I don’t think technology is the barrier to the poor getting good information. Applause for good intentions, but funding your city’s library system might make a bigger difference.
Getting the information is not really the major bar for most low level civil issues or even immigration. Its organizing one’s evidence and documentation. This is where the technology comes in handy. Libraries are unlikely going to be able to bring up the most current forms or help streamline the document evidence organization task.
Fast tracking the red tape one has to go through to defend one’s self in such situations, especially immigration (a form of law whose notion of due process is literally Dickensian).
There is a legitimate need for increased access to civil courts for the poor. Too often the only lawyers who ever bother approaching the poor are those in personal injury/class action related issues. Where a lawyer just takes their fee off the top of a large settlement.
Don’t get me started on the asshole predatory lenders who circle poor families in lawsuits with “advances on future judgments”.
This is to (respectfully) request an @doctorow article about removing the crazy restrictions added by Congress to Legal Services Corporation grants since the 80s.
Those restrictions are a big reason for the “unbundled” legal services trend resulting in low income civil litigants lacking adequate representation.
(No class actions with LSC funds? Really, Congress?)
And many if not most legal issues faced by low income civil litigants require more — much more — full representation and assistance, not apps.
Send a partner violence survivor into family court without experienced help and support? Give an elderly person with failing capacity a form FDCPA letter? Try to mediate an eviction action against a slum property manager with a pamphlet? No, no and no.
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