LSC TIG Grants Announced — The Year of Mobile and Beyond

They are out, the new TIG grants and it is a great list. In this post, I briefly summarize one significant area, mobile, and how we might take the innovations even further.

This is clearly the year of mobile.  Grants include:

  1. To create mobile versions of LawHelp and websites (Southeast Louisiana and Western New York [Spanish], Lone Star [DisaterLegal]),
  2. Provide mobile-optimized pro bono tools (Northeastern Minnesota and Colorado), remote services at partner locations (Montana),
  3. Farm worker time records and attorney communication (Georgia),
  4. Integrating websites with text messaging (Georgia for multiple organizations),
  5. Develop “responsive mobile Drupal theme” (Idaho),
  6. Build appointment reminder (Northern Virginia).

Taken together, this significantly moves the community towards better use of mobile access.  As I have blogged before, with suggested examples, the key is not just to convert existing content, but to think about how the constant availability of mobile tools can empower people in the immediate moment.

One trick is to always keep in mind the sensors in the mobile units — location (allowing full information about the location and people, events, situation there), movement and acceleration (allowing inferences about what the person is doing or having done to them), orientation (to optimize display, and to use the unit as a motion tool), code reading (allowing ANY data from the Internet to be pulled), camera (allowing picture to be analyzed digitally, and almost anything to be inferred, including who you are talking to, what they are saying [digital lip reading anyone? etc., etc.]).

Remember, too, that the information from these sensors can be integrated with each other, and with any information on the unit (i.e about the user) and on the Internet.

If you include the sensors in the picture, you see that the mobile revolution is as transformative as the universal access revolution (as well as being part of it.

While the LSC Technology Summit Process provides some opportunity for this kind of analysis, let me suggest that we need a separate brainstorming process to really push the envelope on this one.  Could it be funded as an add-on to one of the mobile grants?




About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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3 Responses to LSC TIG Grants Announced — The Year of Mobile and Beyond

  1. Pingback: Time For a National Center on Mobile Access to Justice | Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog

  2. Claudia Johnson says:

    Richard, I do agree with you on having more dialog and stimulate discussion on thought from all view points. For example, there are significant 4th Ammendment implications if government agencies are involved. Legal Aid advocates should become familiar with DOE’s Executive Order 12333 as a model on what government can and can not do, and consider if a similar practice/standard should be developed by other government agencies AND by non profits in the legal services arena to protect the privacy of mobile tech users/potential clients/clients. 12333 might be too high a standard and it only applies to DOE-maybe there are better models out there? Maybe there are already DOJ protocols on when DOJ funded agencies can access individual mobile data and how they can use it and share it 3rd parties? Programs funded by other Federally funded agencies? How far should non profits go vis a vis concerns of privacy for citizens, non-citizens, childrens, victims of crime? Vis a vis potential clients (under new ABA model rules), clients, unbundled clients, etc? Being a non-profit does not ensure that everyone shares a common goal–there are many different types of non-profits some with opposing view points–there is great potential for good here,but basic principles and privacy expectations from low income users and non tech savvy mobile users need to be taken into consideration. These topics also merit discussion in the context of practicing law also. Who are the privacy experts in the context of civil law practice and technology?It would be good to invite them to the dialogue.

  3. Pingback: Mobile tech grants in the legal aid community | Lawscape

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