app lets a person report ...
A short cartoon I made while listening to Professor Nora Engstrom's talk on Legal Clinics & attorney advertising at Stanford Law School last month.
I have heard from a few people that they want an Angie's List for Lawyers -- a service they are willing to pay for, to get quality, real, vetted reviews of lawyers in the area.  I decided to seek out some user research, from blog posts and other Internet discussions, ...
Usable law design from Legal Force, in the quick snapshot handouts it provides passersby at it store in Palo Alto.
Here's an article by Jennifer Smith in the Wall Street Journal on new crops of apps that help clients find and monitor lawyers.  It mentions Viewabill (tracking how much their lawyers are charging them, in real-time); Rocket Lawyer's mobile app (create basic legal documents and buy plans for low-cost access ...



Training People to Protect and Represent Themselves

What kinds of training, materials, guidance, and support can we give to people so they act in their own best interest -- and follow through on a path?

A team from the Winkler Institute's Justice Design 2016 class created a game Legal Go, inspired by Pokemon Go, but for learning law. It's a way to train lay people on what the legal system is and how it works, through a mixture of in-person adventures and on-the-phone characters, challenges, ...
One of my Brazilian students in my Prototyping Access to Justice class alerted me to a very cool app in Brazil, all about empowering people about their legal rights. It's called Carteirada do Bem. It's a native app (on Android) and (on ioS) + a website. It is put out by ...
Can we boil down all of the most essential things to know for a legal issue onto a business card? We can list out What Not To Do, What to Say, What to Do, What to Expect. We could perhaps even diagram the procedure to expect. The goal would be to give ...
University of Georgia has a Street Law program. It holds sessions to train people, especially young people, on legal topics. Much of their work is focused on how young people can understand the criminal justice system and the social services system, to be smart when navigating them. Street Law UGA conducts ...
Public legal education groups, including the Justice Education Society, in British Columbia have created online guides to help a person have difficult conversations. They are particularly meant to resolve disputes before they become more problematic. These give a small training in the mindsets and approaches a person can use to get to ...
Source: A team at Northeastern Law has been building a simulation game to help self-represented litigants prepare for their court appearance. The sim­u­la­tion game is par­tic­u­larly tar­geted to the growing number of people who cannot afford legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion and thus rep­re­sent them­selves in legal pro­ceed­ings ranging from evic­tions and mort­gage fore­clo­sures ...
Could we make gripping cartoon outreach posters -- with basic primers on key points of law and legal services, that apply to people who are likely to be hanging out in a certain physical space? This idea came up for Trafficking, in airports, bus terminals, and other places of transit. Could ...
When people are called into court -- like a parent whose kids have ended up in the justice system, or like a person who gets called in to deal with a problem -- could we prepare them in a better way? Give them strategies? Give them orientation about what the timelines and ...
Could we take the workshops that self-help centers already run in person, and make online versions of them to get wider distribution? To people who can't travel to self-help centers or need it during weekends or evenings? If we package up the guides into more usable formats, we can help ...
Can we make navigators that are game-like, or make games that allow a person to do a prep-run of what an actual legal procedure will be like? This concept came out of a workshop on improving immigration support. It was for a board game that a group could play together, to ...
An idea for better education around law -- summing up a concept in a card, with a visual to illustrate it, and some key writeups of the concept. It would make the concept stickier and clearer. This kind of movie poster version of the legal service or rule would be useful ...
A sketchnote of the start of a talk from Stephanie Kimbro, speaking at Univ. of South Carolina Law School about her research on how games & gamification mechanics and motivators could be used to improve the delivery of legal services.s
Some quick sketchnotes of a talk from Jim Greiner of Harvard Law School, speaking with Univ. of South Carolina Law School about how to engage people in debt procedures -- how to get them to show up in court. They tried to reach out to people in debt proceedings with ...
Last night, I helped organize a group of lawyers & designers to kick off a longer design process, about reimagining how we convey Know Your Rights materials to lay people. We had a great mix of people who work on Know Your Rights initiatives as a part of community law ...
Last week, I was a facilitator at a Shaping Davos design thinking workshop at Stanford's d.school.  Several local non-profits had brought some big social impact challenges they're facing -- around gentrification, housing, food waste, community-building, and information access. Then small groups of engineers, public policy-makers, business people, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and other ...
As I've been writing up a paper on new legal tools & an agenda for access to justice innovation -- I keep coming back to the same point. To really address the access problem, we should be focusing on scalable, modular tools.  They could be in the form of software & ...
Communication professor Lien Tran of the Univ. of Miami has developed an offline game for users of the US immigration system -- called Toma el Paso, or Make  a Move.  It uses a familiar board game structure to present the legal system to the youth who are currently proceeding through ...
I just found out about Judgepedia, a site that collects information about courts and judges, in a shared wiki. Its primary user seems to be someone interested in how the judicial system in the US works, and how individual jurisdictions have established judicial systems. It's a project out of the ...
The SikhCoalition has put together an ingenious app out to crowdsource reports of discrimination at airports and on airlines. If the government and companies won't release information about how many complaints they have received, then why not ask people to report their complaints themselves? The app lets a person report ...
The Immigration Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has put out a sketched-out (at least in part) guide for a young non-citizen audience -- trying to equip them with some basic legal knowledge & set of strategies.  Some excerpts are below.  There are a lot of great starting points in the PDF ...
I've been searching around for pre-college legal curriculum. When is law taught to young people in America, other than in pre-law classes in university? I took a Civics class in my public high school, which reviewed some basic First Amendment rights, and was oriented around the rights of young people. ...
I just came across the company TrueOffice that is putting together (inspiring!) games for businesses to train their employees on 'compliance' issues.  Think sexual harassment, information security, or ethical behavior in the office. The issue is that these trainings are typically boring, unimpressive, without lasting impact -- more of a burden ...
CanLii is an app out of Toronto that allows for easier searching of Canadian law. It's an effort to make the legislation more accessible, and hoping that trickles down to more numbers of people in Canada being in control of their legal pathways. New mobile app gives free access to legal ...
A major problem in governance is the spread of misinformation and rumors. Sometimes these result from concerted campaigns by political actors, to manipulate politicians with rumors meant to make them suspicious or fearful about something.  Other times rumors are not driven by anyone, but snowball on their own.  Either way, ...



