2015 Technology Initiative Grants Awarded to 30 LSC Grantees

November 4, 2015

30 LSC Grantees nationwide will receive funding for LSC Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) in 2015. The grants will support a variety of initiatives, including developing a website with special resources for seniors and domestic violence victims; creating a hotline for family and housing law advice that can be accessed by text message; and implementing a videoconferencing system to conduct remote client interviews and provide informational videos.  

 


Legal Aid of Orange County, Inc. Awarded $152,200 LSC Grant to Develop an Online Dispute Resolution and Mediation Portal

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that Legal Aid of Orange County, Inc. will receive $152,200 through the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program to develop an online dispute resolution and mediation portal for small claims cases to simplify access for self-represented litigants. The TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing, testing, and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality assistance in the full range of legal services for low-income clients.  

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants expand access to justice for millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The grants make legal information, court forms, video instruction, and practical tips available to people who otherwise would have to navigate the legal system alone.”

Legal Aid Society of Orange County will use the pilot project to try and save time and expense for both the litigants and the court by using remote communication through a neutral platform or mediator to reach an agreement or avoid a judgement altogether. If the parties ultimately go to trial, the portal aims to increase the efficiency and preparedness of both parties.

"The Legal Aid Society of Orange County is an important part of our community, providing free and low-cost civil legal services to low-income families, individuals and senior citizens,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-38). “I thank Legal Services Corporation for their support of LASOC. This grant award will go a long way to help expand LASOC’s critical legal resources to communities in Orange and Southeast Los Angeles Counties who face significant challenges when appearing in court without an attorney."

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) said: “The Legal Aid Society of Orange County has been an integral part of my district for nearly 50 years, and I congratulate them on receiving the FY 2015 Technology Initiative Grant to develop an online dispute resolution and mediation portal. I thank the Legal Services Corporation for providing this grant to further assist the public with legal resources and tools.”

Legal Aid Society of Orange County is one of 30 recipients of 2015 LSC-TIG funding totaling more than $4.2 million.   

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association Awarded $137,200 LSC Grant to Enhance Mobile Access to Pro Bono Resources

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (VLP) will receive $137,200 through the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program to design, test, and model new approaches to delivering substantive resources for volunteers. The TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing, testing, and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality assistance in the full range of legal services for low-income clients.

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants expand access to justice for millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The grants make legal information, court forms, video instruction, and practical tips available to people who otherwise would have to navigate the legal system alone.” 

VLP is using the project to provide increased support to pro bono attorneys and law students by optimizing volunteer engagement and practice resources. This project will also work to develop technology and models that can be replicated nationally to advance mobile strategies across other statewide advocate sites.

“Lack of access to legal representation leaves too many low-income Americans on unequal footing in our justice system,” said Rep. Joe Kennedy III (MA-4).  “When so many of those families have nowhere else to turn, the Volunteer Lawyers Project offers a guiding hand and ensures our Commonwealth and country make good on the promise of equal protection under the law. This grant will help even more people across Massachusetts benefit from the tireless work of their pro bono lawyers, and I look forward to working with them in the future to expand access to legal aid even further.”

Rep. Bill Keating (MA-9) said: “Pro bono work is one of the most rewarding things you can do as an attorney, and as a former District Attorney, I know just how critical the services provided by the Volunteer Lawyers Project are to so many. This grant will allow the project to expand its access so that fair, competent representation is available to those who need it making everyone truly equal in the eyes of the law.”

VLP is one of 30 recipients of 2015 LSC-TIG funding totaling more than $4.2 million.   

Lone Star Legal Aid Receives $130,438 Technology Initiative Grant to Develop the Texas Interactive Forms Project

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that Lone Star Legal Aid will receive $130,438 through the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program to develop a new project that will create plain-language, step-by-step guided interviews for self-represented litigants on how to assemble and file electronic court forms through the state’s existing e-filing system. The TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing, testing, and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality assistance in the full range of legal services for low-income clients.  

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants expand access to justice for millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The grants make legal information, court forms, video instruction, and practical tips available to people who otherwise would have to navigate the legal system alone.”

The Texas Interactive Forms Project (TIFP) seeks to improve self-advocacy and access to justice through better education of self‐represented litigants while improving court functioning thanks to easier and faster filing. TIFP will automate 100 individual forms during the two‐year grant term.

 “Today’s legal system has become increasingly difficult to afford and maneuver,” said Al Green (TX-9). “It is practices like Lone Star Legal Aid, who provide free legal services to low-income individuals, that make a difference to so many in our community. Providing resources to such a deserving firm will help the many in our community seeking legal help.”

