2019 TIG Awards Project Descriptions
In 2019, LSC awarded Technology Initiative Grants (TIGs) to 30 legal services organizations totaling $4,230,718. LSC’s grant awards include projects that use technology to improve self-help resources, enhance internal efficiency, and improve access for vulnerable populations. All 2019 TIGs are listed below.
If you have questions about a specific program, please email the TIG team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding of $176,966 will support improvements the Kentucky statewide legal information website, including a website redesign, content review and creation of new content such as legal information resources and guided templates targeted to help self-represented litigants.
Mississippi Center for Legal Services (MCLSC) will use this Technology Improvement Grant to retain an outside consultant to undertake an internal comprehensive technology assessment of MCLSC's and North MS Rural Legal Services' (NMRLS) current technology capacity and develop a technology strategic plan for the two programs.
The project team will utilize this grant to implement technologies that increase access to legal services for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Deafblind individuals and build upon the work of CLEAR*ASL. This will connect field offices with a qualified video sign language interpreter service to allow reception and attorney staff to interact with Deaf clients on a walk-in or emergency basis without having to wait for an in-person interpreter.
Legal Services Vermont will create more online content for self-represented litigants. The organization will add tutorials for high-demand legal issues, including evictions cases and temporary restraining orders in domestic violence cases. The expanded library of online tutorials will feature a series of instructional videos, informing viewers how to fill out court forms or initiate certain legal actions.
Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center will partner with Upsolve.org to develop artificial intelligence-enabled tools to help individuals filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These tools will guide users throughout the bankruptcy process, translating court filings into plain language, setting appointment reminders, and monitoring court schedules for case activity. Users will be able to access these services through the national Upsolve.org platform.
Funding on this TIG will support a new capacity to engage in simple, automated text conversations with users of the Michigan Legal Help statewide website, including exchanges focused on follow-up assistance and tracking user outcomes.
Neighborhood Legal Services Program will receive $27,500 to conduct a full assessment of its current technology systems and identify areas for improvement and investment.
Alaska Legal Services Corporation will create a web application, BeneFactor, to inform and assist individuals applying for social security disability benefits. Users will receive the knowledge and assistance necessary to take control of their disability application throughout the process, including during a reconsideration or appeal. If they need additional help, users will be able to submit their case file to a legal representative.
Legal Aid of Western Missouri (LAWMO) will work with process improvement professionals to identify and address areas of opportunity for improvement in its intake workflow, staffing, and technology configurations to enable clients to connect more quickly and easily to the information and resources they need.
The Legal Aid Society of San Diego will deploy an enhanced data migration system for the Health Consumer Alliance (HCA) of California. This will allow for HCA's seamless transmission of client health advocacy data to a new database and to HCA’s partners, including the state's nine other LSC grantees.
This technology improvement grant will support a comprehensive evaluation of Prairie State’s technological environment, including hardware, software, staffing, security, and support.
Northeast New Jersey Legal Services Corporation will review the technology behind its client intake system and to develop a plan to improve intake efficiency. The plan will reduce wait times and assist people with the most pressing legal needs. The plan will also address the needs of people with limited English proficiency.
Inland Counties Legal Services will receive $97,464 to expand and modify its existing online legal help tools for litigants with consumer debt cases. The project will automate aspects of legal document preparation to improve efficiency for legal professionals, including through an integration with the program’s case management system.
Legal Aid Chicago will improve online legal content by coordinating with Illinois Legal Aid Online and legal experts. The project will employ a new content-organization model for delivering legal information that is accurate and up to date. Improved information distribution and sharing between different platforms will enhance accessibility for users.
This grant will enhance Legal Aid of Wyoming's technology through the creation of an end-to-end system for the entire client experience, which includes a triage function, online intake, and automated messaging via SMS.
North Penn Legal Services will create a statewide, online system for conducting quick intake and referrals. The system will connect low-income individuals to a legal aid provider or resource that can best meet their needs. It will take account of the case priorities of project partners, adding needed flexibility when directing users to an appropriate provider during intake.
Kentucky Legal Aid will retain an independent consultant to perform a technology assessment of the organization. The consultant will then help develop a technology improvement plan with Kentucky Legal Aid staff, including plan implementation priorities.
Community Legal Aid Services will partner with Ohio Legal Help to develop better functionality for the state’s legal information website and provide mobile access for users. Users will be able to create a personalized dashboard where they can save and retrieve assembled documents, articles, and other ongoing tasks. The new functionality will allow the system to send out text reminders to users about actions to take.
This grant will increase the usability of the legal aid community’s guided interviews and other key client-facing applications by having a professional user experience (UX) reviewer provide feedback on individual applications, and by leading an in-depth user experience training. This project also includes efforts to enhance the widely-used National Subject Matter Index (NSMI).
Ohio State Legal Services will continue growing the capability and reliability of LawHelp Interactive (LHI), a free online resource for drafting legal forms and documents in over 40 states. LHI is a partnership with Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit that uses technology to increase access to justice.
This grant will support a pilot of the use of the open-source Docassemble platform to create a set of legal document interviews for self-represented litigants facing housing, consumer, and other legal issues in New Hampshire and Illinois.
Georgia Legal Services Program will build online, interactive tutorials on landlord-tenant law. The focus will be on teaching self-represented tenants their rights and the steps for proceeding with a case, as well as training pro bono attorneys and legal aid staff. The tutorials will require participants to answer multiple-choice questions to ensure understanding and to maximize effectiveness.
Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota will develop a large business improvement process project for the state’s regional client intake system. It will work with two LSC-funded technology improvement projects at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and Legal Aid of Western Missouri.
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan will develop a mobile-friendly web application that enhances the fair housing tester experience for both testers and fair housing centers across the country. It will partner with other legal aid providers to ensure the application provides a high-quality user experience.
South Carolina Legal Services will expand the number of online "classrooms" they offer. Six new courses will focus on eviction, criminal records expungement, foreclosure, heir’s property, education rights, and debt collection. South Carolina Legal Services is partnering with the South Carolina Pro Bono Board on the project.
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services will improve its intake, workflow, staffing, and technology configurations. Better intake processes will enable clients to access information and resources they need quickly and easily.
Central Minnesota Legal Services will upgrade the statewide legal information website, LawHelpMN.org, with better interactive content to improve user learning. The new content will integrate short videos and tests within the site's existing fact sheets. This project will also incorporate real-time feedback for the online test-takers through live chat and other tools.
Colorado Legal Services (CLS) will develop an augmented reality (AR) application to create a virtual courthouse tour and explainer videos for self-represented litigants (SRLs). These resources will help SRLs prepare for court, including what the courthouse looks like, how to locate the clerk’s office and self-help center, where to go for a hearing, and how to respectfully approach and interact with judges and other court personnel.
Atlanta Legal Aid Society will make AyudaLegalGeorgia.org, its Spanish-language, self-help website, more accessible to online visitors. The organization will also improve online intake for Spanish-speaking clients through its integrated case management system.
American Samoa Legal Aid will upgrade the organization’s website. Improvements include adding more relevant legal information, creating interactive online tools for self-represented litigants with high-demand case types, and improving online accessibility for disabled and non-English speaking individuals.