Centralizing Online Legal Help, A Seamless Service for Lay People Online

Could the US have a system of centralized legal portals? So that anyone searching the Internet could find a reliable on-ramp to legal services?

As an Agenda Item
– Calls at the ABA summit
– At LSC TIG summit
– from Bay Area Legal Aid Executive Director
– from NCSC, Tom Clarke

But how?

User Requirements

System Requirements
Primary Challenges
– how do we coordinate the various service providers to all put their data into this platform?
– how can we make sure the data is stored and maintained in the correct way?

Models to Follow



A Coordinated Access Hub: Bringing Together Legal Service Innovation for Lay People

Can I make a comprehensive project that documents A2J tech/design, that would cover certain things that already exist, that would work towards prototypes for new site/resource:

  • the Access Hub resource site
  • the a2j tech review, what exists that you can use and borrow from
  • the open source tech inventory, tools you can use in your a2j work

The Envisioned Scope of the Project

We are building a space for people to come together and move Access projects from starting concept to a fleshed out project that can be implemented

It will be a place for legal service providers on the ground to express their needs & seek resources and help

It will be a place for experts from many disciplines to contribute to the discussion & research about how better Access can be provided

It will be a place for technologists & designers to find meaningful, grounded projects to work on — and to learn from past projects about what can work and what has not

It will be a place for funders & supporters of Access initiatives to scout out projects to engage with, judge legitimacy & worth, and connnect with resources

Next Steps:

Identify 3-4-5 archetypal users of who will be using the project

Lay out what their motives for using the site will be,

what they want to accomplish,

what mental models they will be approaching the site with

Other characteristics that will guide what we build & how we build it

Find the main tasks that we will offer on the site
e.g., post an idea, contribute research, find an idea, ….),

then build sub-categories of tasks under these main camps

Start to spec out what front-end & back-end systems are needed to provide these tasks to our users

Scout out analogous systems that could inspire & guide our choices,

Choose 2-3-4 possible models

install them each on a different subdirectory of a site

Upload some preliminary content into the different models

Invite users to come test & reach what they like


Build New Product or Service

Build a Research Trail

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