LawHelp.org, originally developed by Pro Bono Net in 2001 with funding from the Legal Services Corporation, the Open Society Institute, and others, announced last year the rollout of a redesigned platform, dubbed LH3. LawHelp.org is a national, online network of consumer legal information websites that help low income people find timely and accurate legal aid referrals, information about legal rights, and self-help resources.
The new platform simplifies the search process for users who, on average, view over 8,000 know-your-rights resources per day and receive referral information for free and low-cost legal services across twenty five partner sites and the national portal page. Thanks to financial support from the Legal Services Corporation Technology Initiative Grant, and with significant input from the national LawHelp network and the redesign steering committee, the new LawHelp platform allows for expanded support for multilingual content, tools to spotlight important content such as online legal forms or videos, and improved searchability from external search engines like Google or Bing. You can read more about the history of LawHelp.org and the initial roll out of the new platform in the June 27th blog“Have You Seen LawHelp Lately?”
Since we initially announced the updated platform last year, twenty partners have launched their new LH3 sites, six of them in the last few months. On February 5, 2013 sites using the LawHelp.org domain launched, including South Carolina, Washington DC, Hawaii and Guam. Pennsylvania and Washington both launched their sites in January.
We are very excited about some of the content on these sites and hope you’ll take a moment to look over the changes.
On South Carolina’s LH3 page, take a look at their self-help videos content page and the video embedded on the top of their self-help forms page. DC ‘s website highlights upcoming clinics and self-help court forms, as well as information on agencies working east of the Anacostia River throughout their homepage. They also utilize a portal page to provide information on the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program Community Economic Development Project. Hawaii uses a separate issue area to highlight legal research resources on their homepage, and sidebar to tell users how to access their intake program, and provides information about The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Guam uses images on the bottom of their page to highlight legal information and do it yourself forms. PaLawHelp.org utilizes two sidebar editors to highlight not only news on their homepage, but also their greater legal network. They also use the two editors on the bottom of their page to highlight special initiatives with images to draw the viewer’s eye to their content. Washingtonlawhelp.org highlights their extensive video and self-help form collections through two editors on their homepage, and features an online intake system using an editor on the right hand toolbar.
Other sites that have launched on this new platform include
- and VALegalAid.org.
Congratulations to all the project staff and stakeholders who made these launches possible.