Lone Star Legal Aid is one of 30 recipients of 2015 LSC-TIG funding totaling more than $4.2 million.   

Northwest Justice Project Awarded $505,660 in LSC Grants to Improve the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project  

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation today announced that the Northwest Justice Project will receive $505,660 through the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program to create new mobile-compatible resources and continue making improvements to the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (NTAP). The TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing, testing, and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality assistance in the full range of legal services for low-income clients.

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants expand access to justice for millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The grants make legal information, court forms, video instruction, and practical tips available to people who otherwise would have to navigate the legal system alone.”

Northwest Justice Project received:

  • $75,700 to create mobile-compatible, web-based legal education videos that will be accessible for others to replicate.
  • $429,960 to support a core collection of services and resources, provide one-on-one guidance on a variety of legal technologies, and help other legal services programs replicate other TIG technologies through the NTAP.

Members of Washington’s Senate and House delegations applauded the grant:

Senator Patty Murray: “Too many people in our state have no one to turn to when it comes to navigating the justice system, and this grant will work to change that. By improving access to the legal technologies and critical services provided by Northwest Justice Project, thousands of low-income individuals will have legal assistance when they need it most. I congratulate Northwest Justice Project and thank its staff for their tireless efforts.”

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01): “Northwest Justice Project in Washington’s First District embodies the goal of ensuring access to justice for all. It’s fitting that the Legal Services Corporation decided to fund their innovative projects to create online educational videos and legal resources for low-income Washingtonians. Investment in civil legal aid is one of the most effective ways to help Americans navigate the judicial system. Congratulations Northwest Justice Project for receiving these well-deserved grants.”

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-2): “The Northwest Justice Project provides critical access to legal services for people who can least afford it to help them maintain stable housing and affordable health care, as well as fulfill other basic needs. With this grant, NJP will be able to use technology in innovative ways to continue breaking down barriers so all people can participate in our economy and our democracy.”

Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-6):  “It’s important that our judicial system is accessible to all citizens. Whether you are dealing with foreclosure or fraud folks should be able to get the legal services they need to protect their interests. That’s why Congress and the Legal Services Corporation are awarding Technology Initiative Grants to groups like the Northwest Justice Project to support innovative methods that help people better access justice.”    

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-9):  “Legal aid programs provide critical support to low income individuals by offering civil legal assistance in cases involving basic human needs. In our community, Northwest Justice Project (NJP) operates 17 locations, as well as a legal help hotline known as CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral). I was pleased to see that this year NJP received a grant from the Legal Services Corporation for a Technology Initiative Grant. I have been a strong supporter of the LSC throughout my time in Congress and I look forward to seeing these critical funds expand access to justice for those who need it the most.”

Northwest Justice Project is one of 30 recipients of 2015 LSC-TIG funding totaling more than $4.2 million.   

Legal Aid of West Virginia, Inc. Receives $90,600 LSC Grant to Create Resources for Volunteer Attorneys

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation announced today that Legal Aid of West Virginia, Inc. (LAWV) will receive $90,600 through the Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) program to create six online interactive training classrooms and toolkits to assist private volunteer attorneys to help clients. The TIG program supports legal aid organizations in developing, testing, and replicating technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality assistance in the full range of legal services for low-income clients.

“LSC’s Technology Initiative Grants expand access to justice for millions of Americans who cannot afford a lawyer,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The grants make legal information, court forms, video instruction, and practical tips available to people who otherwise would have to navigate the legal system alone.”

The project will include videos, document assembly forms, client interview guides, and tip sheets. The goal of the project is to increase the quality and quantity of training available to pro bono attorneys to improve the effectiveness of LAWV’s statewide pro bono system. To ensure the information is useful, LAWV will engage pro bono attorneys in developing the materials.

 “Many West Virginians turn to Legal Aid West Virginia when they find themselves in need of legal assistance,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “This grant will fund an important goal of improving legal services to our residents. By providing enhanced training and resources to our state’s volunteer attorneys, this grant will make a difference to thousands of individuals and families in our state who seek valuable legal help.”

Rep. Evan Jenkins (WV-3) said:  “Legal Services Corporation’s grant will help more attorneys provide pro bono legal aid for our state’s most vulnerable. Our low-income and disabled residents and veterans are often those most in need of help from legal aid services, and they deserve access to legal counsel and advice. I thank LSC for investing in West Virginia and will continue to support their efforts to help our state.”

Legal Aid of West Virginia is one of 30 recipients of 2015 LSC-TIG funding totaling more than $4.2 million.  

Click here to see full list of 2015 TIG Awards

 

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.