Mobile legal help apps are becoming increasingly common. In these apps, often developed as standalone applications for Android or iOS systems, the user gets a wide range of legal help information specifically geared for self-represented litigants all on their phone.
The advantage of these apps is that once they’re downloaded you don’t need a web connection to access the materials. Also, they become a more reliable companion for those people who are going through a legal process, rather than a website that you need to re-find and re-navigate, the app is a more permanent and friendly way to access the information.
An app can help you bookmark materials, supply you with the right contact and location information about where to get to where you want to go, and potentially let you scan and save materials for your own case.
The mobile app is more specifically designed to be a companion for a self-represented litigant, as compared to a website that is a static source of information.
Some examples of mobile self-help apps are one from Illinois, the Illinois Legal Aid App.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance and its partner, Illinois Legal Aid Online, developed some of the first mobile apps in legal services. Illinois Legal Aid Online launched the Illinois Legal Aid app and the Illinois Pro Bono app, and PTLA launched the Legal Aid News App, available on Android and Apple iOS. PTLA also developed mobile web applications as part of TIG 10015 — the Legal Aid Finder App and the HelpMELaw app for Maine specific legal information are viewable across smartphone platforms, available on Android and as web apps.
The Illinois Legal Aid app is designed for lower-income residents who need legal assistance and offers plain- language legal information and Illinois-specific referrals to courthouse legal self-help centers and legal aid agencies.
The Pro Bono app provides legal professionals with a volunteer opportunity search tool, a calendar of upcoming legal events, including [CLEs], and comprehensive legal resource guides in the most common areas of pro bono practice. Prior to TIG 10015, PTLA piloted the development of its mobile web statewide website and created a national guide on website development (TIG 08005).
The Final Report from LSC-TIG: TIG 10015: PTLA-Illinois Mobile Project
Maryland also has a Self-Help legal app from the courts. It is available on Android, on Google Play.
The Maryland Law Help app brings together tools and resources developed by the Maryland Judiciary and others to help Marylanders use the courts or find legal help. Lean about Maryland law, find a lawyer or mediator, watch videos on how to use the courts, and even call or chat with an attorney at the Self-Help Center.
In this app you can find:
Find a Court, Find a Lawyer, Find a Form, Find a Law Library, Court Help, People’s Law Library, Self-Help Center, Videos, Tip Sheets, Mediation, Maryland Laws, Law Help Chat, Law Help Call, Interpreter, Special Needs, About Us