Find access to justice innovations to use by building from existing projects.

Technology justice innovations

AI + Access to Justice Initiative

Explore projects, research, and data infrastructure that we are building in the AI & Access to Justice Initiative.

Come to our main Initiative page here to dive into this cutting-edge work on if and how AI can be used to improve access to justice.

Filing Fairness Project

When a person is sued for an eviction or debt, when they need to file a restraining order, or they need to figure out child support, they need to find, fill out, and file court forms.

The Filing Fairness Project is modernizing the court user’s form and efiling journey through an ambitious multi-jurisdiction cohort.

Our team has built the Legal Help Online Dashboard website with extensive best-practices guides, assessments, and resources to build a best-in-class legal help website for people to find and use.

Visit the Dashboard to see comprehensive lists of legal help websites, their rankings, and guides to improving SEO, technical performance, design, and content.

With our partners at Suffolk Law School’s LIT Lab, we are taking thousands of posts from Reddit’s Legal Advice board, labeling them with our standard issue codes of legal needs, and then using this labeled dataset to develop machine learning models.

This is all on the game Learned Hands that we have built. These models can automatically read through people’s stories about their problems, and identify what legal issues are present.

This project is supported by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Wise Messenger for SMS reminders and hotlines

The Lab has created Wise Messenger, a platform to set up automated text messages from a court, or other legal organization to their users. We are studying whether procedural notifications by SMS improve people’s appearance rates at hearings, appointments, and other important legal events.

If your court or office would be interested in sending automated text reminders and procedural notifications, please let us know here, and we’ll be in contact.

LIST Taxonomy of legal issues

The Legal Design Lab has developed the LIST taxonomy of legal problems people experience.

LIST stands for Legal Issues Taxonomy.

LIST is a new, more user-centered, and machine-readable list of codes. It builds the off National Subject Matter Index, a comprehensive list of legal problems that people in the United States might have. This standard taxonomy is of use in our machine learning project Learned Hands. LIST provides standard issue codes to label people’s stories with. It can also be used by legal help websites, applications, and chatbots to have standard codes to label people’s problems with.

The LIST taxonomy is supported by Pew Charitable Trusts and Legal Services Corporation.

Explore LIST & use it in your projects here at

Schema Markup Generator

Get Legal Help info to better appear on Internet Search Results

When people search online for contact information, hours, and procedures for your organization — make sure that they find your website and the help information on it. By applying markup to the back-end of your website, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and others will better be able to recognize that your organization should be featured high on search results.

Our Lab has made a tool so that you can easily create this markup, and then paste it onto your website’s backend code.

Eviction-focused justice innovations

Eviction Prevention Innovation website

Since 2018, the Legal Design Lab has been conducting research & design on how to better prevent evictions.

We have launched several pilots, compiled best practices, and run national cohorts to spread new services, paperwork, tech, and policies that can help people facing housing crises.

Read about these projects & efforts at the Eviction Innovation website.

In Spring 2020, we built a national Legal Help FAQ platform, with 50-state coverage, of renters’ rights and protections during the COVID-19 emergency.

Our team did extensive legal research and assembled a national network of housing law experts to be able to present, in plain language, if renters could be evicted, how much time they had to pay rent, and what new protections they might have in court. It also has a national database of local legal aid groups, court self-help sites, emergency rental programs, and other services that we could connect renters to in each state.

The Legal Help FAQ platform was built with the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Eviction Help websites for local partners

Our Lab team has worked with local partners in Arizona and Ohio to build eviction legal help guides for their landlords & tenants.

The websites feature information, flowcharts, services, and court information to help people deal with their housing court issues.

See one of these sites for Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio.

Visuals & Document Justice innovation

Give people a birds-eye view of what to do when appearing before a traffic court — and how to request relief from fines and fees.

The Legal Design Lab team created these open-source designs in our classes and now makes them widely available for replication and reuse. For example, we made these Traffic Court visuals in Design For Justice: Traffic Court, with our partners East Bay Community Law Center and NLADA. The visual designs for posters and handouts have been piloted in Alameda County, California. They were particularly created for courts that have recently introduced ‘Ability to Pay’ procedures.

If you would like to adapt these to your court or clinic, to help litigants understand their pleading options and how to request ‘Ability to Pay’ evaluation, please write to us. We will be happy to help you adapt these flowcharts and visuals to your context.

Court Summons Redesigns

We have run multiple design sprints to create new court documents for those facing evictions. We have new document designs that are being used by courts across the country.

For example, the Legal Design Lab has worked with a group of landlords, tenants, advocates, court officials, and other stakeholders in Hamilton County, Ohio to design a new court summons for eviction.

It is in use right now, to better inform people of their rights, services, and court appearance.

You can read more about our design choices and process at our article here.

Other projects to increase access to justice

Hospital map app

An Ohio hospital has created an internal navigation system through a mapping app. It lets anyone find their doctor or destination…

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Legal Advocate SMS

A mobile-first solution, that would let any lay person connect to basic legal knowledge and education through virtually free SMS back-and-forths….

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Law Kiosk

Could we have stations in libraries, hospitals, everywhere that would be easy to ask questions around possible legal problems and see…

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Court House Hub

Could we build a smart system inside courthouses that provide Internet access, connections to printing/copying, and electrical power for all those…

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