What is the FJTC?
The Florida Justice Technology Center (FJTC) will be an independent statewide 501c3 nonprofit corporation funded through a grant from The Florida Bar Foundation (Foundation) in order to “increase access to justice through the innovative use of technology”.
The Florida Justice Technology Center would not be possible without the start-up funding for its creation, which was specifically included as part of a bridge loan made to The Foundation by The Florida Bar last year. It is modeled on the only other statewide nonprofit access to justice technology entity in the country, the nationally-acclaimed Illinois Legal Aid Online.
Who will/does the FJTC support?
The FJTC mission is to “increase access to justice through the innovative use of technology”. To achieve this mission, the FJTC will work alongside: legal aid and pro bono programs, the judiciary and the court system, Clerks’ offices, members of the private bar, law schools and clinics, volunteers, corporations and community partners, among others, to develop and contribute technology products and services to increase access to justice in Florida.
What is the status of funding?
The Florida Bar Foundation has funded the Florida Justice Technology Center as an Administration of Justice grantee pending award of tax exempt 501c3 status by the Internal Revenue Service.
What are you working on now?
The articles of incorporation and the application for securing 501c3 Tax Exempt Status from the IRS have been filed. We are pulling together the administrative infrastructure to launch the Center including board/management policies and procedures, accounting, and payroll systems.
Does the FJTC have staff?
There will be two initial staff members: an Interim Executive Director, and a Director of Online Content. The Interim Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the Center. The Director of Online Content will oversee the creation/procurement as well as accuracy and timeliness of all online content.
Where will the FJTC be located?
The FJTC is a virtual organization meaning there is no physical office. Each staff works out of their own home office and travels for in-person meetings and events. Staying virtual for the foreseeable future eliminates the need for office rent, phone systems, furniture, IT systems, etc. allowing more of FJTC funds to be used to accomplish our mission.
What kinds of things will FJTC do?
The FJTC will work as a leader and as a partner. As a leader, FJTC will coordinate and promote the use of technology by identifying efforts from around the state and around the country that could be implemented in Florida. As a partner, FJTC will offer technology products and services to help advance existing and wholly new endeavors. There are many technology efforts going on around the state – automated forms/document assembly, online intake systems, knowledge management systems, are just a few examples – we will try to collaborate and coordinate with all of them. Working with the staff, the FJTC Board of Directors will select specific projects.
Tell me about the Board.
For the first two years of operation there will be a Startup Board acting as the governing body of the Center. The Startup Board will be small in number – initially only 5 members – and will be charged with identifying, recruiting, and assembling the permanent board.
What will the Startup Board do?
The Startup Board is small and agile by necessity as the Center needs to move quickly to engage with many and diverse constituents. The Startup Board will work to establish the initial structure of the Center and create the foundation for future endeavors. What does that mean? Establish governing bylaws, identify guiding principles (how we do what we do), approve strategic priorities (what we should do), identify and recruit members of the permanent board.
Who are the Startup Board Members?
Greg Coleman – President of The Florida Bar, member of the Florida Commission on Access To Civil Justice member, and partner at Critton, Luttier, & Coleman, LLP.
Kathy McLeroy – Florida Commission on Access To Civil Justice Member, The Florida Bar Vision 2016 Commission member, Co-Chair of The Florida Standing Committee on Pro Bono, and attorney at Carlton, Fields, Jorden, Burt;
Tom Oldt – Florida Bar Foundation board member, and founder of Thomas R. Oldt Investment Services LLC.
Adriana Linares – founder of LawTech Partners (a legal technology consulting firm), ABA Law Practice Division Legal Technology Resource Center board member and vice-chair ELawyering Task Force.
James Haggard – staff attorney at Brevard County Legal Aid, Ad Hoc Member of the Technology Subcommittee of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, founder of Wiedza Creations, LLC a legal tech start up, Editor of TheStudentAppeal.com.
How can I stay in touch?
Check out our website where we post information about our activities and efforts. Go to www.floridajusticetechnologycenter.org.
I have an idea for the FJTC – how do I get in touch with you?
We love ideas! Please feel free to contact Joyce Raby at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set up a time to meet, talk, and see what happens.