Virtual Conference to Highlight Technology’s Role in Expanding Access to Justice

January 7, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Innovations in Technology Conference, the largest event dedicated to expanding access to justice through technological innovation, will be held virtually on January 12-14.

This is LSC’s 21st annual technology conference and will feature more than 40 sessions on a wide variety of access-to-justice topics. The conference brings together technologists, legal aid advocates, court personnel, pro bono coordinators and other professionals to showcase technology projects and tools to improve access to civil legal services for those most in need. 

The need for these legal services is enormous. Studies consistently show that a high percentage of the civil legal needs of low-income people are not being met. LSC’s 2017 report, The Justice Gap—Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, found that low-income Americans received no or inadequate professional help for 86% of their civil legal problems. Experts predict that the need for legal aid will increase amid COVID-19 challenges, particularly for low-income families facing job losses, evictions, domestic violence and other problems stemming from the pandemic.

“This year’s conference will highlight the increasingly critical role technology is playing in the provision of legal services during the pandemic,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “The surge in legal needs and the isolation caused by COVID-19 is fueling new technology solutions to enable legal aid programs, courts and people with legal needs to share information with one another.”

Flagg will join Larry Irving, President and CEO of The Irving Group, and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack for a plenary panel. They will discuss technology and access to justice from three different perspectives: the courts, legal aid organizations and their clients, and the technology community. Other topics that will be highlighted at the conference include:

  • Responses to COVID-19. Several sessions will explore how legal aid organizations and courts have used technology to respond to the pandemic, particularly in the area of remote legal services delivery.
  • Regulatory Reform. Experts will examine ways to ensure that more low-income Americans have access to legal help by changing regulations barring the unauthorized practice of law.
  • Usability and the User Experience. Sessions will focus on technology usability, the user experience and how to create technology solutions that benefit low-income individuals.

The conference’s closing session will feature a live episode of "Talk Justice," LSC's podcast. LSC Emerging Leaders Council member Jason Tashea will host a conversation on how technological innovations can expand access to justice with speakers including Steve McGarrity, Executive Director, Community Legal Aid Services and Ilenia Sanchez-Bryson, CIO, Legal Services of Greater Miami. 

This event is open to the press. Contact Carl Rauscher at rauscherc@lsc.gov for registration information. 

For a complete list of session descriptions and presenters, visit the conference page. Follow #LSCITC to join the conversation on Twitter.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.