PBN Mobile Initiatives
The proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has revolutionized the way Americans access the Internet, receive information, and interact with the world. These changes have just begun to reach the legal community, but they offer the opportunity to dramatically alter the provision of legal services. As low-income communities increasingly access the Internet primarily through their mobile devices, providers have to respond by tailoring their content and services to utilize the platform's unique functionality. Below is a sampling of a legal services mobile initiatives developed or underway at Pro Bono Net.
Immigo (iOS, Android) a new mobile app, launched in July 2014, designed to provide workers in the immigrant integration field with the most up-to-date information about changing immigration laws and policies. The app is also equipped with an easy-to-use location feature to find legal assistance on immigration-related issues. Much of Immigo's content - for example News, Trainings & Events, and Legal Help Finder listings - are pulled into the app dynamically through the ImmigrationAdvocates.org website using the probono.net platform's API feed.
Immigo was developed through partnership between Pro Bono Net, the Immigration Advocates Network and the National Council of La Raza.
Citizenship Works (iOS, Android) is a comprehensive resource and step-by-step aid for those on the pathway to citizenship. It includes useful and unique features, including tools to help people prepare for citizenship tests (such as reading and writing quizzes and touch flashcards), calculators to track savings, multimedia functionality (using audio to dictate phrases to be written in English), legal resources located near the user, and much more.
Citizenship Works was developed through partnership between Pro Bono Net and the Immigration Advocates Network.
The Pocket DACA (iOS, Android) app provides information, resources, and tools to help individuals understand and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is an immigration benefit for certain people who arrived in the U.S. as children and lived in the U.S. for five years before June 15, 2012. A person who qualifies for DACA can apply for a work permit and get a social security number.
Pocket DACA is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Immigration Advocates Network, Pro Bono Net, the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Mobisoft Infotech.
In partnership with the Montana Legal Services Association, Pro Bono Net has created a mobile optimized version of the LawHelp3 platform. The mobile version strips down the website to its bare essentials, offering users quick and easy access to legal information or referral resources. PBN is working with five LawHelp partners to develop their own mobile sites using these features. In 2014, the mobile platform was expanded to include support for a Spanish version and LiveHelp capability.
LawHelp Mobile is a partnership between Pro Bono Net, Montana Legal Services Association, Legal Assistance of Western New York, and the national LawHelp.org network. The project has received seed funding from the LSC TIG program.
PBN partnered with Legal Aid Services of Northeastern Minnesota and Legal Services State Support, the hosts of ProJusticeMN.org, on a TIG-funded "Pro Bono to Go" initiative to develop mobile capability for the probono.net platform. This project developed tools to create mobile optimized settlement checklists and client interview guides for advocates and volunteer attorneys on smart phones and tablets in "on the go" settings like clinics or at court. Pro Bono to Go was launched in October 2014 and can be viewed by accessing www.projusticemn.org on a mobile device.
Pro Bono to Go was developed by Pro Bono Net, Legal Aid Services of Northeastern Minnesota, Legal Services State Support, and the Minnesota State Bar Association. The project has received seed funding from the LSC TIG program.
LawHelp SMS Initiative
The LawHelp SMS Initiative seeks to provide marketing and outreach to low and moderate-income people in specific geographic areas by providing targeted self-help and referral resources from statewide LawHelp sites via text messaging. In mid-2014, pilot projects launched with LawHelp.org partners in Georgia, Washington, and New York, as well as Illinois Legal Aid Online.
The LawHelp SMS Initiative is being developed by Pro Bono Net in partnership with the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Northwest Justice Project, the LawHelp New York Consortium and Illinois Legal Aid Online. This project has received seed funding from the LSC TIG program.