PRESS RELEASE – 04/09/18

The Doors Are Open! FJTC Launches Legal Aid Hackathon Website

Join us in creating innovative solutions to improve access to justice!

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA April 9, 2018 – Florida Justice Technology Center (FJTC) has launched the official Legal Aid Hackathon website as registration opens for the May virtual event. The Legal Aid Hackathon is a collaboration in the legal tech community to develop innovative solutions that improve access to justice. Funded by a Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) from Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to Bay Area Legal Services, this is the third Legal Aid Hackathon, and features support from legal aid partners around the country.

Participants select the project they want to work on and organize into teams of 3-5 people. Team communication and project coordination will be handled through email, Slack and Trello, and project mentors are available to help teams achieve their goals. The event is organized by FJTC and Urban Insight.

“Hackathons are a great way to encourage innovative thinking,” said Joseph Schieffer, Project Manager for FJTC and co-organizer of the event. “No idea is too small or too big and everyone is welcome, whether you’re tech-oriented or not.” That kind of inclusivity often results in a wide range of skills and knowledge within a group – i.e., programming, social services, legal, project management – ensuring a diverse and in-depth approach to a project.

The goal is to create an app, tool or process that improves access to justice in some way. This could be by providing a new resource to low-income individuals who need legal help, or by streamlining a legal process to help legal aid organizations and advocates better serve their communities.

Past projects include automated client text messaging, a Google Docs add-on to help advocates write in plain language, and creation of a Legal “Checkup” Drupal module.

The May hackathon is a virtual event on May 19th and 20th. Registration is free, and prizes will be awarded for the top two projects. You can learn more by visiting https://www.legalaidhackathon.org/.

About Florida Justice Technology Center
FJTC is an independent statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, devoted to increasing access to justice through the innovative use of technology.

Contact:
Joseph Schieffer
3122 Mahan Drive, Suite 801-202
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Email: joseph@floridajusticetechnologycenter.org