Tools to Get Legal Tasks Done

What can assist people to get legal tasks done efficiently and well?

Osgoode Law School's Justice Design program created a prototype for Law Speak, a tool for people going through the small claims process who are not fluent in the dominant language. LawSpeak empowers those who may not speak English as a primary language to navigate the small claims court process. This app ...
The Robot Lawyeris a chatbot made to let people get legal options and screening -- and even fill in documents by chatting through a messenger interface on a website. It has been applied to traffic tickets, refugee asylum applications, and homeless benefits.
[youtube ] DocuBot is a tool to fill in legal documents and other forms through an SMS or other chatbot-like experience. The bot asks questions to fill in the form. Here is more information from its creator, 1Law. 1LAW is proud to announce the creation of Docubot™, a legal document generating artificial intelligence. ...
What should a paper-based warning or order look like, to make it actionable and clear for people? Ideas42 worked with the New York City government to create new designs of the Summons document that people get for criminal court cases. Read more about it at Ideas42 page. This change in the document ...
Could we build an application that would let a person, who receives a legal document or government document in the mail to: Scan it in, either through a mobile-photo-scanner, or a QR code on the document that makes it easy to capture into the app Figure out what the document ...
We identified that Form Packets are a central 'thing' in the Court System. People come to court for help, and the Clerks and Self Help Centers deliver them help through a large selection of paperwork. These papers, most especially forms, are the key commodity in which their help is communicated ...
Tenants in Action is an app for tenants in LA to document and report issues they have with housing problems. They can use the app to note what problems they're experiencing, match that to codes in the government-speak, and then register a complaint -- all through the app.  
JustFix is an app that is built for NYC tenants to understand their housing rights, gather documentation that could be used to support their legal claims, and to share their case file with advocates. JustFix.nyc adds another tactic to the fight for housing justice by partnering with grassroots organizations to create ...
There are many HotDocs and A2J document assembly projects that have been funded by TIG that have replication potential. Listed below is a brief synopsis of a couple of those projects. From South Central Michigan: automated forms completion. Legal Services of South Central Michigan developed information and resources for self-represented litigants throughout the state. The project ...
I-CAN! Legal is a software tool to help laypeople prepare court forms through a more interactive and user-friendly online questionnaire. I-CAN! Legal helps people prepare their court forms using an easy online questionnaire. I-CAN! provides step-by-step instructions for how to file the forms and proceed with the court case. In Orange ...
This concept is for an online service that would allow for secure uploads from places that are under surveillance or without great digital freedoms. The service would allow them to anonymously, securely upload videos and photos that document human rights abuses and other potentially controversial events. The service would ensure ...
Source: Arkansas - Document Assembly Software The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission used an ATJ Innovation Grant to develop a pro se document assembly form for uncontested divorce with children. The software will be used in a court-house based pilot project in which attorneys assist pro se litigants on a limited ...
An app or SMS/MMS based tool to let a person get expert feedback on their legal document: Is this correct? What does this mean? Is this ready to go? We do this by having the person take a photo of it, then sending it on to the Self-Help Center, Law Librarian, ...
Could we make a software tool to quickly customize and verify the appropriateness of a contract?
Could we have stations in libraries, hospitals, everywhere that would be easy to ask questions around possible legal problems and see if you can get help? A technical touchpoint that would triage you and send you on your way to help.
Could we build a smart system inside courthouses that provide Internet access, connections to printing/copying, and electrical power for all those who need to be computer-connected while doing their business in the court?
