The Next Generation of On-Line Resources for SRLsNSRLP
The design and sophistication of web-based resources for SRLs has advanced a long way since the National Study (2013) reported that SRLs “…suggest(s) there are significant limitations and deficiencies to this material.”
We are focusing this month on Action Step #5 – “Clearer court forms and processes and on-lines resources designed specifically for SRLs” – and want to highlight some especially promising initiatives.
In BC: We heard a lot during the National Study about the stand-out website developed (and since enhanced) by the BC Justice Education Society (http://www.justiceeducation.ca), and particularly their videos and interactive features, Now Sherry MacLennan of the BC Legal Services Society is working with partners on the development of mylawbc.com, This site plans to use a model of “guided pathways” based on a model developed by the HiiL Institute (www.hiil.org) in the Netherlands. The pathways will provide information leading to resources, with a second platform for on-line negotiations (eg for a parenting plan), and a third level for mediation options.
In Alberta: Colleen Nicholls of Alberta Justice writes: “(O)ur “Family Self Help” website…went live after the NSRLP Dialogue Event last spring. It is located here: http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/fjs/selfhelp/index.php.
The site is intended to lead users to the forms or services that they need for their particular issue…we have also done up comprehensive, plain language instructions for doing your own divorce”: http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/fjs/selfhelp/forms-divorceact/index.php
Finally, FB page member Rc Richardson suggests checking out the Legal Informatics Blog (http://legalinformatics.wordpress.com/) for regular updates on technology innovations to assist self-represented litigants. News of a new project to train law students to design on-line resources for SRLs – using a software tool called A2J Author – caught our eye.
“A2J Author is a software tool developed …to deliver greater access to justice for self-represented litigants by enabling lawyers and law students to rapidly build user-friendly web-based document assembly tools called A2J Guided Interviews®. These A2J Guided Interviews allow users to complete court documents by presenting a series of easy-to-understand questions while graphics virtually lead users along the path to the courthouse, where these documents can be filed.”
Sound interesting? Read more here: http://legalinformatics.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/glassmeyer-cali-partners-with-law-schools-to-build-online-tools-for-low-income-litigants