2018 TIG Awards Project Descriptions


Press Release

LSC awarded 26 Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) to 24 legal services organizations in 21 states for a total of $3,884,257. Among the 26 funded initiatives are projects that enhance online self-help resources, expand services to rural communities, and facilitate clients’ ability to seek legal help via text messaging services and voice assistants like Google’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. 

If you have any questions about a specific program, please contact that TIG team at techgrants@lsc.gov.

2018 Technology Initiative Grant Awards
Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc. - $100,495 (TIG #18005)

Pine Tree Legal Assistance will enhance Maine’s statewide, online legal triage website by improving the accessibility of self-help information and legal referrals for users. This project explores the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify users’ experience, especially when they have limited knowledge of legal concepts. It connects users to the most accurate resources available to help them. A "chatbot" allows AI to interact with users while also ensuring their privacy.

Northwest Justice Project - $297,175 (TIG #18008)

Northwest Justice Project received funding to add new components to LSNTAP.org, a national technology support resource for the national legal aid community. This grant also supports a technology training webinar series and in-depth technology guides.

Utah Legal Services, Inc. - $308,047 (TIG #18009)

Utah Legal Services received funding to employ artificial intelligence to create an online application and client-referral process through the LegalServer Case Management System. The system guides users seeking legal help through the process of identifying their legal issues and helps match them with the right resources.

Legal Assistance Foundation - $266,000 (TIG #18010)

Legal Assistance Foundation received funding to leverage artificial intelligence to upgrade the IllinoisLegalAid.org website and improve legal services organizations’ client intake.

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. - $186,402 (TIG #18011)

Legal Services of North Florida received funding to facilitate access to higher quality search results for people seeking legal help. This project improves results on major search engines like Google and Bing, as well as results from voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon's Alexa.

Central California Legal Services, Inc. - $27,000 (TIG #18013)

Central California Legal Services received funding to maximize its use of technology for client service. An expert will help conduct an inventory of the organization’s existing software and hardware, identify gaps and inefficiencies in current technology use, develop recommendations, and establish a training protocol to ensure effective use of technology.

Montana Legal Services Association - $146,104 (TIG #18018)

Montana Legal Services Association received funding to extend the reach of the Montana Court Self Help Program to 11 rural communities. This project places technology in remote locations across Montana to connect residents to self-help law centers in more populated sections of the state.

Montana Legal Services Association - $132,610 (TIG #18019)

Montana Legal Services Association received funding that will allow the organization to introduce artificial intelligence-powered legal tools through a new online pro bono legal advice platform, AskKarla.org. This will help clients properly frame their legal issues and access relevant resources.

Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. - $144,862 (TIG #18020)

Legal Services of Greater Miami received funding to enhance Florida’s statewide online client intake and legal triage system by integrating two partner agencies: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida and Legal Services of North Florida. This project also adds tools to ensure the efficiency of online client applications for assistance, including an improved referral system and the use of artificial intelligence to automatically review some components of client-submitted information.

Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc. - $27,000 (TIG #18023)

Legal Aid of Wyoming received funding to plan a new online intake process to better serve clients across the state. The goal is to make services more accessible. 

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc. - $120,272 (TIG $18025)

West Tennessee Legal Services received funding to create an organization-wide knowledge information system through Microsoft’s SharePoint Online program. The project addresses the challenges of delivering legal services in rural areas by facilitating collaboration among staff across all four offices and providing a technology-based framework to improve remote staff supervision.

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland - $209,750 (TIG #18027)

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland received funding to help better assess the impact of legal assistance that is limited to brief engagement with clients rather than full representation. The project builds on an existing program that uses automated text message exchanges with clients to study outcomes resulting from brief service.

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass - $26,000 (TIG #18028)

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass received this grant to assess and upgrade its technology systems. The focus is on revamping its case management system, communications platforms, and document management tools.

Colorado Legal Services - $25,400 (TIG #18033)

Colorado Legal Services' grant will allow it to assess the organization’s overall use of technology. The goal is to prioritize improvements that will directly aid clients, including network infrastructure, internet services, security and privacy protections, staff technology training, remote data access, and mobile device usage.

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley - $72,000 (TIG #18035)

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will implement Microsoft’s SharePoint Online program, an organization-wide knowledge management system. The project will facilitate access for all staff across all offices and make client services more efficient. 

Indiana Legal Services, Inc. - $27,000 (TIG #18037)

Indiana Legal Services received funding to develop a roadmap for an enhanced statewide legal information website. The project seeks to improve the client referral system by offering self-help forms and a broad range of legal guidance. The grant additionally funds sharpening online triage tools used for prioritizing client needs, with assistance from Microsoft.

Legal Services Alabama, Inc. - $26,999 (TIG 18041)

Legal Services Alabama received funding to strengthen its capacity to serve clients. The program will undertake a comprehensive technological assessment and develop a strategy to address its immediate technology needs and long-term goals.

Community Legal Aid, Inc. - $140,500 (TIG #18045)

Community Legal Aid's grant will improve the accessibility and functionality of the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder. The Resource Finder provides people seeking legal help with targeted contact information for legal aid programs, government agencies, and court programs. It also provides relevant legal information and self-help materials.

Alaska Legal Services Corporation - $179,879 (TIG #18046)

Alaska Legal Services Corporation received funding to streamline communication with people in need of civil legal assistance. The project will enhance the electronic client referral system for states piloting Legal Navigator portals—an initiative launched by LSC, Microsoft, and Pro Bono Net to direct individuals with civil legal needs to the most appropriate forms of assistance.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center - $212,000 (TIG #18049)

Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center's grant will expand software tools on the Upsolve.org system. Upsolve helps individuals who cannot afford an attorney to complete Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings. Enhancements include streamlining the bankruptcy questionnaire and improving Upsolve’s operation on mobile devices.

Ohio State Legal Services - $783,000 (TIG #18056)

Ohio State Legal Services Association received funding to support outreach, operations, training, and improvements for LawHelp Interactive (LHI). LHI is the national online document assembly initiative used by more than 40 states to provide reliable and secure online forms that help legal aid lawyers, pro bono programs, and those without lawyers complete court forms and other legal documents more effectively. 

Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. - $182,000 (TIG #18057)

Legal Aid of North Carolina received funding to continue developing the A2J Author document assembly product, cloud-based software that helps self-represented litigants prepare court forms and other legal documents. The project also expands the availability of user-friendly legal forms for North Carolinians facing civil legal issues.

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii - $62,000 (TIG #18058)

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii will enhance access to legal aid services through search engines and voice-assistant queries like Apple's Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. In partnership with Stanford Law School's Legal Design Lab, the organization will pilot methods to protect people from accessing low-quality, potentially predatory legal websites.

Colorado Legal Services - $58,762 (TIG #18062)

Colorado Legal Services received funding to develop a mobile chat system powered by artificial intelligence. The system provides unrepresented debtors with access to useful legal information and services when creditors sue them. The organization is also producing an online court form for individuals defending a collection lawsuit.

Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc. - $104,000 (TIG #18065)

Legal Services of Northern Virginia's grant will allow it to create online visual guides to teach users how to navigate complex civil legal issues such as housing and consumer law. The guides will work on mobile devices.

Inland Counties Legal Services, Inc. - $27,000 (TIG #18066)

Inland Counties Legal Services received funding to create a strategic decision-making guide for technology projects. The organization will use the funds to hire an industry leader to help staff evaluate the quality of the organization’s legal technology products and provide an assessment of potential technology enhancements.