The Legal Services Corporation has announced Technology Initiative Grants for 29 legal services providers across the country. Legal Services Vermont is one of the organizations selected for a grant-funded project that leverages technology in delivering legal help to low-income residents.
Legal Services Vermont will create online guided interviews that walk Vermonters through filling out important court forms such as relief from abuse, divorce and small claims.
The guided interviews will provide an easy and accessible way to complete court forms. They will provide simplified questions and help to guide users and ensure more complete and legally accurate filings. Self-represented litigants will be able to “fill and file” the court documents. Or, they can save their progress and print or send links to their documents to themselves or an advocate.
“This project addresses a part of the legal process that can be very challenging for self-represented Vermonters: starting or responding to a court action,” said Sam Abel-Palmer, executive director of Legal Services Vermont. “It’s just one of the many ways we are working to provide access to justice to Vermonters who cannot afford an attorney.”
In a recent LSC-funded project, Legal Services Vermont created video-supported, online legal roadmaps to help solve some common legal issues. (See https://legalservicesvt.org/new-roadmaps.) An earlier tech grant helped make the VTLawHelp.org website more accessible to all online users.
Based in Burlington, Legal Services Vermont is a nonprofit that serves residents around Vermont at no charge. LSV offers a wide range of civil (not criminal) legal services — from quick legal advice to full-scope representation — and community legal education for eligible, low-income Vermonters.
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.