Could we take the workshops that self-help centers already run in person, and make online versions of them to get wider distribution? To people who can't travel to self-help centers or need it during weekends or evenings? If we package up the guides into more usable formats, we can help ...
What if we made templated, user-tested Cover Sheets to all legal tasks (whether it's filling out forms or going through a procedure) so that people have great introductions and orientations to the task before being asked to do it?
What would an all-in-one collaboration platform look like, for clients & lawyers to work together? If there could be one place that coordinates a person's journey from having a legal problem, to seeking help, to actually carrying through resolution of the problem -- it could help reduce so many of ...
Some more radical thoughts from Denis Weil, provoking lawyers to rethink how they relate to their users to find effective paths toward innovation.
A challenge  from Justice Cuellar's at the ABA Legal Innovation Summit.
An idea for having a document-software plugin (think, for Microsoft Word) that would track its lawyer & law students' mark-ups of legal documents, learn where the arguments were and what good arguments are, and then use those patterns to make smart recommendations to the lawyer as she is crafting arguments ...
A tool that would read contracts & legal documents so that you don't have to. It would boil it down into key things that you should know -- the essential conditions, trade-offs, etc.
An idea to allow a person with a legal decision to make to play around with possible variables & the outcomes that would result. It would be a way to see multiple different scenarios, and weigh options before making a decision.
An idea for schematically diagramming a legal brief -- to make it more instantly clear what its content is. What would a better legal brief look like? What would it be to submit writings for the judge’s consideration in ways that are more formally structured — so that these communications could: 1) ...
From my growing ideabook for new legal services, here is a sketched out note on what mobile tech could do for how we resolve small disputes between people. Whether it's through the government courts or through a private solution, how can we use interactive communication tech to help people have ...
ZoningCheck is a legal web app to help business owners navigate zoning regulations.  It's a winner of one of the grants from the Knight Foundation's News Challenge from last year. It's an Open Government app, that processes local city codes into searchable, navigable experiences online. Rather than going in person to ...
One branch of Legal Design Ideas I'm working on is using crowdsourced information to improve transparency of how legal regulations are implemented & processes are carried out. An idea in this branch is a Parking Ticket Map -- that could use a crowdsourced map like Ushahidi, or other reporting platforms. Individual ...
The recent UX Sprint for Security & Privacy Tools in San Francisco featured a great list of projects that work to empower citizens. Most center on: How can we enable citizens to communicate free of government surveillance? and How can we help people report on & document atrocities and abuses? Here ...
Ted Olson and David Boies, the legal team behind Prop 8, have been working with the ABA, worked with a task force on the Preservation of the Justice System. They gathered input from stakeholders around the country on how the court experience could be improved -- at the same time ...
I've been searching around for the current landscape of actual initiatives & concept designs for tech tools to provide more access to justice. I went back to a presentation, Assisted Legal Decisionmaking, by law professor Josh Blackman at Stanford last year. He showed some screenshots of legal products he's been ...
Assisted Decision Making from Josh Blackman Here is the presentation from today’s Stanford Law lunch, with law professor Josh Blackman discussing his startup to rival Pacer in distributing case information in a more usable way, with better ways to see relations between firms, judges, cases, companies, etc. ...
Chicago-Kent Law School, out of its Center for Access to Justice & Technology, has started publishing A2J — Access to Justice apps. A2J Author is a platform that lets non-tech specialists in the government, courts, and legal world to build websites & apps to let non-lawyers get more access — more ...



