ABOUT THE PROJECT

ABOUT THE PROJECT

What is the "Louisiana Civil Legal Navigator" Project?

To improve accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency of legal services in Louisiana, the Louisiana Bar Foundation is spearheading an effort to adopt an integrated civil legal aid service delivery portal that leverages artificial intelligence and subject matter expert contributors.

The project, which is derived from a Legal Service Corporation (LSC) pilot program, aims to direct Louisiana's low-income and under-served communities to the most appropriate resources within the civil legal network. In 2016, LSC announced efforts to establish state-wide access to justice portals. Since then, LSC has partnered with Microsoft and Pro Bono Net to design, test, and develop an intelligent technology platform that enables those falling within the "Justice Gap" to find actionable information and resources.

As the project's two pilot states, Alaska and Hawaii, continue efforts to bridge their own justice gaps, the Access to Justice community in Louisiana has decided to move forward and begin creating and collecting the information critical to the success of the platform. Ultimately, the driving force is aggregating legal information and community and social resources in a meaningful way, empowering low-income and marginalized members of our community to take the first steps in addressing their most pressing legal needs.

How is it different from other available resources?

The access to justice portal project, and therefore the Louisiana Civil Legal Navigator project, departs from current online legal resources in two main ways: its use of artificial intelligence, and a unique content format, called "Curated Experiences."

Artificial Intelligence

The 2017 Justice Gap report published by LSC highlighted an important issue: oftentimes, people do not realize that an issue they are dealing with is legal in nature. Even if they do, they may not be able to effectively match their own understanding of their issues with the information available to them. This makes finding useful information and resources a frustrating experience for people already facing difficult times.

To combat this, the portal is built upon an artificial intelligence application that lets those in need explain their situation in the best way they know how - in their own, natural language. From there, the system identifies the main legal topic in which the person's issue falls, ultimately helping them more successfully navigate the portal's content. This leaves the individual in need more adequately informed, resulting in better outcomes overall.

Curated Experiences

Much like today's legal help sites, information within the portal is stored and categorized in a hierarchical fashion. This allows those with discrete questions, little time, and/or a firm understanding of their issues to quickly access relevant content. For those needing a more holistic approach, the portal's "User Interview" component presents expert-selected information in the form of Curated Experiences.

To receive tailored content in this way, the person in need will naturally describe their problem, which is then categorized by the underlying artificial intelligence. The user will confirm their issue and then be guided through a series of questions - a User Interview. Upon completion of the User Interview, the Portal user will receive an expert-selected Curated Experience. That final output will include a meaningful combination of action items, articles and educational materials, legal, social, and community resources, and relevant forms. Overall, Curated Experiences give the user a better understanding of their issue and confidence to move forward seeking help or resolving their problem.

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The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.



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