Posted on February 28, 2020 at 12:00 PM by Janet Lo
901 Legal Connect: Using Tech Innovation to Increase Free Legal Help
On February 6, the Memphis Bar Foundation launched 901LegalConnect.org as the legal community’s latest initiative to improve the way that underserved populations access vital legal services. 901 Legal Connect is a mobile responsive web-application that connects underserved residents in the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the surrounding counties to free or low-cost legal service providers. The Memphis Bar Foundation is a part of a growing number of organizations that has employed tech-innovation to build sustainable programs that minimize some of the barriers to justice. Also, the Foundation is the first bar organization in the state of Tennessee to develop a web-based, applicant intake portal.
As a one-stop portal, 901 Legal Connect serves as a pre-screening tool that connects appropriate applicants with the correct legal service provider on the first try. 901 Legal Connect informs applicants in as little as 20 minutes if they meet the minimum qualifications for legal assistance. Then, they will be connected with the appropriate legal service provider who will complete the intake process to determine final eligibility.
This new one-stop approach creates a win-win for both applicants and legal service providers. Now, applicants will only complete one initial screening regarding their eligibility for legal assistance instead of contacting multiple organizations to find out if they qualify for help. As a result, CLC and MALS will receive only qualified applications, which increases their capacity to serve more underserved residents who would not otherwise have access to legal services. To learn more about 901 Legal Connect, visit www.901LegalConnect.org.