Building, Space, and Wayfinding

I have been scouting out service design inspirations, particularly from airports, that courts could use. This one is from JFK airport, in the Delta terminal. I was very impressed with their service design. They had taken over an entire gate with a help center that had all kinds of touchpoints: ...
The National Center for State Courts has a 2004 article from Don Hardenbergh, president of Courtworks, on Trends in Courthouse Design :: Courthouse Facilities. In the article, Hardenbergh profiles the move to use the space of courts to make the judicial system more accessible, navigable, and open to the public. It ...
An Ohio hospital has created an internal navigation system through a mapping app. It lets anyone find their doctor or destination by putting it into the app, and getting step by step directions about where to go. Mercy Health’s Jewish Hospital has created a customized mapping system to help patients or ...
These were sent from a Kaiser Health facility in California as examples that a court could possibly follow.
Could we remake the Self Help Center to be more colorful, friendly, and humanized? This could be with more art on the wall, with more aesthetically and purposefully structured walls of resources. It could also have things for toddlers and other kids to focus on, so that they are focused, calm, ...
What is it? Have standardized maps of all the court’s floors and rooms, as well as adjacent buildings. These should use the color scheme to direct people on a certain pathway to the right location. It should have plentiful white space, so people can annotate their paper map with where ...
How can we make lines in courts less painful? One idea is to have a numbering system. People can take a number and hang out til their number is called -- instead of waiting in line and getting exhausted and frustrated. The numbering system would have paper numbers to take, along with ...
One of the needs we uncovered at the Self Help Centers in courts was to make it clear to people that they couldn't expect full legal representation. The courts wanted to make sure they didn't expect full confidentiality or an ongoing relationship. To do this, we propose a poster that could ...
What is it? Posters and other large-scale signage that can be placed physically throughout and around the court building, and on any web- or mobile-based court technology. It would reach out to people considering using the court by framing the problem in words they understand, using iconography and colors. ...
  What is it? It is a standing easel, about five feet high, with clips to attach a series of booklets. It would be more attractive than a standard "Wall of Handouts", and it would have more structured categories and flows of resources to take. For example, each easel would be for a ...
This concept proposal is to create a single map and wayfinding system for all the different types of legal services, across all kinds of different providers, in a jurisdiction. It can be a geographic map, as well as organizational and process map. It would lay out where a person could go ...
At courts, at community centers, at libraries, at cafes -- can we have interactive boards full of resources and services that people could access? Using a large touch screen, a court or clinic could have a Triage screen, a Resources Screen, or a Directions Screen. People could come up to ask ...
Could we create a Schedule & Alert system to let litigants and court people know what the busy-ness & traffic level are? Especially for litigants who have a choice about when they come into court (say to contest a traffic ticket) - couldn’t we help them decide when to come in, ...
In 1994, Richard Zorza and Judge Robert Keating published a paper full of insights from their attempt to redesign the interfaces that judges & court officials used when prosecuting drug offenders, in Midtown Community Court. This quick 4-pager paper The Ten Commandments of Electronic Courthouse Design, Planning, and Implementation: The Lessons ...
At Georgia Tech's school of architecture, they are investigating the physical design of the courthouse experience.



