Time For a National Center on Mobile Access to Justice

Several organizations have been stepping up to the plate on mobile, for example, LSC with its TIG grantsIllinois LegalAidOnline with their informational and pro bono apps, the State Bar of Georgia. Not to mention the Pro Bono Net, Northwest Justice Project and Montana Legal Services partnership.

But, more generally, we are way behind where we should be.  See here one blog post on possibilities for the courts.

How many courts get you mobile messages reminders of court appearance dates, community service obligations — with maps, tools to get you to the right courtroom service locations, reminders of risk of default as you fail to check in at the court?

How many legal aid programs remind you of appointments (including with social service, public benefits, etc.) again with the tools, help, chat to help you navigate the interview?

Maybe we need a jointly-funded national Center on Mobile Access to Justice (C-MAJ, pronounced Madge), to push the envelope, work with the main mobile technology platforms, and incentivize the developer community.  (For a depressing search, try putting access to justice into the Google Play Store., or the Mac App Store (nothing!))

By now, every court and every state legal aid system should have something on mobile.  Remember, the Pew data on how low income folks use mobile for their Internet access. (High school grad only, 49% of mobile owners using mobile for Internet.)

As the App Stores show, there is a huge burst of creative energy out there, and we are only on the edge of it.

p.s., I should have given much more credit to the wonderful “apps for justice” clinical project  that CALI and the CAJT are running.  As described by John Mayer, jmayer(at)cali.org, on the LSTech list,  the basic idea is “to get law school clinics to integrate the teaching of A2J Author into a new or existing clinic course and partner with a local (or digitally remote) legal aid program so that law students develop new A2J Guided Interviews.”



About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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5 Responses to Time For a National Center on Mobile Access to Justice

  1. Pingback: Access to Justice: Lawyer Referral, Self-Represented Litigants, Courthouse Self-Help, and more | Oregon Legal Research Blog

  2. Pingback: AJA Blog » Blog Archive » More Intiguing Thinking From Richard Zorza: Mobile Access To Justice

  3. Pingback: ABA Center for Pro Bono Exchange

  4. Claudia Johnson says:

    It would be good to include some of these findings, so that standards for apps can be developed w/in the legal non profit world for two reasons 1) confidentiality of data shared between lawyer and client and 2) the vulnerable nature of low income populations served by legal aid. Dear Colleagues,
    What information should legal aid apps collect? For what purpose? What security breaches do they eenable for the provider? For the end user? Those kind of questions need to be part of the discussion also. http://www.eweek.com/mobile/juniper-networks-study-finds-free-mobile-apps-a-privacy-minefield/

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