1. FloridaLawHelp Review

In October, Florida Justice Tech Center (FJTC) staff reviewed the 194 “know your rights” (KYR) on the statewide FloridaLawHelp website.  The review was performed by FJTC’s legal content attorney and a non-attorney staff who has 10 years of experience creating and maintaining content on LawHelp websites.

The KYR content on FloridaLawHelp currently features, PDF/brochures, links to state or federal government websites, links to hotlines or maps, self-help forms and templates, handbooks, or other more in-depth material, and videos.   While reviewing each piece of content we were looking to answer the following questions:

 Is the resource still current?

  • Are there working links and current contact information?

Is the resource user-friendly?

  • Is it in a usable format using plain language concepts and easy to navigate layout?
  • Are there adequate descriptions to help users quickly find relevant legal information?
  • Is the resource available in other languages, especially Spanish and Creole?

Is the information posted on all the relevant areas of the website?

  • Is the content tagged properly and in all the right topics to allow users to use the site more efficiently?

Now that this phase of the review has been completed, we have begun reformatting approximately 96 resources into a more user-friendly design.   For example, for the resource  “Evictions: What Every Tenant Should Know” we converted a 2-page brochure with large blocks of text and dated graphics into a resource with a more readable drop-down menu of the steps in a legal eviction.   The new resource is available at: http://floridalawhelp.org/resource/evictions-what-every-tenant-should-know?ref=PK4WL

FloridaLawHelp News/Updates

Below is an overview of program updates regarding the FloridaLawHelp site:

Applied for a grant for funds from ProBono Net’s Language Access Initiative to translate 5 existing resources to Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole: If accepted, the grant will save us approximately $840 in translation services.[1]  PBN will advise us by early 2016 if we got the grant and when we should expect the translations.  The resources chosen for translation were either recently updated by Legal Services attorneys or needed no substantive changes to the existing text:

  • Assisting Low-Income Uninsured Individuals Obtain a Hardship Exemption
  • Background on Coverage Gap Issue
  • Avoiding Loan Modification Scams
  • Child Support
  • Considering a Reverse Mortgage?

Launched new RSS feature and Dashboard:  Alan Hill from Three Rivers Legal Services worked on this project withProbono.net. We promoted this feature on the listservs and via our mailing list.  Four legal aid programs reached out for assistance in using this feature.

Created 3 new resources for the site: (1) Form: Health Surrogates for Children, (2) Federal Courts finder, (3) Form: E-Pro Se – Proceeding Without A Lawyer.  The addition of the Health Surrogates resource was necessary due to a change in the law, the Federal Courts finder replaced an outdated resource and E-Pro Se provides access to a form builder for creating civil complaints.

 Created a “Legal Topics of the Month” page of resources related to domestic abuse and violence for Domestic Violence Awareness month.  Available at: http://floridalawhelp.org/resource/domestic-violence-awareness-month

Submitted a request for Probono.net to develop a mini-portal (subpage within the LawHelp site) that will feature Foreclosure resources in Florida: We expect the plain structure of this subpage to be available in November and staff will begin setting it up.

[1] We identified an additional 15 resources that should be translated.  We will contract with a translator to accomplish these translations.