User Feedback to System

More analogous learning from airports, this time from Dulles -- and all their feedback prompts and props right around the security experience. These are all posted around the TSA, for people who have just gone through their pre-flight screening, to get feedback on the experience.
I took a photograph of this display in London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5. It is a very public display of the customer feedback for the airport. It has the results of surveys for different factors of the airport experience, displayed right on the monitors that show flight times and other ...
We use this one-page Evaluation sheet to review a service, product, or idea. It prioritizes the user's point of view -- to make sure that the thing you're reviewing has a good user experience. It can be used for proposals or existing things. The sheet forces the reviewer to give a ...
A model for feedback is the Happy/Not Happy card, a simple folded card that gives the user two sets of things to do to give feedback. It comes from a headphone company, Anker. They include this card with their product, to give a very clear set of steps to follow ...
Court MD is a project from the National Center for State Courts that lets court admins run an audit of their own organization, to figure out what's going wrong and where they should focus resources. [vimeo 181051504 w=640 h=360] Here's the description from NCSC: ...start with CourtMD, a new and improved online diagnostic ...
What if we had on-site teams that could quickly spot problems, create an intervention, test it, and improve on it -- all in one day or less, to make a great new design that actually works and is meaningful to the stakeholders (say, in a legal clinic, self help center, ...
What if we had a new Legal Organization -- the 100% Justice Brigade -- that was all about using design skills to create better services for laypeople. Clearer signage, maps, guides, communications -- and full blown new services too!
Inspired by the civic technology project CityVoice, that lets any person call up to leave a voice message about a problem they're experiencing with their city government or infrastructure -- can we provide a similar feedback loop in court and legal services?
What if people in the legal system had ways to give their feedback, so that the courts, lawyers, and other professionals could improve their services based on user experience metrics? The metrics could be: - comprehensibility - accessibility - ease of use - sense of fairness - positivity/negativity of experience This is a simple feedback card -- ...
Many cities are using “311 Apps” on mobile devices or on Facebook to let citizens report basic city problems — potholes, graffiti, etc — to their local representatives. They can supply the details, photos, and requests directly to the city official that should be responding to them. It also allows ...



