Mobile App Idea Summaries
Proposals Submitted to Evergreen Apps:
1) Limited English Proficiency Assistance
2) Legal Assistance Finder for the State of Washington
1. Citizenship Works – Naturalization Assistance via Mark O’brien, Pro Bono Net
Based off the CitizenshipWorksprojects, this mobile app would help immigrants find out if they are eligible to naturalize in the United States, and if so, what steps they should take to get them through the process. Some of the features that would be included in this app are
- Physical presence calculator – allows users to enter green card date and all subsequent periods out of the country to determine eligibility:
- Language eligibility calculator
- Interactive “bring list” to ensure folks know what documents they need to bring to appointments with legal services providers
- Flashcards for English & Civics test preparation
- Savings calculator to help users plan for the application fee
Also included in this app would be a referral system so that people can find non-profit organizations that can help them through this process, as well as a know-your-rights resource.
2. Online Intake via Russell P. Butler, Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc.
An online intake mobile app would walk those with legal problems through an intuitive step-by-step process that allows a legal aid organization to easily obtain and sort through relative information. The intake system would then check to see if the prospective client is eligible for legal services, and if not, would provide resources, documents, and perhaps even referrals. This has the benefit of cutting down the costs for legal aid organizations in both time and money in doing intake as well as giving prospective clients another relatively easy way to look for legal assistance.
3. Ask-A-Volunteer-Lawyer App via William L. Jones, American Bar Association
Based off OnlineTNJustice.org, this mobile app would allow people to submit questions to a clearinghouse with the possibility of receiving free legal advice from volunteer lawyers. This app would be targeted at low-income people and focus on issues like foreclosure, domestic violence, and family law. However, there would be no guarantee that the question would be answered or a lawyer will take the case, but it would be a great way to increase access to justice by providing a quick go-to location for small legal questions.
4. Field Guide to FAQs in Illinois Law via Gwen Daniels, Illinois Legal Aid Online
This mobile app based of Illinois Legal Aid’s mobile app and the Illinois Pro Bono app that creates resources and documents aimed at addressing the most commonly asked questions in legal aid. Since most legal aid organizations already have substantial online resources, these apps take these resources, put them in a database, organize them as guides, and then are released as apps.
5. Choiceboxing via Marc Lauritsen, Capstone Practice Systems
This mobile app would be a cloud-based collaborative decision making tool. It would allow multiple users to look at the same decision-making interface and simultaneously see edits (think Google Docs). For example, this would allow attorneys help clients with document assembly or figure out exactly what the client wants. This could be extended even further with the ability to create custom made content to be specific to any given situation. There are many decisions in the nonprofit legal services context that would benefit from a handy tool that leverages interactive visualization and social production techniques.
Read the attachment for a full explanation.
6 .Legal Aid News / Legal Aid Finder via Gwen Daniels, Illinois Legal Aid Online
This app would be based off the work from Pine Tree Legal Aid’s already existent mobile apps. While Pine Tree Legal released these as two separate apps, it would be possible to integrate the two apps into one.
The Legal Aid News app provides news about legal aid and related programs around the country. News is available for legal aid programs state by state, for national legal centers for low-income people, for the legal services corporation or for all the news. The app will provide the fifty most recent news stories for any state or category.
The Legal Aid Finder app provides contact information and website links for legal aid programs around the country. Information is provided on a state by state basis. Initially we provide information on only staff based programs providing direct representation to low-income clients, but look for an upgrade soon to include pro bono programs, as well.
7. Privacy checker via Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net
This app would be for for legal aid and non profit groups thinking of building an app that gives them a checklist of the dos and don’ts to protect the privacy of the users—and sample plain language disclaimer languages, etc. There are so many groups jumping on this that are not privacy experts, and the state of privacy in apps is still in flux—that it would be good to develop a tool that non-profits could use to plan their approach and technology.
The corollary of this would be to build an app targeted at information seekers—that gives them a way to ascertain if the app they are looking to download is up to snuff on privacy, etc. In the legal field, it would maybe list the “legit” apps, created by reputable groups, such as legal aid and bonafide non profits—so that they don’t download apps that take them to unscrupulous sites, places.
This may require checking against some standard—and I am not sure where industry standards are right now—probably not very advanced, considering how facebook apps can take your friend’s info but not yours, w/out any disclaimers to your friends or you that that is what they are doing…or the whole google taking info beyond what they needed for the mapping project…but maybe a think tank has some standards already in mind or guidelines or protocols—all of this would require research.
8. Triage (can be rolled into app 3, 4, or even 6) via Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net
A triage/self assessment tools. So, for example, for someone who may be getting laid off and worried about foreclosure—give them an app (tool) where they can figure out their options—so they can be ready should things turn out bad. If this was based on the recent settlement agreement from the AGs (the common terms/requirements) and federal law, then this could be replicated for other states.
Same thing with people who are victims of DV or harassment or stalking—or people who are not paid overtime—give them a tool to do a self assessment of what options they may have, based on their answers and then give them links to seek legal aid, if that is what they choose to do.
Triage tools that give people information based on their answers and then route them to right place for more help—would be great. This may help helplines reduce the glut of non-eligible calls—hopefully keeping the phone queues stable and not increasing.
I also would like to see IPAD/tablet apps for pro bono lawyers—the idea is that the volunteer could show up a the clinic or event (large group processing) and be given a tablet, and in that tablet they would have everything they need to provide the consult, and if they accept the case fill out forms etc etc.
9. Limited English Proficiency, via Claudia Johnson, Pro Bono Net
This app would help people access limited english proficiency (LEP) services in a variety of government, medical, and legal settings, and what to do if they are denied these services. With the high number of people in Washington who do not speak English as their primary language or even primary speakers who do not have the language proficiency to understand complex documents, this would help a classically marginalized group obtain access to justice and other important services. There already exists a significant amount of work done in this field via the Internet and brochures, and an app would draw on these pre-existing sources to help reach a broader audience and make the information more accessible.
10. Legal Assistance Finder for the state of Washington
The Legal Assistance Finder app provides contact information and website links for legal aid and other issue specific organizations around the state. There exists a significant amount of issue specific organizations like the Northwest Justice Project, ACLU of Washington, the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence just to name a few. This app would help get those people that need assistance get in touch with the organization that can help them the most. There would also be a general directory that would be broken down by either issue or location.