Imagine having the ability to diagnose your legal problem in just a few clicks. Imagine that – instead of spending hours or even days searching for answers to your specific scenario – all the options were laid out for you, so that you could choose the path that worked best for you. Imagine having a better understanding of the legal issue you faced as well as the remedies that were available – be it online resources, do-it-yourself forms, or referral to a legal aid attorney. That’s the idea behind legal triage. And it’s coming to Florida!

Statewide Interactive Legal Resource

After a successful pilot program in 2017, FJTC is thrilled to announce that development of Florida’s online legal triage tool is underway. The pilot program ran from October 2016 to June 2017 in Clay County, focusing only on evictions and simple divorce cases. The program had a total of 6,975 visits, including users from outside Clay County. Exit surveys show that over half of the users found the triage portal easy to use and 80% of users were satisfied with the information they received. A complete report of the pilot program can be found on our website. After getting final approval to move forward, we held our kick-off meeting with legal product development firm, Theory & Principle (T&P), on September 27th. We focused on project goals, project charter, the vision for the system, articulating the cornerstone user, and fleshing out next steps.

More recently, FJTC hosted a kickoff event at the offices of Holland & Knight in Jacksonville with T&P and key stakeholders in the region and across Florida. The November 15th kickoff meeting consisted of initial wireframes, an overview of the project timeline, and a Q&A session. Some sample visuals from the meeting are below.

In 2019, FJTC will continue to coordinate with T&P to collaborate with various project teams including subject matter experts, stakeholders, branding partners, etc. Periodic team reporting and check-ins will take place throughout the year with a planned launch in Fall of 2019.

What This Means for the Justice Gap

FJTC’s statewide system will be an easy-to-use civil legal resources website that integrates systems from the courts, pro bono communities, and legal services programs. This system will collect information through a Q&A process, analyze the user’s responses and provide potential options for resolution, including DIY form filings, information for further research and referral to a legal aid attorney. It’s in the initial development stages, but we believe it will be revolutionary in addressing civil legal needs in Florida when it is launched.

The system will mirror dozens of other highly effective online interactive resources such as Survey Monkey, Legal Zoom, and ArcGIS, providing users a reliable initial assessment of their legal issue. That means that anyone with access to an internet connection can obtain information specific to their issue with just a few clicks of the mouse.

That means that anyone with access to an internet connection can obtain information specific to their issue with just a few clicks of the mouse. Click To Tweet
Life Challenge Legal Issue

Legal Remedy

Eviction   Landlord/Tenant Issue Evidence Collection;

Formal Response;

Document Assembly

Job Loss Mortgage Foreclosure Formal Response;

Negotiated Settlement;

Document Assembly

Battery/Assault by a Partner Domestic Violence Injunction;

Safety Planning;

Document Assembly

Homicide of a Loved One Victim Compensation Formal Request;

Document Assembly

Marriage Ending Divorce; Child Custody Court Filing;

Visitation Schedule;

Document Assembly

Lifestyle Discrimination LGBTQ Rights Evidence Collection;

Court Filing;

Document Assembly

Retirement Social Security &

Medicare Benefits

Document Assembly
Short-Term or Long-Term Incapacitation Social Security Disability Evidence Collection;

Formal Request;

Document Assembly

Child with Disability Education Advocacy Evidence Collection;

Document Assembly;

IEP Request

Incarceration Prisoners’ Rights Document Assembly;

Court Filing

As you can see, the legal system in intricately woven into all of our lives whether we realize it or not. The interactive statewide legal resource network will revolutionize how the legal system is accessed by those who cannot afford an attorney. By delivering access directly to the public, FJTC will significantly reduce the Justice Gap in Florida.