AI + Access to Justice Current Projects

Report a problem you’ve found with AI & legal help

The Legal Design Lab is compiling a database of “AI & Legal Help problem incidents”. Please contribute to this database by entering in information on this form, that feeds into the database.

We will be making this database available in the near-future, as we collect more records & review them.

For this database, we’re looking for specific examples of where AI platforms (like ChatGPT, Bard, Bing Chat, etc) provide problematic responses, like:

  • incorrect information about legal rights, rules, jurisdiction, forms, or organizations;
  • hallucinations of cases, statutes, organizations, hotlines, or other important legal information;
  • irrelevant, distracting, or off-topic information;
  • misrepresentation of the law;
  • overly simplified information, that loses key nuance or cautions;
  • otherwise doing something that might be harmful to a person trying to get legal help.

You can send in any incidents you’ve experienced here at this form: 

We will be reviewing submissions & making this incident database available in the future, for those interested.

Fill in the form to report an AI-Justice problem incident

Current Projects Procedural Guide

Mobile legal help apps

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.

Access Innovations - mobile self help - illinois legal aid online app - Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 7.50.04 PM

Some examples of mobile self-help apps are one from Illinois, the Illinois Legal Aid App.


Access Innovations - mobile self help - illinois legal aid online app - Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 7.50.11 PM

Access Innovations - mobile self help - illinois legal aid online app - Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 7.50.21 PM

Access Innovations - mobile self help - illinois legal aid online app - Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 7.50.31 PM

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.

Access Innovations - mobile self help - maryland self help law app - Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 7.53.11 PM

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

Ideabook Training and Info

Law content on Wikipedia

Last week, I was a facilitator at a Shaping Davos design thinking workshop at Stanford’s  Several local non-profits had brought some big social impact challenges they’re facing — around gentrification, housing, food waste, community-building, and information access.

Margaret Hagan - Wikipedia workshop - 2015-01-22 19.46.19

Then small groups of engineers, public policy-makers, business people, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals spent 2 hours brainstorming & prototyping possible solutions to these challenges. Our goal wasn’t to solve the problem then and there, but rather to start scoping target areas for future work and laying out promising directions for solutions.

I was working with Wikimedia (the non-profit that runs Wikipedia among other projects) on the challenge of how it can get more content from more kinds of people — especially people in the Global South — included on Wikipedia.Margaret Hagan - Wikipedia workshop - 2015-01-22 20.18.08

The group ended up generating some interesting ways to make contributing to Wikipedia more lightweight, multimedia, and interactive.  Many of them tied back to work I had done a few years ago on how the UN could support more communication & knowledge-sharing among refugees. But the really interesting conversation happened after the official event ended, and I got to speak to the UX designer from Wikimedia who was attending the event.

I inquired about how we might be able to get more legal content onto Wikipedia. Since my main focus these days is how the Internet can be a better legal service-provider, I have been thinking of how to rope Google & Wikipedia into more thoughtful efforts to show high-quality, localized, responsible legal information to lay people searching online about legal problems.

If Wikipedia entries are nearly always the top hits of a Google Search — and especially as their content is given prime real estate in highlighted boxes on many searches thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph — wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were more high quality Wikipedia entries on legal matters?

I’m thinking especially of 2 use cases, where legal content on Wikipedia could be terrifically helpful:

  1. The law student who is trying to learn concepts, cases, and theories — and wants to do this with online content and references rather than the standard case book. (This was me as a law student — I was so disappointed to see how little legal commentary and expertise Wikipedia had to offer on what I was studying).
  2. The lay person searching for context & orientation for a legal problem that has cropped up in her life.  She is not necessarily looking to file papers, find a lawyer, or take any other concrete step along a legal process. Rather, she is trying to get literate in a legal topic & start to understand what this part of the legal world is about — and hopefully find links to jurisdiction-specific materials, if not actual legal providers.

Talking with Wikimedia’s UX designer, it seems there are several ways to get higher quality legal content onto Wikipedia, for both these types of users.

  • Get active inside the WikiProject Law to direct the creation of more legal content
  • Create a game experience over Wikipedia to feed and edit more content
  • Make Wikipedia content creation part of law school curriculum

One way is to be active inside the WikiProject on Law.  This is a collection of Wikipedia users who are trying to generate more quality content about law — covering everything from public policy to philosophy as it relates to law. Open Law Lab - Legal content on Wikipedia - WikiProject Law

If I — or you — wanted to join this WikiProject, we could help set out an agenda of what kind of legal pages should be created, and what the priority for content development should be.  The community is open to applications. New members can add to the group’s collective to-do list & direct content creation.

Another possibility for getting more law on Wikipedia is to build a new interface or app on top of Wikipedia.  One model for this is The Wiki Game.  A 3rd party developer built a web & app game on top of Wikipedia, that allows for content-consumption & -creation via quick, lightweight games.

Open Law Lab - Legal content on Wikipedia - The Wiki Game

This kind of venture would take some more work & inspiration. What would a gamefied experience of getting people to submit legal content to Wikipedia look like? Or could we gamify the checking, tagging, and editing of possible legal content? There could be a very engaging experience here, but I don’t have any precise thoughts on how something like ‘The Wiki Game’ could be adapted to legal content.

And the final idea — probably fairly feasible — is to integrate Wikipedia content creation into law school curriculum.  Could 1Ls be assigned the creation of Wikipedia articles for the topics and cases they’re studying? It would be nice to see all of law students’ study material be made open-source and usable by the crowd online.