Dispute Resolutions + Hearings

A team from Justice Design at Osgoode Law's Winkler Institute developed a prototype of an app that could prep people for small claims court, and take care of issues directly. Going to small claims court can be nerve racking, costly and time consuming. #B4 Small claims is an online dispute resolution ...
SquaredAway is a web-app that promotes healthy relations between landlords and tenants -- helping resolve and prevent housing disputes. It does so by providing a communications platform for landlords and tenants, as well as wikis, checklists, and other guides. It lets Chicago tenants and landlords keep track of what issues there are ...
Talking to Bonnie Hough of the California Judicial Council last week, she recommended checking out several great projects coming out of Canada -- specifically British Columbia -- for inspiration about how courts can be more user-friendly. Many of them are efforts of the Justice Education Society, which is a public-oriented ...
News appeared today that NBC picked up a pilot from the man behind Law & Order, Dick Wolf, to create a show for next TV season, called You The Jury. On the show, a civil court case will play out, and the TV-watching public will play the jury. Like with American ...
There is an interesting court redesign organization that's come out of the University of Michigan Law School.  There is an Online Court Project that Univ. of Michigan has funded, and developed through the company Court Innovations, Inc. I had written about it previously when my colleague Briane had mentioned an initial ...
The New York Times profiled the start-up Roompact yesterday, framing it as a roommate dispute tool.  It also is a legal product -- it's a platform for two parties to come together and create a contract about the terms on which they'll be roommates, and then flag potential violations & ...
I've started scouting out different courtroom based service & system designs.  Here is one, that my colleague Briane alerted to me: the Online Court Project based out of the University of Michigan.  It features new ideas to integrate tech and automation into court processes.   Led by U-M Law School professor J.J. ...
In the Netherlands, HiiL & the Dutch Legal Aid Board are developing a second version of their Rechtwijzer platform, to provide consumers with legal help. Here is the summary of their 1.0 platform (mostly around triage -- getting someone with a legal problem to services) and then the 2.0 platform ...
I am on a design team, working on how to redesign the small claims mediation & family mediation (that now would occur offline, in a court house, in a room with a mediator and the parties) into an online experience. My team interviewed a mediator who has expertise in these offline ...
LawTechCampLondon from tmcgn7 LawTechCampLondon from tmcgn7 A presentation from a member of the VirtualCourthouse.com team, on the current problem of Access to Justice, and looking at how online tools — particularly around online dispute resolution and diy legal tools for pro se individuals — ...
  The M-Jirga from Colin Rule A presentation by Colin Rule, of Online Dispute Resolution fame, on a concept design for a mobile traditional justice platform. The m-Jirga program would mimic an elders council meeting in a town square or mosque, that would hear disputants’ sides of a ...
Sri Lankan tech researcher & TED fellow Sanjana Hattotuwa has laid out some of the basic capabilities that mobile phones in the field can be used in dispute resolution and rule of law. Data gathering Plotting the GIS coordinates of the disputed territory, including details of the location, resources and details of ...
A paper on “An Asian Perspective on Online Mediation” puts forward an agenda for making all the advances made in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) transition to mobile devices.  ODR had been desktop-based, but this isn’t relevant for the majority of the world, who do not have reliable access to dekstops, ...
The Internet Bar Organization has fielded a proposed design, the Internet Silk Road Initiative, that would use online and mobile tech to provide access to justice & dispute resolution capabilities to Afghanistan. The project’s website is down now, indicating that perhaps the proposal has been shelved right now. But its ambit ...
Dispute resolution mechanisms inside refugee communities can be a model for other resolution systems in non-refugee contexts. For example, consider the ideas identified in this write-up of design interventions in a Serbian camp in the 1990s, by Divna Persic-Todorovic. In particular, consider in-person and game-based trainings in dispute resolution. “This article is about ...



