Each year 8.5 million Australians have a legal problem and only half will get any help. Unresolved problems lead to disastrous life outcomes: homelessness, financial stress, family breakdown, illness. Justice Connect's network of 10,000 pro bono lawyers wants to do more to help. Using traditional methods, finding people who need help and matching them with the right lawyer is difficult to achieve at scale. We needed a solution to reach people needing legal assistance wherever they were, providing user-friendly online service entry points and a solution to match them efficiently with the right free services and lawyers.
Over 3 years, our Gateway Project has involved deep user research with six user groups (help-seekers, solicitors, barristers, community lawyers, referrers, staff) and careful human-centred design to develop a suite of products to reach more people and provide more legal assistance across Australia. The Project's cornerstone products focus on different parts of providing legal help: - a new website with clear help-seeker and referrer pathways - an online intake system facilitating applications for help - an online inbound referral system to help sector peers send people to our services - a pro bono portal helping us match help-seekers with our network of 10,000 lawyers.
Each year 4.5 million Australians with a legal problem do not access assistance. Our Gateway Project helps to connect the many people ineligible for government legal aid with resources, services and pro bono lawyers online, through intelligent, user-friendly, guided pathways. We are harnessing our 26 years of experience working with pro bono lawyers across Australia, unlocking latent capacity in our network of 10,000 lawyers with a unique platform that spots and matches unmet need with capacity. Our product suite is scalable and replicable in jurisdictions around the world with the potential to improve access to justice far beyond Australia.
Intake tool design features include: - respecting time and effort: logic-driven guided pathways ensuring that help-seekers are connected only with relevant services and informed of eligibility as early as possible to avoid wasting their time - preserving dignity and choice: no identifying information is collected until our system communicates the services available and enables a help-seeker to opt-in to providing further information - safety a priority: design features to ensure user safety - building trust: a clear user interface with minimal visual clutter, warm colour palette and illustrations to distinguish our services from government and build trust. Portal design features include: - rich information: firms profiles collate preferences for pro bono matters across different jurisdictions, client types and interest areas - smart data access: sophisticated and intuitive searching and filtering of opportunities and of firms for users - tailored approaches: our staff can choose to promote pro bono matters on a browsable opportunity board or send privately and directly to firms depending on which avenue is more appropriate Our Gateway Project commenced in 2016. Our in-house innovation team has undertaken the majority of design work and product development. We engaged the services of Today Design to assist with our research, design and product architecture during 2017.