Clearinghouses around the world have been matching people with unmet legal need and public interest cases with lawyers wanting to contribute for free for many decades. For years these clearinghouses ran with physical blackboards, then whiteboards, and finally spreadsheets.
As the scale of unmet legal need increases, public interest legal issues arise with continued frequency and firms become more technologically sophisticated, the time came to rethink our clearinghouse operations.
Starting by conducting research with our 50 member firms and our staff, we designed a technology driven system to match unmet legal need with the capacity in our network of 10,000 pro bono lawyers.
We launched our portal in a pilot with 14 Australian firms in March 2019. After a three month pilot and iteration period, we on-boarded a second tranche of firms, and there are now 160 law firms using the Portal across Australia.
“We strongly support this thoughtful, design-led approach to harnessing technology so that we can better match unmet legal need with pro bono resources.”
“It has been really good to see what else is available at Justice Connect on the Opportunity Board. This is helpful for when there is a group at the firm that wants to do more work – I can proactively look.”
“The Portal Pilot is one of the best IT pilot programs I have ever seen. The smoothness of the pilot is fantastic. Even if you make no further changes it would still be great.”
“It has been good to be involved. It hasn’t felt too much like a pilot. It’s seemed to work pretty well from the beginning… it’s fit for purpose.”
“We’ve really valued the opportunity to participate in the pilot of Justice Connect’s portal. We’ve been able to help shape the portal so that it really meets our needs”
We are currently working to extend our Portal product to benefit jurisdictions around the world. We are working alongside PILnet to ensure that we adapt the Portal to meet various place-based requirements in jurisdictions around the world.
Over the coming months, we will be creating a roll-out plan that will ensure that we have the right people and organisations involved for success.
If you are interested in participating in this project as either a pro bono organisation or as a firm that works on pro bono, please register your interest below.