Justice Connect is an Australia based pro bono network that has been using digital tools to increase the benefits for clients (Smith, 2018). One of their notable projects is the Gateway project which is a triage service that matches people to appropriate legal service providers (Smith, 2019, p. 34). It was built in response to research that found that users could not easily access the services they needed (Justice Connect, 2020). The project began with seed-funding from Google which was invested in user research and co-designing the platform (Justice Connect, 2020).
There are three elements to the design: an intake tool which acts as a triage service; a referral tool that connects people to service providers; and a pro bono portal which is a network of 10,000 pro bono lawyers (Justice Connect, 2020). This software may be particularly useful for users that are finding it hard to articulate the exact nature of their legal problem. The triage tool may save service providers the time of an initial exploratory meeting and allows the user to more directly access a solution to their issue. Being aware of the exact nature of their legal problem may provide a sense of control for the user which could boost their engagement with the legal system.
Another innovation by Justice Connect is their Not-for-Profit Law Hub. The hub has over 300 digital self-help tools including videos, guides and interactive web applications (Smith, 2018). The website has over 300,000 views a year and has been evaluated 3 times with findings indicating a positive user experience overall (Justice Connect, 2020). Providing resources in various ways means that users can access them using a method that suits their individual needs which is invaluable given the diversity of client needs in the justice sector.
1. Smith, R. (2019) Annual Report Summer 2019: The Digital Delivery of Legal Services to people on low incomes. The Legal Education Foundation. Available at: www.thelegaleducationfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Digital-Technology-Summer-2019.pdf [Accessed 12 April 2020].
2. Smith, R. (2018) Activists Speaking 4: Kate’s Story – Kate Fazio of Justice Connect. Law, Technology and Access to Justice. Available at: https://law-tech-a2j.org/digital-strategy/activists-speaking-4-kates-story-kate-fazio-of-justice-connect/ [Accessed 12 April 2020].
3. Our Gateway Project (2020) JusticeConnect.org.au [online]. Available from: https://justiceconnect.org.au/about/digital-innovation/gateway-project/ [Accessed 14 April 2020].
4. Digital self-help tools (2020) JusticeConnect.org.au [online]. Available from: https://justiceconnect.org.au/about/digital-innovation/digital-self-help-tools/ [Accessed 14 April 2020].