Several organizations have been stepping up to the plate on mobile, for example, LSC with its TIG grants, Illinois 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.”