The LSC Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program emerged from the combination of the longstanding need to provide some form of effective assistance to the large percentage of persons whom LSC grantees cannot fully represent, and a new opportunity - the enhanced capacities brought about by the information and communications revolutions.
Most legal needs surveys in the United States indicate that no more than 20 percent of low-income people with civil legal problems are able to get help. The unprecedented powers of the Internet, personal computers and mobile devices - combined with the development of high-quality legal information and tools - can broaden the reach of the valuable work conducted by legal services practitioners. Seeing this potential, Congress authorized funding for the TIG program beginning in 2000.
TIG funding has provided LSC with a remarkable opportunity to explore new ways to serve eligible persons, to help build legal aid programs' capacities, and to support the efforts of pro bono attorneys. TIG has supported projects to develop, test and replicate technologies that improve client access to high quality legal information and pro se assistance. It has also helped programs enhance their overall information technology infrastructure. These projects use a broad range of technologies -- including mobile, cloud computing, data analysis, and automated document assembly -- to make the delivery of legal services in the United States more efficient and effective.
TIG has funded more than 570 projects totaling more than $46 million. With that foundation in place, LSC is poised to expand access to justice by leveraging current innovations and developing additional creative and experimental uses for technology in legal services.