Background

   A vision from the Judicial Council's Bonnie Hough at the UCHastings conference on equal access to justice.
Here is a small sketch I made while listening to talks at the Legal Service Corporation's 40th Anniversary celebration in downtown San Francisco last month. It was from Justice Jonathan Lippman, the Chief Judge of NY's Court of Appeals. The conversation was about the growing momentum from courts and lawyers ...
I've been thinking systematically over the past few months, as I've been looking back over design work and initiatives going on in the world of legal innovation, and bringing design into law. Here's one of the schematics I've created, to make sense of what I've been observing. These 6 Orders are ...
How can we develop new solutions in agile, responsive ways? So that if we see a problem or hear a user need -- that we take action, try something in a lightweight way, small way -- a hack, rather than a huge undertaking? This is the idea that is coming out ...
I'm excited to be speaking at the Code For America Summit this week in Oakland -- and trying to make the bridge between the robust & big-energy civic tech world, and the world of legal innovation. Very excited to see a small subset of people interested in making the government better ...
How can we help people on-ramp into the legal system in much easier & accessible ways? This is the solution that's been growing in my mind (but still obviously a little rough) over the last few months. We need to invest in several layers at once: 1) The especially hard one: Building ...
I was delighted that one of my favorite new podcasts, Reply All, spent an episode in August all about horrible government websites (see Sam.gov as prime example 1) -- and how they got that way. When we talk about terrible websites, it's not just that they look like they're from 1999 ...
Last summer, I started a design review of the California Judicial Council's Self-Help webpage. It is meant to be a central hub for lay people in the state to find legal resources & referrals for their life problems. The goal is that the state court can provide a trustworthy & ...
My sketches from this morning's agenda-setting working group: what are the big challenges to legal innovation? What do we as a profession (and beyond) need to focus on to build a better 21st century legal system?
A great, rousing talk from Bay Area Legal Aid executive director Alex Gulotta. Looking at legal help from a person's perspectives.
We are in a new era, shaped by technology  and globalization. How will we respond? Judge Tino Cuellar's challenge to the ABA.
I've been reading a bunch of behavioral economics texts & taking notes on how it all might be made useful for legal services design. Here are some of my sketched notes from while reading Nudge by Cass Sunstein & Richard Thaler, and then another article by Richard Thaler & Will Tucker ...
In the world of access to justice, consumer law, and even big law services, we need to think more clearly about what kinds of new products and services we should be developing. Rather than being reactive or tech-driven, we should begin with what lay people want & need to do ...
From my notebook, sketches from a brainstorm around what possible models for access to justice initiatives might be.
One item on my ever-growing Access to Justice agenda is an online hub full of worthy software solutions for legal organizations to use. Ideally, with software that is affordable if not free -- and designed to be easily updated & changed. As opposed to software that is proprietary to one ...
I have been working over the past few months on a research paper about how people use the Internet for legal help. I've been doing online questionnaires to develop insights into who legal users are -- what a core typology of user types are, what their mental models are when ...
The Official Google Blog has a post "A remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph". It announces that Google is going to treat certain health-information searches differently from the average search. If a user searches a query that likely relates to some common health conditions, Google will ...
I have been reading through articles documenting how 'Plain Language' came to be a standard by which legal communications are judged -- and which courts, firms, and companies are willing to invest money and time in. From my limited research, I've been able to trace the rise of 'Plain Language' ...
I came across this video essay by Laura Walker Hudson, the CEO of Social Impact Lab, which houses the open source messaging system Frontline SMS. She speaks of her experience trying to implement scalable implementations of tech-for-good. She profiles why it's so hard to get projects off the ground ...
This post is not just for lawyers -- it is for people who work in hospitals, banks, insurance companies, government agencies, loan companies, accounting firms -- people who work in complex systems that are supposed to be serving lay people. I propose a new field of Wise Design -- to build ...
I made another visual based on a short questionnaire I ran back in November-December last year, on people's thoughts on Access to Justice. Earlier visuals of the questionnaire responses are here (Is there a coherent Access to Justice Movement?) and here (What's going wrong with the Access to Justice Movement?) I ...
As I’ve ventured into the world of public legal education — helping lay people figure out and navigate their legal problems — I keep hitting my head against one thorny wall over & again. Materials are buried in PDFs. Excellent cartoon stories telling immigrants how to deal with the government are only ...
