Using Technology to Improve Equal Access to Justice For All!
The Arkansas Legal Services Partnership (ALSP) website launched in 2004 as a statewide effort representing both the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas.
This website (and all justice technology projects) has two primary goals:
- To provide clear, concise and relevant legal information for low-income Arkansans; and
- To provide poverty law resources for legal aid advocates, pro bono attorneys and other members of the justice community
The ALSP website includes many types of resources: automated legal documents written and edited by Arkansas attorneys; fact sheets (written on a 5th to 8th grade reading level) about a broad range of civil legal matters; streaming video; streaming audio; Poverty Law Manuals and live chat assistance. Visit the Online Legal Library.
The ALSP website has become a vehicle for addressing the pro se challenge that confronts Arkansas and the rest of the nation. In the years since the website was launched, it has become a critical resource for self-help litigants by guiding them through the Arkansas state court system, as shown by a steady and substantial increase of site traffic since its launch in 2004. There were 185,465 page views in the year the ALSP website launched. We began receiving well over 1 million page views per year starting in 2007.
The high level of traffic to the website reflects the problems that low-income Arkansans face in acquiring access to justice. One in five Arkansans is eligible for free civil legal aid; however there is not enough funding to help all those in need. The growing pro se litigant population in our courts also reflects the lack of funding for free legal services programs and the growing population of low-income Arkansans who need legal information.
Justice Technology is one way that the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, the pro bono community and the Access to Justice Commission is attempting to provide assistance to the state of Arkansas.
We hope that it brings us one step closer to access to justice for all Arkansans.