DC Courts Pivot During Pandemic to Keep Court Services Online for DV Victims
Before the pandemic led courts to completely shutter or severely limit services, Pro Bono Net’s technology was taking root in the District of Columbia Courts.
Legal services organizations were already seeing an increase in domestic violence matters nationwide, with more than 137,000 cases handled by Legal Services Corporation-funded agencies in 2019.
This pre-pandemic increase in volume combined with an increase in the number of individuals seeking to represent themselves in court prompted the DC courts to beef up their self-help offerings.
“The DC courts were able to maintain and expand services because they already adopted a model to help people where they are,” said Mirenda Meghelli, LawHelp Interactive’s Partnerships Manager.
To date, the project has resulted in more than 4,700 interviews and over 2,100 forms generated since its launch in October 2018.