At the end of November 2014, I published a short survey on this site, asking respondents to weigh in on the 'Access to Justice movement' (if we can speak of one at all, as if it were a cohesive thing). I've published some of their responses in an earlier post, ...
I have been writing up my findings from a recent research study I did, on how lay people use the Internet to respond to legal problems that crop up in their lives.  I'm doing this as part of a longer design research inquiry, to develop best practices, guiding standards, and ...
I'm working this week on pulling together an academic paper I've been writing on best practices & design standards for online legal resource sites, aimed at helping lay people begin to address a legal problem that's cropped up in their life. In my literature review, I keep circling back to articles ...
I am working on a paper right now that stakes out a framework for those of us who are working on building access to justice innovations & accessible law tools.  After having led & participated in so many innovation sessions about what kind of tools would help lawyer-client relationships, self-help/DIY ...
From November's 5 Question Friday, I have compiled some of the responses and quotes I received in response to this question -- Is There a Coherent A2J Movement? There is a trend to the lower points of the scale -- and lots of insights into what could be improved,
A quick talking head sketch of a 'What-If' for legal design. What if we started over with our legal systems? Instead of patching over the problems with better interfaces -- we imagine what a user-centered legal system would look like from the ground up. This sketch came from ...
This is a sketchnote that I've drawn out while at different Access to Justice meetings, talks, and roundtables -- where the discussions have been about how to get more underemployed lawyers better work opportunities, and how to get better legal services to more people in the US. I've been going through ...
Originally posted on the d.school's Whiteboard: Over this past fellowship year, I’ve run so many workshops and pop-up classes on how to make law more engaging and usable for “normal people”. People with legal problems or who aren’t highly educated are not alone in this “normal” bucket. People with PhDs, highly paid ...
Lauren Dyson at Code for America wrote up an interview/discussion with Kiran Jain, an attorney in the City of Oakland who has been trained in design & is leading experiments in civic & legal design in the city.  She's running workshops, launching projects, and piloting new ideas using the design ...
via Better Lawyering for the Poor - NYTimes.com. The New York Times Editorial Board published a piece spotlighting various New York-based initiatives that might transform the structure of the legal industry, and thus open more access to legal resources. These highlighted projects include 3rd year law students in New York can take ...
This visual made it up to Twitter last Friday, but here it is for a more permanent home on Open Law Lab. It was a great conference & an inspiring keynote from Richard Susskind -- thinking twenty, thirty years into the future.
Through the Program for Legal Tech & Design, I'm co-teaching a 5-session class at Stanford's d.school this January & February. It will be a hands-on session on how to make law more usable to people -- and how to help make people law-smart, and in control of their legal futures. If ...
I originally posted these up on the d.school blog The Whiteboard, earlier today.
I just discovered a rich design document & user research study conducted by a team out of Harvard's Berkman Center in 2010. It looks at how more access & usability can be built into current civil court processes. And one of its co-authors is Phil Malone, who has just joined Stanford ...
Here are a big collection of my notes & brainstorms from a recent weekend, focused on how to bring Immigration self-management tools to non-citizens living in the U.S. There is a strong potential, to pioneer some new Consumer Law applications, that would provide foreigners in the US with support to figure ...
Georgetown Law is holding its 2nd 'Iron Tech' Lawyer competition, in which students who took a semester seminar --"Technology, Innovation & Law Practice: An Experiential Seminar" -- by Professor Tania Rostain and Law Librarian Roger Skalbeck.  The second competition will be held on April 17 in Washington DC. A video from ...
I went to InfoCamp today at Berkeley with the intention of soaking up best practices and inventive ideas from User Experience Designers and Information Junkies at the School of Information. I did do that -- but ended up putting together an impromptu 50 minute presentation /slash/ participatory design session /slash/ ...
A drawing I had made during the Law Without Walls conference, based on a great passing comment…
A blog post from Richard Zorza’s rich blog on Access to Justice discusses an issue I am currently working on — whether the Internet is a usable and effective resource for non-lawyers to get legal information and support. Some findings of particular interest: Non-lawyers use search pages to find legal information to ...
The Chicago-Kent School of Law and IIT completed a massive study of how to build better tools for self-represented litigants (pro-se). Their 470+ page write up includes a variety of concept designs and prototypes for each of 5 stages of the pro se process. IN the past decade ...
A blog post by solo practitioner Carolyn Elefant detailed her issues with the current legal start ups that supposedly increase ‘access to justice’, but in her estimation are just providing more cut-rate, less-than legal services which don’t really serve the under-served. Instead, she encourages start ups and Silicon Valley investors to ...

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